Being a member of any division 1 sport is not easy, and sophomore KJ Myers of Saint Joseph University’s Men’s Rowing team knows this all too well. KJ is from Lancaster, PA and has grown up loving sports and the city of Philadelphia. What makes him special is that his freshman year he decided he wanted to do something big, something that would challenge him and push him like nothing before. In early September of 2019, KJ decided to walk onto the crew team here at SJU. It’s not every day that someone can walk on and successfully become a part of a division 1 sports team, so I reached out to him to ask about his experiences and what drove him to keep going and not give up.

What made you decide to join the crew team? 

KJ Myers, a sophomore at Saint Joseph’s University, has competed on the school’s crew team since the beginning of his freshman year. Photo courtesy KJ Myers

I have always had a passion for sports growing up and I want to play sports as long as I can at the highest level. I have been cut from sports I enjoy and have been hard on myself for lacking in a sport. I viewed this as an opportunity to prove myself to my friends and family that I am capable of competing at a division 1 level. I can also say that rowing has improved my well being since it takes a lot of discipline and hard work. In life, I view all my challenges as hard work and I need to hold myself accountable. I love being a part of this athletic routine because a career aspiration of mine is to be a coach and to help others achieve their athletic goals. 

What is a typical day like on the crew team?

Members of SJU’s Crew team prepare to row at the 2019 Dad Vail Regatta. Photo courtesy SJU Athletics

Practice is at 6 AM Monday through Saturday with daily water practice, intense cardio workouts, lifting sessions, and team meetings Monday-Friday. Also, we have a slot available at 4:45 on Mondays to workout. Tuesday and Thursdays around noon we lift with a strength and conditioning coach. Saturdays are on the water around 8 am and our coach prepares specific workouts to compete while on the water.

How has Covid-19 changed the way the crew team operates? 

All of SJU’s athletics programs practice with compliance to COVID-19 regulations. Photo courtesy sju.edu

Many COVID restrictions are in place. We get our temperature checked before every practice. We have about 50+ athletes on the team and we are all separated into groups of about 10 athletes called workout pods. During every practice, we need to work out with our masks on. If we do not wear them properly or take them off around the team, we get sent home by our head coach. After we use our equipment (erg machines, boats, and oars), we clean them properly before and after the use on top of frequently washing our hands. Despite all of these restrictions and requirements, our team has handled the transition extremely well.

KJ is just one of many student-athletes who embrace the challenges of being a part of a division 1 athletic team. Their hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed and all of the SJU community appreciates how well they represent the school and our student body. KJ embodies what it truly means when we all say “The Hawk Will Never Die”. To all student-athletes, keep working hard! SJU is very proud to have you represent us every day!