Shores resident, Liggett senior excelling in classroom, on water

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 20, 2013

 St. Clair Shores resident and Grosse Pointe University Liggett senior Dylan Goitz had had a lot of success as a rower.

St. Clair Shores resident and Grosse Pointe University Liggett senior Dylan Goitz had had a lot of success as a rower.

Photo courtesy of Lorraine Goitz

ST. CLAIR SHORES — “I don’t think anyone could understand how hard he works unless you’re a rower,” St. Clair Shores resident Lorraine Goitz said of her son, Dylan.

“He starts his day, six days a week, at 3:55 a.m. and drives to Belle Isle, where he rows until sunrise with nothing more than a miner’s light on his forehead. Then he drives to (Grosse Pointe University Liggett) school at 7 a.m. After school, he doesn’t come home. He drives back to Belle Isle and rows again until dark, not getting home until 7:30 p.m. He carries a challenging course load at school and gets mostly A’s.”

Such is the life of Liggett senior Dylan Goitz, who at age of 17 has participated in some prestigious races, including the Head of the Charles Regatta — an annual race that takes place in Boston and attracts about 9,000 athletes and 300,000 spectators.

That full schedule is paying off for Dylan, who is a member of the Detroit Boat Club. At the 2013 US Rowing Youth National Championships held in Tennessee in June, Dylan’s lightweight 8 boat — designed for eight people — earned a bronze medal. Earlier this year at the Midwest Junior Championships, held in Cincinnati, a team featuring Dylan took home a silver medal.

So how does Dylan, who said he’s interested in rowing at the U.S. Naval Academy, University of Notre Dame, Cornell University, Harvard University or the University of Michigan, manage to fit so many events into his schedule while still performing well at school?

“I’ve really learned how to manage my time,” he said.

Dylan sits in the stroke seat while competing and is responsible for keeping pace during each race.

“There’s no idle moment, because I’m either rowing or doing schoolwork. The strongest motivator to keep going is to not let down my teammates, because if one member of the (team) doesn’t show up, no one can row the boat,” he said. “And every day of working out and training is one day closer to the Youth Rowing National Championship (June 13-15, 2014, in Gold River, Calif.).”

At last year’s Youth National Championship, Goitz and his team won a bronze medal in the Lightweight 8 Division — for teams with no one weighing more than 160 pounds.

Dylan has also competed as a member of the U.S. Junior National Team, where he represented the U.S. in an international race against teams representing Mexico and Canada at the 2013 CanAmMex Regatta, which took place July 12-13 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Dylan was also selected to the US Rowing Junior National Team as one of only four scullers (those who use oars to propel the boat on both sides). He was chosen after a three-week U.S. Rowing Development Camp with rowers from around the country, he said.

“Being selected for the U.S. Junior National Team was a lot of fun and a great experience,” he said. “It was a great way to meet rowers from around the country who are just as committed to the sport as I am.”

Dylan got involved in the sport because of a chance meeting with Detroit Boat Club member Andrew Seski, who currently rows for the University of Delaware. Dylan, at the time, was wearing a Harvard Crew T-shirt but had not yet tried his hand at the sport.

“(Seski) asked if I rowed for Harvard and found out I was only a high school sophomore,” Dylan said. “He invited me to try it out, and I loved it. I’ve learned that, during a race, it’s best not to think. It’s essential to focus on good technique and power through every single stroke.”

Lorraine Goitz gushes when she talks about her son. She said he is humble, but he has a lot of gifts.

“His strength, discipline, sacrifice, hard work and caring for others are all a testament to his character,” Lorraine Goitz said. “How many teenagers are up working out before sunrise on a Saturday morning?

“We respect him for who he is and all he does.”

Dylan enjoys the sport and has had success, including two silver medals at the Head of the Hooch Race in Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 2., but he does not lack perspective.

“I’m well aware that rowing is not my entire life, as I cannot make a living with the sport, but it is an activity that will stay with me for a lifetime,” he said. “If I am given the opportunity to compete on an international level, I would not hesitate to do so.”