Sixteen-year-olds Maddy Pollock and Sydney Jean Gottfried definitely can say they've had a productive spring break.
The girls, both rowers with the Steel City Rowing Club in Verona, set out to break the Concept2 world record for 24-hour tandem erg for women 19 and younger on Tuesday, March 27. While they were at it, they also broke the record for the longest female continual tandem row.
An erg is an indoor rowing machine that simulates rowing on water.
They decided to go for the record a little over a week ago while they trained in South Carolina.
The girls rowed 285,685 meters—about 177.5 miles—total in 24 hours. The machine had to be running for the entire 24 hours, so the rowers had to find a way to switch without stopping. They finished just before 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28.
To complete the task, the girls switched off every 30 minutes or so, ate high-calorie foods, listened to music, took showers during their breaks and visited with company.
They encountered a few glitches early on, but kept momentum to complete their task.
SJ, a junior at Ellis School in Pittsburgh, said she loves the sport because of its competitive nature.
"I like the competition that comes with rowing," she said. "You get to meet people from all over the U.S."
Maddy, a junior at Shadyside Academy, said the teamwork—which definitely helped them complete their task—is a plus.
"You really get what it means to be on a team in rowing," she said. "There's a lot of commitment involved. We're here all the time."
Maddy and SJ are the first rowers to break the 24-hour tandem erg in their age category.
Maddy said she'll always be happy with that.
"Even if someone beats us in the future, we'd always be able to say we were the first," she said.