SEATTLE – Essentially Sydney (Tooze) Taylor, captain of the 2012 Williams women crew team that won a seventh consecutive NCAA title in 2012, has never stopped rowing since leaving the Purple Valley.
Taylor since graduating has moved from Eph varsity eights, where she won three NCAA titles to now competing in lightweight double sculls and quadruple sculls.
"The summer after graduating from Williams, I began training in the single scull in Chicago, and have been making progress in small boats, with the help of an ambitious race schedule set by my coach, Trish Brubaker," Taylor noted. "Trish encouraged me to try for the lightweight single for the 2015 Pan American Games, and while I did not make the team that year, I learned a lot about what I needed to focus on to make improvements for the next several years of Trials."
"In 2016 I moved to Seattle with my husband, Alex, and moved in with an inspiring teammate and friend Katherine Robinson '09 (USA National Team 2011 lightweight quad third place World Championships, 2009 U23 lightweight quad second place at Under 23 World Championships)," said Taylor. "The following year, I joined the Seattle Rowing Center high performance group and began training in my single with Keara and several other single scullers."
"We raced the Pan American Games Trials in New Jersey last August, and qualified for the USA Pan American Games squad for the Qualification Regatta slated for later that year in Rio," stated Taylor. Taylor and Twist won their qualifier race by more than six seconds. "Racing in Rio was an excellent way to gain international experience and see where we measure up against other lightweight doubles and hone our race plan for the future."
While in Rio Taylor and Twist teamed up with the open double to form the open quad and they greatly enjoyed racing in that faster boat class. That newly created quad boat finished fifth, which automatically qualified them for the Pan American Games.
"In the lightweight double, we finished 13th, which was one spot out of qualification, but we were allocated an entry after another team ahead of us scratched from the competition," Taylor added. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to compete in both the quad and our double."
"Syd is a fierce competitor," noted Eph head coach Kate Maloney. "She likes to train; she likes to work hard and she likes to improve! She has been on a slow, steady training burn since she graduated from Williams in 2012, where she was a co-captain of one of the most successful Williams women's crew teams in our history."
Maloney added, "It has been exciting to watch her climb through the ranks of the lightweight rowing world and earn her seat at the Pan American Games, which are considered a pre-cursor to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I can't wait to watch her compete at the Pan American Games and follow her progress in the year leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Games, where she will hopefully be competing for a seat to represent the U.S."
This August Taylor and her lightweight doubles teammate Keara Twist will compete in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru August sixth and ninth and then that duo will join Maggie Fellows and Julia Lonchar to compete in the open quadruple scull August seventh and tenth. In both events the race distance is two kilometers.
Taylor currently lives in Seattle with her husband Alex and where she was a member of the Seattle Rowing Center and coached by Conal Groom, which had allowed her and Keara Twist to train year-round, that is, until Twist recently moved to Boston for physical therapy school.
Taylor has temporarily relocated to Boston to enable the duo to have seven weeks of training together on the water before they race in Lima.
Taylor was an active member of the Williams community as a double major in Studio Art and Psychology, while also being a Junior Advisor, a member of the Outing Club, WOOLF, and serving as an A Better Chance tutor.