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08/25/2022 01:02 PM

Marinis Proves a True Leader for Guilford Crew

Cathlyn Marinis found her groove while leading the Guilford crew program as a senior captain this spring. Now, Cathlyn is ready for a new endeavor as she ventures New York to attend the Parsons School of Design. Photo courtesy of Cathlyn Marinis

As someone who isn’t too outspoken, Cathlyn Marinis had to make some adjustments in order to succeed as a member of the Guilford crew program. Cathlyn took the challenge seriously and developed more of an outgoing personality than she thought was possible while rowing for the Grizzlies. Cathlyn’s emergence as a communicative leader earned her the honor of being a team captain as a senior. As she led by example and grew as a rower, Cathlyn had quite an enjoyable experience on the water this year.

Cathlyn grew up playing soccer, but was looking for a change by the time she got to Adams Middle School. Cathlyn wanted to pursue a new sport and was intrigued by the opportunity of competing in crew.

“Guilford crew came to a lunch I had in Adams, and they showed off what crew is, because it’s not as known as the other sports in high school. I thought, ‘Oh, I can do that. That looks fun enough,’” says Cathlyn. “Seeing the team come to the school and seeing how much they liked it made me want to try it. I’m not the most athletic person until I found crew, and ended up loving it.”

As the lead stroke for the girls’ varsity boat, Cathlyn experienced many nerve-wracking encounters both on and off the water that forced her to become more vocal. Cathlyn got into the habit of speaking up in her final season with the team, and her ability to go outside of her comfort zone landed Cathlyn a captain’s role for the Grizzlies this spring.

“I wanted to become a leader, because I wasn’t so outspoken. I became captain this year, so I really wanted to dive into that and help the team succeed as much as I can,” Cathlyn says. “I always wanted to be captain, even though I knew it would be hard for me at first. I got it with one of my best friends, so it was really fun being together and doing captain together. It gives you a sense of responsibility.”

Cathlyn went from being a quiet follower to the leader of both her boat and her team by showcasing her hard work and willingness to make adjustments. Cathlyn capped off her senior season by leading Guilford to a sixth-place finish in the finals of the Connecticut Public Schools Rowing Association Championship Regatta following a third-place performance in the morning heat of the event.

Head Coach Matt Wilson counted on Cathlyn to be a leader for the Grizzlies’ varsity boat. Wilson says that Cathlyn exceeded every expectation he had for her while serving as one of Guilford’s captains.

“As a captain, Cathlyn was a consistent resource for her teammates. She led by example and was vocal when needed,” says Wilson. “Cathlyn’s enthusiasm and passion for rowing was continuously noticeable by coaches and her fellow teammates. Her commitment to the sport and her determination to be the best she could be drove her to be the lead stroke in her varsity boat.”

Cathlyn’s improvement as a communicator was made easier by the friendliness of everyone in the Guilford crew program. Cathlyn felt comfortable while surrounded by a group of encouraging teammates and coaches and knows that their support helped her succeed as a leader.

“I loved every part of it. The coaches were all so supportive. We all liked each other and would hang out with each other,” Cathlyn says. “Our coaches would have to tell us to leave the lake, because we’re there for so long, because we just like being around each other so much. It’s always fun no matter when you go.”

Cathlyn felt pleased with her communication technique and was happy with how her fellow rowers responded to her approach. Cathlyn led by example, but also made sure that her messages got across the boat effectively while serving as the lead stroke.

Cathlyn felt that she had perfected her rowing technique by the time she reached the end of her high school career. Cathlyn’s teammates relied on her advice in order to help the Grizzlies flow downstream smoothly and efficiently.

“I was really proud of my technique in the boat. Everyone always liked how smooth I was in the boat,” says Cathlyn. “I was really proud of how my technique, over time, became very smooth, and I got to show other people how to row like I can row.”

Cathlyn faced many challenges throughout her time as a member of Guilford crew program, but found a way to learn from every one of them. The lessons learned helped Cathlyn get prepared for a new chapter as she attends the Parsons School of Design in New York. Cathlyn is passionate about art and painting, and she’s excited to take the next step in life. Although she’s rowed her last race with the Grizzlies, Cathlyn plans on using what she’s gained from the experience to her benefit as she heads off to college.

“I set goals for myself, and I always want to get better at what I’m doing. I always like to learn new things and better myself in areas,” Cathlyn says. “I learned that I’m more of a people person that I thought I was. I enjoyed talking to people, and I hope I can carry that with me next year in meeting new people and putting myself out there more like I did in crew.”