RYE, N.Y. -- They're often on the water at Milton Harbor before sunrise, and have racked up hours of rigorous exercise before other Rye High School students are awake or eating breakfast.
And once a year -- on shore -- the Rye High crew team holds a critical fund-raising event to help support the Garnets' successful program, which can get costly. This year's "ergathon" is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rye Recreation Center, 281 Midland Ave.
More than 60 rowers are training with the team this fall: 40 boys and 23 girls. On Saturday, each high school team member will attempt to row 10,000 kilometers on stationary machines.
Student rowers raise funds through sponsorship and donations, as well as a bake sale, barbecue and by selling T-shirts.
Last spring, the Garnet crew qualified for Nationals with several boats placing in the finals. Last month, one of Rye's 2015 graduates, Jim Palmer, proudly represented the Team USA Eight in World Junior Rowing competition at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Rye High School crew program was created in 2006-07 with five boys and five girls led by a coach from Greenwich Water Club. They practice out of the RowAmerica Rye Boathouse.
In the fall of 2007, Stan Nelson began as head coach.
RHS crew enjoyed its largest team roster last spring with 83 rowers, coached by Nelson and Catharine Labine. The 2015 squad won its third consecutive state championship.