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An Arlington teen has been rowing for over 50 hours in an attempt to beat a world record

As Derek Cushman rowed for the ninth hour of the day, he responded to ARLnow’s questions between heavy breaths from exhaustion via a Twitch chat box.

The recent Wakefield High School graduate has been rowing on a machine in his living room for six days now, in an attempt to beat the current men’s world record for 1 million meters rowed by someone under 19 years old. The record for the age category, set in 2020, stands at 10 days, 13 hours and four minutes.

Cushman has been rowing from roughly 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. since last Friday, July 14, reaching a minimum of 110,000 meters each day in order to stay on track to beat the record.

“I am feeling good. A lot better than I was expecting. I am unbelievably confident that I will beat the current record. I am hoping to beat it by more than a day,” Cushman said.

His attempt to take the world record title is also his way of raising money for the Wakefield High School crew team. Every day, a live stream of Cushman is available to watch on Twitch where viewers can comment, watch him row and scan a QR code to donate.

Cushman said he feels like he owes it to the team to raise the money, as his four years on the roster helped land him a spot on La Salle University’s Division I crew team.

“Wakefield Crew does not have a lot of money. I want this money to be used to pay for kids who do not have the funds to be on the team, but do have the talent,” Cushman said. “I hope I can also raise enough money to help buy the team some new boats or equipment.”

Members of the teen’s family and his friends can often be seen sitting in the living room with Cushman, supporting and distracting him from the pain he said his body is in.

Cushman’s mother told ARLnow that she is very proud of her son and thinks it is impressive that he is dedicated to doing something so intensive.

For his part, Cushman says he is determined to complete his goal, despite how mentally taxing it has been to row every day for 10 hours, with only some momentary breaks.

“This is not something that I have been training for. I was the fastest guy on the team last year so I figured I could beat this record,” Cushman said. “Getting my name in the record book would prove to myself and others that I am an athlete to not forget about. I have the mental toughness to row for days on end and the determination to succeed.”

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