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Redwood Bark

Preps of the year: Peter Woolley


Entering his freshman year, senior Peter Woolley was planning on mountain biking year round. His parents, however, had other plans.

“My parents were like ‘You need to find a fall sport,’” Woolley said. “So my parents forced me into trying out for the rowing team and then I just totally fell in love with it after that.”

What a fortuitous choice that was. Four years after his first encounter with the sport, Woolley will graduate as a two-time Junior National Champion and a member of the US Junior National team.

His first year, Woolley’s team lost all but one race. Despite this, Woolley said that it built a base upon which he could chase loftier goals.

“Personally, even though our team wasn’t doing really well, I set a lot of high goals for myself because I knew I wanted to be in the top boat the next year,” he said.

He did just that, and won his first Junior National Championship as the only sophomore in the men’s 8+ varsity boat.

“The work ethic, that is hands down the number one thing that I have learned,” he said. “I really learned it my sophomore year… mostly from Zander Bonorris and Patrick Kontinnen. They kind of instilled this idea that you show up an hour before practice, you do your workout before practice, you go through practice, then you go home and you do all your homework, you get good grades. You have to be the best physical athlete and the best student possible.”

Woolley, who will row for Division I Brown University next year, won another Junior National Championship in 2012, and last summer represented the United States in Bulgaria for the World Rowing Junior Championship, where the team finished fifth. Woolley has one more chance to compete for Marin Rowing when he goes for a third National Championship from June 7-9 in Oakridge, Tennessee.


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Zachary Dubin, Author