Rowing captain chosen for U-23 World Championship

Gaels captain participant in the quadruple sculls event

Davenport Huyer (left) competed at the U-23 World Championships in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria isn’t usually considered a summer hot spot for university students. But for Larkin Davenport Huyer, it’s exactly where she wants to be.

The current Gaels rowing captain represented Canada at the 2015 World Rowing U23 Championships in Plovdiv. 

Bulgaria from July 22  to 26.  Larkin’s boat finished 11th out of 12 teams in the quadruple sculls event. 

Heading into her fourth year at Queen’s, Davenport Huyer has been a staple on the rowing team for the past three seasons. Most notably, she won the gold medal in the Women’s Singles event in November at the Canadian University Rowing Championship, competing against the top university talent nationwide.

The Canadian Team is comprised of 24 athletes, split 14 men and 10 women in seven boats. 

Competing alongside Canada are 50 other nations, which range from large crews, such as Germany, which boasts 21 boats, to smaller teams, such as Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kazakhstan. Last year, Canada placed 10th in terms of medals, earning one gold and two bronze.

Davenport Huyer’s journey to national team selection began with rigorous testing. 

Her strong Erg (rowing machine) scores, earned her a try-out at a national team selection camp in B.C., where she continued to perform well. At the camp, the testing progressed from individual to partnerships and racing in heats.  

Not only did Davenport Huyer have to compete against other athletes for a position on the team, but in order to qualify, she would have to cooperate with those who could potentially take her position. 

“There are two other rowers in my boat I’ve competed against,” she said in an interview prior to the competition. “One from McGill and the other from Trent. But there’s [no animosity] between us at all”. 

From there, they were matched against international race times. This placed added pressure on the individuals, but also each boat as a whole. If they couldn’t compete with the international times overseas, their chance of selection would be lowered. 

In preparation for the championship, Davenport Huyer had continuous training for the past six months, putting in between 20 to 24 hours a week, both in the gym and on the water. 

“The training that we do doesn’t differ that much from Queen’s, but the intensity and the amount of effort put in can really take a toll,” she said. 

But while she trained for the event, Davenport Huyer didn’t know what she should expect from her opponents.

“We aren’t told much about the competition,” she said. “We go in with a blind eye really, which can make it even more  nerve-wracking”. 

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