Captain Feature Girls Crew Sports Spring Sports

Co-Captain Mia Levy ’21 Leads by Fostering Positive Team Culture

COURTESY OF MIA LEVY

Mia Levy ’21 began her crew career in the seventh grade at a small rowing club in Des Moines, Iowa, where the rowers sometimes could not even fill a boat of four people. At Andover, she has been able to grow, continuing her career as Co-Captain of Andover Girls Crew. 

With eighth grade being her novice year, Levy was able to begin her Junior year at Andover in the first boat. In a boat of mostly Seniors, she had many role models, and her favorite memory at Andover comes from a race her Junior year.

“[Junior] year, we raced Kent, and they had beaten us eight years in a row, and we beat them my [Junior] year. We had a really strong boat, it was mostly Seniors, but it was such a good group. I looked up to all of them so much, and when we beat Kent, one of the Seniors in my boat started crying because it was such a big moment, which looking back, it was just one race, but we were so psyched and we’d been working so hard and it was a just a really good race, even without the winning, so that was a really good moment,” said Levy.

Being the only Junior in the first boat her first year at Andover, Levy found great role models in past Captains, and hopes to continue their legacy.

Levy said, “The captains my [Junior] year, Lila Brady ’18 and Sofie Brown ’18, were amazing captains, and especially coming in as a [Junior,] I wanted to be just like them. If I ever got Captain, that’s how I want to be Captain, I think of how they showed up everyday with a positive attitude… talking to people outside of the varsity boat, encouraging new people… The captains from last year, Claire Brady ’20 and Eliza Scheer ’20, didn’t really have their Senior season, and they handled it so well.”

According to teammates, Levy has succeeded in living up to her own expectations. Her positive and humble spirit makes practices enjoyable, according to Maggie Satterthwaite ’23.

“Mia always has a smile on her face, you can always tell even with the mask. She comes pumped up and truly excited to get out on the water every day. Even on rainy or really windy days, Mia looks forward to each and every opportunity to do what she loves,” said Satterthwaite.

As Levy, Sofia Garcia ’21, Miranda Stewart ’21, and Co-Captain Emily Warren ’21 are the only returning Seniors, much of the team is composed of underclassmen. According to Warren, Levy works to interact with the younger rowers, such as giving them compliments on their technique.

Warren said, “Ever since Mia joined as a [Junior], she was always on the top boat. Through each additional year on the team, I have noticed how Mia interacts with more and more rowers on the lower boats. I think this also comes with the confidence of being a senior, where you feel more comfortable giving other rowers more technical feedback or mental toughness advice.”

Levy’s interactions with the underclassmen have helped to reset the team culture, and establish supportive core values, according to Garcia.

“This year was really unique in that we had a lot of new teammates, and it was a great opportunity for us to kind of reset the culture, and think really intentionally about the values that we wanted to make a part of the core of our team, and part of that has been decreasing the culture of competition and increasing the culture of support, because no matter what, whether we’re seat racing, or doing erg pieces… everyone’s cheering each other on, and Mia has been a huge proponent in creating that culture,” said Garcia.

On the water, Levy’s composition, technique, and power propel the team forward, according to Warren.

“I am a pair partner with Mia, so I sit right behind her in the boat. Every day, I am amazed at how composed she is at the catch. Her blade work is also very efficient since she knows how to slice the blade in the water at the perfect depth to get the most leverage out of each stroke,” said Warren.

With one more race against Phillips Exeter Academy left in her final season at Andover, Levy looks to get out of the water feeling happy about the results.

Levy said, “I just want to get off the water feeling like that was my last race against Exeter, my last race at Andover, and I am happy about it, that’s all I want. I think the other seniors feel that way… I really think as long as we try our hardest and make a lot of improvements this week, we’ll end up feeling really proud of our race.”

Levy will continue her crew career racing at Yale University next year.