By Amber Wolf
Cicely Madden ’14 captured silver this August while representing the United States in the women’s quadruple sculls event at the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. It was the second time in a row that Cicely won big at the international championship, having earned silver in the same event last year when the races were held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
This year Cicely and her boatmates—Kendall Brewer (Texas), Elizabeth Sharis (Iowa), and Shawna Sims (Florida)—took home one of only two total medals the U.S. team collected at the regatta.
“The atmosphere was very exciting,” Cicely said. “Going into the race, I was not panicked because I was ready to see all of our hard work pay off.”
For Cicely, that hard work dates back to when she began rowing at 12. That’s when her older sister, Paige Madden ’09, who went on to row for Cornell’s varsity team before graduating this spring, first began crew at BB&N.
“I started rowing because my older sister tried it out at BB&N her freshman year,” Cicely said.
That fall, Cicely took a learn-to-row class at Community Rowing Inc. Her dedication to the sport became apparent when she began rowing competitively at 15, spending her freshman season with BB&N Girls Varsity Crew’s first boat.
In addition to her more recent triumphs, Cicely has won the Head of the Charles twice, first as part of the youth women’s eight crew in 2010 and then in the youth women’s double in 2012.
According to Cicely’s current coach, Guenter Beutter, the crews at Worlds were much faster this year, making him even more proud of the quad’s success.
“This is the best medal I have ever won,” he said. “It was very hard to get to.”
According to Cicely, her success has come only through many years of practice and improvement. Cicely cited the women’s single sculling event at USRowing’s Youth National Championships as an example: two years ago she finished fifth, last year she secured a bronze, and this year, finally, she won the gold.
At Junior Worlds this summer, Cicely’s boat was at a physical disadvantage in terms of height and weight, but they were able to match up to the others with technique and endurance.
“Coming in second two years in a row is a great accomplishment, and my boatmates
and I are very excited about this result,” Cicely said.
Cicely’s adviser, Dean of Students Rory Morton ’81, said her focus comes through not only on the water, but also at school.
“She is very disciplined, and I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job handling such a full schedule,” he said.
Despite the time commitment, Cicely said she would not trade her competitive experience at Worlds for anything.
“Besides the fact that I could not feel my arms and legs after the race, I was thrilled,” she said. “There is nothing I would change about that race, and we left everything on the water.”
Photo courtesy of Cicely Madden.