Lehigh rowing senior Honora Campbell, who currently holds the record in the 30-minute piece, is second in the 6km and is ranked third overall in the 2km.
Before rowing at Lehigh, Campbell was a standout basketball, volleyball and lacrosse player at Calhoun High School in Merrick, Long Island. With no plans to be a collegiate athlete, Campbell said she decided to join the rowing team at Lehigh a few days after first-year orientation and has stuck with it ever since.
“Joining Lehigh Rowing and being successful at it is exciting,” Campbell said. “To see my name up there on the record board keeps me motivated after four years.”
As one of four team captains, Campbell is one of two who started as a walk-on. Now, Campbell serves as an inspiration to the underclassmen on the team, according to freshman Laney Donnelly.
“She’s a very positive person,” Donnelly said. “She always has a good mentality, even when the other captains aren’t feeling it that day. When you talk to her, she is so humble about everything she has accomplished. Anyone else would tell you how motivated she is and how much she motivates everyone around her.”
Campbell’s contributions to the team go beyond the sport. For the first few years on the team, she created content for the Lehigh Rowing Instagram.
Head coach Brian Conley said by leading the social accounts, Campbell played a role in increasing the team’s popularity, which helps attract future recruits.
“Honora has helped raise the bar of the team each and every day,” Conley said. “The majority of our followers started following us because of the initial content she created years ago that helped us be more consistent.”
Campbell said she attributes much of her academic success to her regimented rowing schedule. With so many areas to balance in order to manage life in and outside of rowing, Campbell said she makes sure to attend study hours, fit time in for the library and get plenty of sleep.
“There’s definitely moments when I question myself, but the people around me keep me motivated,” Campbell said. “Rowing teaches me so many lessons about failing, accepting it and trying again. Not everyday can be a personal record.”
A month before this season began, Campbell suffered a lower back injury, forcing her to miss out on the first race of the season.
For about a month, Campbell said she biked on the sidelines while watching her teammates row.
“Aside from the physical pain, rowing was always my stress reliever, and it was really hard not to have that,” Campbell said. “Having all those number goals in the back of my head and not making them was really challenging.”
With a positive mindset and lots of physical therapy, Campbell said she was back in the water in a month.