Two varsity boys joined for well-roundedness, gained friends and fitness
By Tanya Perez
Laguna Creek High School senior Logan Sumitani is a little reserved when talking about why he took up rowing.
“I played basketball my whole life, but I didn’t bond with my high school team,” Sumitani said. “I was the only freshman on the varsity team.”
He was happy with his switch to volleyball — “I loved it,” he said — but COVID-19 ended the team’s season early, and he was back to shopping for a sport to keep his high school résumé diversified. Sumitani said he decided his options were “fencing, golf (which he’d played when younger) or rowing. I chose rowing.”
Starting two years ago, Sumitani lamented being slow at first. But, he said, he has gained an appreciation for “the satisfaction of finishing a hard piece, the little joy you get, especially if you (achieve a personal record).”
London Yeh, also a senior at Laguna Creek High School, came to rowing because, he explained, “My dad rowed at RCRC when I was in middle school. I needed a sport in high school, so I went to the two-week trial.” He admits that his initial goal with rowing was to show colleges that he was well-rounded, but it has blossomed into more than that.
“The feeling of being on the water, of moving with the water underneath you, is a really unique feeling,” Yeh said. “And it’s a good way to improve yourself mentally and physically.” He also said he likes having erg scores to see his regular improvement.
Both also have really enjoyed the team environment at RCRC. “The people at rowing, the teammates there, I’ve made a lot of friends, and I really like hanging out with them. That's the main reason,” Yeh said, with Sumitani nodding in agreement. “I also love the coach, Angela.” More nodding from Sumitani.
When asked if they think they will stick with rowing after high school — Sumitani hopes to attend college on the East Coast while Yeh intends to stay in California at a UC or CSU — Sumitani said, “I’ll jump on the erg still, but I don't think I'll stick with (rowing). I’d rather get academic opportunities like internships.”
Yeh said it depends on which college he goes to. “I wouldn’t be competitive in college,” he said, but would consider a club or recreational team.
Logan Sumitani sets the pace in the stroke seat for a varsity quad in the spring of 2022 at the 510 Sprints in Oakland.
London Yeh helps steady his 4+ while at an RCRC practice.