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Teen Athlete Settles in With CBC Crew

Olivia Taylor tossed the options around in her mind for months. Most girls would have given anything to be the captain of the Darien High School volleyball team after three years on varsity. When she learned Greenwich Education and Prep offered an internship opportunity in special education, however, Olivia's conflict began.

"It was a hard decision,'' she says, "because I was in love with the volleyball team." She made the choice that would benefit her educational experience and left Darien High for the Greenwich private school. "I love my high school coach" Laurie LaRusso, Olivia says. "She understood that this is what I want to do."

Olivia now had another problem: Her new school does not offer athletics. "I love sports, and I needed something do,'' she says.

Friends in Darien rowed for the Connecticut Boat Club . In August, Olivia called coach Liz Trond and said she wanted to join. Trond was intrigued. "She has the right physique to build upon,'' Trond says. "The other thing is her attitude: She is a tremendously hard worker."

Olivia is rowing on the Novice 8 boat for CBC. In just a few short months, she has caught the attention of coaches from some of the nation's top collegiate programs. "Technically, it's coming for her,'' says Trond, who will have Olivia in a boat for the New Canaan Sprints this weekend on the Norwalk River. "It's difficult for her to be at the level where she wants to be in such a short amount of time. She's doing great."

Olivia still loves volleyball and misses playing for Darien. But she is getting acclimated to her new sport. "Being out on the water is something I really enjoy,'' Olivia says.

A few months ago, she seemed destined to follow her sister, Ally, who played at Lafayette College. Now Olivia's in a new sport, a new school and has new opportunities. "It's kind of weird,'' Olivia says. "It's fun to be in a new sport and a new school. It has definitely been an exciting fall."

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