• Crew Profile: Santiago Portillo

    by  • March 9, 2017 • Homepage, Sports • 0 Comments

    As spring sports are right around the corner, the crew team has taken on the season early. On March 1st the team held their first tryout for the season. It consisted of several new members as well as returning members. One of the returning members, sophomore Santiago Portillo has been on the team since his freshman year. In rowing there are several different positions on the boat from left to right, and Portillo sits to the starboard.

    Sophomore Santiago Portillo. Photo by Ryan Hames.

    As the season begins, Portillo is “hoping for improvement,” “everything in crew is measured by a test called a 2k test” in which tests their abilities within two thousand meters. Portillo also shared that he is “very excited to verse Somerville and Everett” because both cities have come together and formed one team. Having prior knowledge from past meets, he is aware of the other team's abilities.

    On the other hand, Portillo possesses attributes that help support the team like being “able to simultaneously follow what the other teammates are doing in order to get the boat moving at a fast paced. He has no doubt in being able to work along with his teammates to get a lead on their opponents. Crew is a sport that is, “more of a passion,”  as Portillo says. He enjoys so much that he even does “fall crew for a club” as well as continuing to do crew each and every year. Throughout the season, he hopes to improve on his time for 2k and his form.

    The season comes and goes, since last year compared to this year, there has been a lot of exponential growth which includes more new members as well as improving relationships with each other. Beginning the season with tryouts, the coaches tend to really set high expectations which raise the bar higher in order to allow each individual to work hard and practice. The most iconic part of crew are the blisters! Portillo was able to share his experience with blisters and how they achieve them from rowing.

    “If you know any rowers, you are able to know if they have any blisters on their hands because they are pulling a lot,” Portillo says. Rowing looks easy but, in reality each and every day, these rowers pulling a lot of weight in which makes the skin worn out, resulting in blisters. Mostly for the returning members, they have already experienced this process,but for “new members, they first get blisters which then turn into calluses because they aren’t use to the rowing and intensity the sport consists of.”

    With the start of the new season, returning members and new members like Santiago Portillo are eager to get in the water and begin rowing. Although the team will be losing several seniors this year, they are excited to see what the new members bring to the table in order to raise the bar higher with the help of the coaches.


    Sophomore Jesaias Benitez is entering his second year at The Blue and Gold. This year he will be taking on the role of a lead sports reporter. Benitez’s parents are originally from El Salvador and moved to the United States. Benitez was born in New York where he went to elementary school and spent most of his childhood. Benitez’s parents decided to move to Malden in 2011 when Jesaias was ten and went to middle school at The Beebe School. He considers himself a friendly, creative, and energetic person who enjoys hanging out with his friends. One of his favorite hobbies is photography which he continues to learn more about in the Blue and Gold class, where it has taught him to use different softwares such as Photoshop and Indesign. Benitez is excited for a new year where he is able to be a leader and mentor new students who joined the class.

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