Anna Kaganov remembers how she first became interested in rowing – and it’s not exactly a “tall” tale.
“I first was introduced to the sport my freshman year by a senior whose family and mine have been close for a long time,” says Kaganov. “The senior was a coxswain, and at the orientation for parents of incoming freshmen she saw my mom and asked if I was still short. She wanted to know if I would be interested in being a coxswain (coxswains typically are short). After that introduction I went to the first practice and fell in love with the sport.”
And she has grown into an amazing person and athlete. Now a senior, Kaganov is one of the captains on this year’s team and has rowed all four years for the Pioneers.
“The fall season of my freshman year I was on the women’s team, then I switched to the men’s team during the spring season and I have been on the men’s team ever since,” she said. “My freshman year I was part of a freshman women’s boat that placed second at nationals and my freshman and junior year I was part of the Men’s four which placed second.”
Kaganov says the recent fall season “went very well” for the Pioneer Rowing Club.
“It was great to be able to compete in more races and travel for regattas, especially considering we were not able to do that last year,” she says. “I am very excited for Midwests because we have not been able to go since freshmen year.”
Cliché or not, the Pioneer Rowing Club is successful because of the family vibe.
“Because we are in a sport that relies so heavily on working together, along with the fact that we have spent so much time together during practice, we have grown very close as a team and have become like family,” Kaganov says.
And she “loves” being a captain.
“The role means a lot to me because it means my team trusts me,” she says. “Along with that, when I first joined the team, I never would have imagined that I would be a captain my senior year. It means a lot to be like the people I looked up to my previous years on the team.”
Kaganov, like her teammates, is spending the winter training for the upcoming spring season.
“In the winter we as a team erg and do weight lifting in order to stay in shape,” she says. “Winter season is typically very hard because erging is hard, but it is also where people get a lot stronger and faster.”
Anna, 17, is the daughter of Caroline and Albert Kaganov. She has a 3.9 GPA and also participates in the Science Olympiad and DECA. Outside of sports, Kaganov says she is very interested in computer science and also tutors kids.
She has been accepted to MIT and wants to continue rowing in college.
“I was accepted into MIT and if I do go there I will be a coxswain on the rowing team,” she says. “Even if I do not go to MIT, I still hope to cox in college.”
Kaganov has a theory on why the Pioneer Rowing Club is so good every year.
“We focus a lot on technique along with strength,” she says. “Having good technique has really helped us win major competitions even if the other team seems stronger. We also trust each other in the boat, and that plays a huge role in our success.”
Photos by Robert Raux
Senior photo by Caroline Kaganov