by LIZ ONNUFER | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Heart of the Sport

The opportunity to row a boat may not seem like a life-changing experience, but for student star Gianna Wright, rowing has come to define hard work, motivation, and camaraderie. A senior at Westview High School and lifelong Rancho Peñasquitos resident, Gianna has been a member of the ZLAC Rowing Club for the last four years. “ZLAC has become my second home, and I have never put as much heart into anything as I have put into this sport,” said Gianna.


Gianna was introduced to the sport at a ZLAC Learn to Row camp in the summer of 2012. She instantly knew this was the sport for her. “The sense of camaraderie between the other girls appealed to me because I was never a part of a team before,” she shared. ZLAC Rowing Club has been instilling camaraderie in women since 1892 and is the oldest women’s rowing club in the U.S. The rowing season lasts from August until May; the fall competitions focus on time trial races and the spring season focuses on sprint races. Gianna practices four days a week after school and every Saturday morning. “Spending these last four years rowing has been a life-changing experience for me,” she shared. “It has taught me the value of hard work and self-motivation.”

“I have never put as much heart into anything as I have put into this sport.”

But Gianna’s passions extend beyond the sport. She is also involved in Westview Artists Association and Westview Speed Painting. Her favorite class at school is Studio Art. “It gives me a creative outlet and a place to break away from regular school pressures,” Gianna explained. She is also a movie buff who loves to make movie edits and film her own movie shorts.


Looking ahead, Gianna will be attending Santa Barbara City College in the fall with the goal of majoring in anthropology and transferring to UC Santa Barbara or UCLA. Even further down the road, Gianna has athletic goals to do a 100-mile ultramarathon or Ironman triathlon.

Name: Gianna Wright (18)
School: Westview High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Cliff and Jennifer Wright
Sibling: Jacob (14)
Favorite Spot in 92129: Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve