BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Now approaching his Junior year at Boston University, Nathaniel Sass has been working hard to get ready for the World Rowing Championship in the Czech Republic. Year-round he competes all over the world in the Lightweight Men’s Pair race. His parents credit his alma matter…Canisius High School… for introducing this passion.

“The rowing community is strong at Canisius,” said Robert Sass, Nathaniel’s father. “I mean they regularly turn out world-class rowers.”

Robert and Tina Sass tell me their son is incredibly hard-working- spending hours and hours out on the water and at the gym.

In the World Championship race, Nathaniel and his rowing partner represented the United States and came in 4th place. His parents, bursting with pride, say getting Nathaniel to this level was a team effort…both in and out of the water.

“The peers, the friends, the comradery, hardworking…you can’t do it alone. You have to have everyone in sync…Or it doesn’t happen,” said Tina.

After years of competitions, Tina and Robert say they still get nervous before each race.

“When you watch them race…it’s torturous. You wish you could get out and there and help them somehow, but the best you can do is cheer them on.”

Abby Fridmann is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in November 2020. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.