Colonial Sports Network

Local Legacies: Marissa Beck and Kaitlyn Grubbs

For some, the bonds formed through friendships can easily be broken when students head off to college. Robert Morris rowing athletes Marissa Beck and Kaitlyn Grubbs have broken that mold.

April 11, 2022

For some, the bonds formed through friendships can easily be broken when students head off to college. Robert Morris rowing athletes Marissa Beck and Kaitlyn Grubbs have broken that mold.

Although Marissa and Kaitlyn attended different schools before, both decided to attend North Catholic High School because of family tradition. They quickly formed a friendship through rowing that would grow throughout their high school and collegiate careers.

“It definitely has strengthened through sports. We weren’t really friends at the beginning of high school. Once [Kaitlyn] had joined the team, I got to know her a little bit more, and especially when she decided to come to RMU also, I think our friendship had grown a lot more in that aspect,” Beck said, currently a senior on the rowing team. “I think our friendship has grown exponentially since high school.”

Both girls agree that being involved in rowing has brought them closer together and strengthened their friendship over the years.

“Our friendship has definitely strengthened,” Grubbs, also a senior, said. “We spend so much time together. We’re roommates, and even though in our sport, you’re being competitive against each other, I think that just brings us closer together, and we always have someone to go back to when things are hard and have someone who really understands.”

Marissa Beck and Kaitlyn Grubbs
Grubbs (left) and Beck (right) pose with medals after the Head of the Ohio race in 2019.

Although there is a certain aspect of competition between the two, they are always there for each other when they need extra motivation.

“We like to push each other, and it’s nice to have someone to confide in on the team who you know so personally,” Beck said. “We just like to push each other. Especially [in] practices, we used to sit next to each other for the indoor season for erging, and we just encourage each other.”

Having a friend on the team to confide in and pushing you when you need it are a few important aspects that the girls use to their advantage.

“Since we’ve known each other for so long, we can be a little bit blunter to each other because we’ve been friends for eight years now,” Grubbs said. “It honestly helps our performance because we can talk about it more. We know how to approach the other one about different things. It helps us a lot that we’ve been friends for so long.”

While Marissa and Kaitlyn’s friendship gelled a long time ago, the team has also become a very tight-knit group at Robert Morris.

“As the years have gone on, and our senior class has risen to be seniors now, I think we have tried to facilitate a nice team culture for younger teammates,” Beck said. “We’re spending a lot more time together outside of practice and just getting to know everyone on a personal level so that when it comes time for practice, we can focus on practice itself and trust in your teammates.”

Marissa and Kaitlyn are looking forward to their next regatta, which will take place on Apr. 16 at Drexel University.