There’s something to be said about Carson High athletes pursuing new sports in college and on a national stage. Several Carson High alums have found their calling in sports they didn’t necessarily envision themselves in while in high school. The same is true for 2016 graduate, Terek Been, who in the last calendar year has found himself rowing for the Canadian national team. As a Senator, Been played baseball under head coach Bryan Manoukian, but has since found his calling with a paddle in hand. After hurting his hip to close his high school career, Been picked up rowing at the University of Toronto. “To be honest, I was just kind of walking around the club fair,” said Been. “They were like, ‘hey you want to try rowing?’ It was pretty simple.” In 2018, he was picked up as a Canadian Next Gen Rower, which gave him an opportunity to fund trips across Canada to compete while also helping fund his schooling. After graduating from the University of Toronto, Been joined a master’s program with McGill University in Quebec. When the pandemic hit, Been figured it was his time to retire and took a full year off. Upon finishing his master’s in December of 2021, the national team came calling for Been to compete at the highest level. “I decided to get back into rowing to meet some new people. I took it with the mindset that it would be a hobby,” said Been. “My coaches there really helped me take the next step.” Been turned to a new training program to find a higher level of fitness, which also roped in his competitive spirit. “As I decided I wanted to do it more and more, it ramped up to 25 hours a week,” said Been. “It’s definitely a lot more time on the water.” In his current capacity, Been found himself in the eight-man boat – or M8 – as a sweeper with a single oar where he sits third from the front in the ‘engine room.’ The four middle rowers are typically the biggest guys in the boat and are rowing as hard as they can to push the boat to the fastest speeds possible. After being named to the national team in June, Been competed in the World Cup, which national teams use as a general baseline to see where they stand against their competition. Been’s next competition will be the World Championships in the Czech Republic in September where he hopes Team Canada will get on the podium. As the youngest member of the team at 23, Been says his main focus is to keep picking up knowledge from the athletes around him. “I think an individual goal for myself is to keep getting better,” said Been. “I hope to keep going on that path and to keep learning from my teammates. … I think we are really building toward something in the future.”
(Terek Been, fourth from the left, rows with the Canadian National team during an event this past year. Been is a 2016 Carson High graduate and played baseball with the Senators. / Courtesy)
Finding his stride Initially, Been didn’t have any rowing experience and surprised coaches with his athleticism and gifts for the sport. Rowing has become Been’s passport to see more of the world as the World Cup served as his first experience in Europe. He’s competed in Poland and Switzerland up to this point. Improvement will come with technique and, of course, getting bigger and stronger. “Rowing is a very physically demanding sport so there is always room for improvement there,” said Been. “I want to be the strongest in the boat, so I’m hoping to kind of achieve that moving forward.” In February, Been moved to Victoria, British Columbia to train with the national team. “It’s a slower pace in Victoria,” said Been. “In terms of training, I think everyone here has been very welcoming, and allowed me to kind of find my own rhythm here. It’s crazy to think I’m training with Olympians and top tier athletes, which I would’ve never imagined doing in high school.” Now, Been hopes that he can potentially attach ‘Olympian’ to his name and is striving to help his crew to compete in the 2024 Olympics.