Every high school athlete’s dream is to play at the collegiate level. Thanks to tireless hard work and dedication, that dream has become a reality for senior Jessica Varakuta. In September 2019, Varakuta committed to Columbia for Crew.
“I row Capital Crew at the Sac State Aquatic Center and I practice everyday after school,” Varakuta said. Not only is she driven to succeed in Crew, she is passionate about the sport. “It’s gorgeous, it’s on the lake and it’s super cool to see the nature. It’s a very intense sport but I love that it’s balanced,” Varakuta said.
For Varakuta, the most rewarding part of Crew is the opportunities that come with it. “I think just putting in all the work that you do and then you have so many cool opportunities,” Varakuta said. “We got to row in San Diego for a regatta and Seattle and so many awesome places. Also getting into a college is definitely a huge reward because I put in so much time and effort.”
Varakuta has a deep bond with her teammates, as she practices alongside them daily in the starboard position. “I love that it’s a team sport… we have so much support, my girls help me and encourage me, and although it’s a really difficult sport and there’s so much pain they just continue to encourage us. We’re all in it together and it’s just awesome that we have a great bond.”
Varakuta is no stranger to team sports. “I’ve been playing sports my whole life, mostly team sports. I played soccer, volleyball, and beach volleyball so I’ve been pretty much in team sports my whole life,” Varakuta said.
Looking to the future, Varakuta is eager to continue her athletic career at Columbia University and experience the fruits of her dedication.