TAMPA, Fla. — In-coming college freshmen are supposed to be getting ready for a life of independence with new friends and experiences. However, Newsome High School graduate Katie Hall wasn’t ready to move on until she could look back and know she left behind a legacy for her old teammates on the rowing team.
“The people are just so nice to be around and so friendly and always cheering each other on and helping each other out,” said Hall.
Hall took the concept of teamwork to a whole new level this past year, when she helped clear out the back of the Palm River Training Center to make way for an outdoor workout area, which included a canopy, Astro-turf and new equipment.
“Obviously because of COVID you want to be outside you can spread out more and not be contained in a small area and still be able to work out,” said Hall.
Hall even raised money through a garage sale to purchase a brand new stamina power tower.
“I just wanted to give back to just my team and be able to help them out any way I could especially with all this craziness that’s happened,” said Hall.
During any given time time there could be up to 120 students at the training center from a dozen different high schools.
“It’s extremely refreshing to see a young student wanting to give back. I think it’s a little more rare these days and certainly shows the level of maturity she has,” said coach Michael Smith.
Katie’s old teammates say she’s an inspiration. Even though Katie isn’t in the boat anymore, her spirit lives on through every row.
“It's really nice to help us get stronger for our races I’ve seen it help my splits and times go down,” said Amelia Bell, a junior at Plant High School.
“It makes me feel super good and just super happy that I was able to help out my team after everything that’s happened and how much they’ve done for me,” said Hall.
Hall is now looking forward to meeting her new rowing teammates when she starts school at the University of Oklahoma later this month.