Staci O’Brien ’14
Major: Clinical Exercise Science
Hometown: Saginaw, MI
Although we got sunshine on our second day in Florida, we also had a chilly (by Florida’s standards) one. The morning came fast, since I felt like I still hadn’t caught up on sleep. We ate breakfast then left at 7:30 for our first practice of the day. I got to go out in a quad with only three girls in it, and we had a coxswain – something that I’ve never done before.
It was nice to get a longer row in and focus on technique. After practice, we went back to the hotel to have lunch and a break before our 3:00 practice. I, like many others, fell asleep in my room for probably longer than I should have. At least I was more awake for the second practice!
The 3:00 row was an interesting one for me, since I got to row with three men in a quad. It looked pretty weird because all the other people in the boat except for the coxswain were probably at least 50 pounds heavier and nearly a foot taller than me.
The row also marked the furthest I had been out on the water. We capped off that practice with a challenge between the men’s 8+ and our quad (or the three men in it) and Coach B’s famous “Whatever it takes to win” at the end. It ended pretty quickly, since it was the first time we had gone by all four and was a little shaky.
The practice was what Coach B called “Goodwill rowing” and finished with the two boats getting some awesome shirts from Goodwill. After practice, a bus headed to a pizza buffet and some other restaurants. I was happy to eat as much pizza as I could after the day’s work. With a good end to the night with teammates, I think we’re all looking forward to the rest of the week here in Florida!
Ed Avena ’14
Major: Exercise Science
Hometown: Exercise Science
Today marks the third day here in Ellenton, Florida. With the extra half hour of sleep that coach graciously gave us this morning and the wonderful meals that Nancy has prepared, we were ready for what was to come. Aside from the extensive technical coaching, we were able to get great steady-state workouts in that even included a few 10 stroke bursts. The colder weather was a bit of a surprise to the team but it did not alter our plans. The novices, led by coaches Hugh and Kelsey, are beginning to learn the very delicate aspects in their blade work. It can be seen that they are not only improving their fitness levels, but their technical ability as well.
The varsity men and women, although having more experience, still are reaching back to the basics. It has been awhile since we have all been on the water, so it is necessary to become familiar with these fundamentals again. Coach always says, “shake off the cobwebs”. Those “cobwebs” can definitely be seen from the small mistakes that we have been making but as we continue our practices, those mistakes have begun to disappear and we have been moving the boats even faster.
The mornings for the varsity are pretty simple but are vital to our boats and the entire program. Mornings consists of purely technical focus. The men have been going out in pairs while the women go out in eights with Coach Bancheri.
After continuously rowing in circles, whether it was swing pick or even outside arm only, we have furthered our level as rower. Afternoons are more steady-state rows, still with the technical focus in mind. Today, the varsity men rowed past I-75, doing both pieces and something else special. The men were offered an opportunity to win a prize by mastering a technical feat for 5 strokes in a row.
After meeting this standard, Coach then threw a bag which contained the most eye-appealing shirts that we have ever seen. He called it “Goodwill Rowing”. Little did we know they were just assortments of hawaiian button-ups but if you see the pictures that were taken, I would say that we all look pretty darn good in them. We even wore them to dinner. After all the fun, we all were just looking forward to head to bed. I look forward to tomorrow so that we all may continue our progression towards sound technical rowers.
Thank You Nancy for your help with lunch.
Christina Pavano ’16
Major: Exercise Science
Hometown: Rockford, Michigan
Today was cold day, probably the coldest it will be all week. We woke up around 6:50, got ready and then went to eat some breakfast! Morning practice was a long row. We rowed all the way past the bridge and where we ended, we figured out was right by our hotel!
After morning practice we all ate lunch in the meeting room! After lunch, Doug (the bus driver) took a couple of us to church which was about 15 minutes down the road. After church a couple of us sat by the pool and relaxed and stretched.
After some down time, we all loaded the bus and headed to practice. We focused on lower rates and pressure. After practice we came back to the hotel and got ready then we all went out to eat at Hungry Howies, which was great team bonding! Overall it was a great day. Cant wait for the rest of the week!!
Hometown: St. Clair Shores, MI
After finally settling in at the Ramada Limited Hotel that we are staying at after a long day of rowing, I was woken up early in the morning at 6:00 A.M. Struggling to actually get out of bed, I finally made my way to the hotels breakfast that they serve us every morning.
After breakfast and having nice conversations with the teammates; we were on the bus at 7:30 and on the way to the boathouse. After all was done with rowing our coxswain MOLLY made us do 20 minutes of stretches.
As flexible as we all are, especially yours truly, in the end it felt good to stretch the main muscles of rowing. Next we walked to the meeting room where all the lunch food was held at and had a great meal thanks to Nancy after a hard mornings work. Making my way back to the room I crawled in bed and took a nap.
Waking up ten minutes before the bus leaves, I gathered my rowing gear and ran to the bus. Rowing at 3:00 P.M., the sun was now out and shirts were off as we were all trying to get the Michigan sour cream color off. After the fun laughs but also hard work we came back, showered up, and went out to Applebee’s for dinner. Following up with that, we all separated and now resting up for another hardworking day. Before passing out now watching some step brothers.