By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Conditions were challenging for the thousands of high school rowers who made it to Saturday’s final rounds of the Stotesbury Regatta, on the Schuylkill River.

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“It’s rewarding just to be here.” said Sidwell Friends rower Grace Mills.

The girls lightweight four from Sidwell Friends in Washington has been working all year with one goal:

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“To make it to Saturday at Stotes.” said Emma Kelly-Bell. “And that is what we keep reminding ourselves when we do a really hard erg piece, Saturday at Stotes. That is what we’re working for. And we’re here.”

Along the way, they built a sense of teamwork that’s perhaps as rewarding as achieving that goal.

“Every body’s catching at the same time,” said Hana Jeadah. “You know that everybody’s pushing their hardest and just to feel the boat run under you, there’s no equivalent to that feeling that I have found.”

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But while they’re bonding with each other, they’re also meeting new people, since the race attracts teams from nearly 200 schools.