Duo combines on senior project to raise funds for crew team

By: Mary Chou Special to the Telegraph
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A plethora of items, ranging from gourmet spa packages to a rejected seeing-eye dog, will be offered at a silent auction Saturday in an effort to raise money for the Capital Crew Team, a club rowing team for high school students in the Sacramento region. The event takes place 7 p.m. at 768 Heritage Place and is designed and coordinated by Folsom High School seniors Katie Bryant and Cara Wellsandt for their senior project. A $25 ticket includes entrance, a drink and hors d'oeuvres. We're also trying to get the sport more recognized, said Alica Seaton, who is mentoring Bryant and Wellsandt for the project and whose house the auction is taking place. It is a very unrecognized sport in the high school level. Bryant said while she has never organized a similar event, the response has been positive. We're hoping to raise $10,000 for the team, said Bryant, who has been on the team for two spring seasons. We're hoping for a new boat. The proceeds will not only pay for equipment but also go to scholarships and travel expenses for the team. It's not a cheap sport, said Dave Hayashi, who started Capital Crew in 1989 and now coaches the women's varsity team. The equipment they're using is pretty expensive. One boat can cost around $35,000 and each ore about $250, he added. However, to rowers like Bryant, it's all worth it. I don't think people understand until they experience it, She said. Hayashi said rowing is not like other sports where one member is the star player of the team. Every member has to work together for the boat to go faster. You may be in a boat with a girl you don't like, but you have to figure out how to work with her for the team, Hayashi said. Hopefully they can carry values they learn here into the world and the workforce. With about 150 team members, Capital Crew draws high school students from the Sacramento region and also from as far as Davis and Stockton. The team has won several awards, including a national championship for the lightweight women's team in 2006. Despite the team's success, rowing is still a relatively unheralded sport among Folsom High School students. Bryant said while she doesn't know many students at her high school who row, she hopes the silent auction will raise funds for more students who are interested to get on the team. I can't wait, Bryant said. Since I'm graduating, I feel really good about giving back to the team.