Public Relations Manager and Culture Editor
Senior Ilaria Costello is far from ordinary on the water, in the classroom, and in her community. After a lengthy recruiting process, the devoted rower is off to Cornell University next fall to continue her athletic career and major in Computer Science.
Costello started her career at Redwood Scullers back in eighth grade, inspired by her older brother and sister. She quickly excelled within the sport, saying, “I started to get better during COVID, and that’s when I first started thinking about continuing through high school and college.” At the end of freshman year, Costello raced at Youth National Championships in a U17 single, where she placed seventh at only 15 years old. She reflected on the formative experience, noting, “It was me and another girl, Olivia, in U17 singles. I remember I sprinted really early, but the regatta was super fun.”
During Costello’s youth rowing years, she has continued to rack up impressive placements in prestigious regattas. She qualified and raced a double at the 2023 Youth National Championships, and on Oct. 22, she returned to Boston to place third out of 50 in the Head of the Charles’ Youth Coxed Quad event. The athlete also gained a valuable accolade during the summer of 2022, when she raced internationally. After Costello was picked to participate in U19 US Selection Camp, she earned her spot in the Youth quad for the CamAmMex International Regatta. The boat placed third, and Costello called the regatta “a really cool experience.”
Regarding college and her future in rowing, Costello commented, “I began recruiting as soon as I could, so summer of sophomore year. At first I was talking to a bunch of colleges, but then I just slowly narrowed it down. I started to go on official [visits] in junior year, and committed in August this year.” She also noted, “The girls [at Cornell] were very nice, and the campus is super pretty. A lot of the girls were also in engineering, which was cool. I liked the team vibe; they didn’t seem overly stressed, but all seemed like they really liked to row.”
With a vigorous schedule and extensive extracurricular activities, Costello excels far beyond the water. Her schedule consists of many demanding classes including, AP Physics C, Honors Economics/AP Gov, AP Statistics, AP Literature, and Honors Creative Writing. However, her academic career is not the only thing keeping her occupied. As of this September, Costello acquired the role of Vice Chair of the Monte Sereno Youth Commission where she helps organize food drives, work with Santa Clara Clean Water, and aid the community on a youth scale. When asked about her favorite part about being on the board, Costello replied, “I love helping my local community and being more involved with the town.” With a stellar record on the race course, in her classes, and in the Wildcat community, Costello is a force to be reckoned with as she prepares for the next part of her life at Cornell.