College Rowers Prepare for Next Chapter After Senior Season Cut Short

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Finding out their senior seasons were canceled was difficult for twin sisters Kaitlyn and Allison May.

“Everyone was just devastated,” said Simsbury native Allison May, who is a rower at Boston College.

“Just a complete shock,” added her sister Kaitlyn, who rows at UConn. “Going from being with your team every single day to absolutely nothing, I think we’re both still adapting to it.”

Kaitlyn and Allison started rowing together during their freshman year at Simsbury High School. For the past eight years, they’ve spent hours on the water, all leading to their senior seasons.

“You don’t put in all the training just to hang out with your friends at 6 a.m. on the ergs,” said Allison. “It’s more about the competition and the adrenaline.”

With no more competitions, both were denied that sense of closure.

“That was a hard concept to grasp that we wouldn’t even race against each other again,” said Kaitlyn.

“It’s tough already graduating and moving away from a sport that you really identify yourself with,” added Allison. “The news that it was pretty much taken from us so quickly was really just an identity shock.”

Now they’re focusing on their new identities. Both have decided to forgo the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility for spring sports athletes to begin full-time jobs after graduation. Allison will be working at Ernst & Young and Kaitlyn is joining the staff at Hartford Hospital as a nurse.

“I definitely had to weigh the options,” said Allison. “I wasn’t sure that the offer would still be intact if I took a fifth year.”

“I actually accepted a job at Hartford Hospital prior to this whole coronavirus happening,” added Kaitlyn. “So taking a fifth year wasn’t exactly an option for me and now more than ever, they really need nurses. So I’m excited to get into the workforce.”

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