Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ask and You Shall Receive

Yesterday I was asked if I swam or ran in college.  The answer is no to both of those, but yes, I was a college athlete.  I entered college right after the 1996 Olympics and a bet was made between a girl I worked with and myself about trying out for the crew team in college.  Then once I got to school I met a girl the first week, (who funny enough, I'm still friends with) who asked me if I wanted to try out for the crew team with her.  I thought, why not?  So the next week I showed up for the tryouts, told a joke, and somehow made it through the first cut.  Then I had to get out on the water and see if I could steer the boat.  Turns out I was pretty good at it and made the novice team.  I was #3 on the team in terms of coxswains until winter break.  We spent our winter break in Cocoa Beach, FL and somehow I wound up taking on my coxswain coach in a dual on the water.  Funny enough, I won.  That solidified my spot in a boat.  Finally, after crashing several boats in a week, our team was assigned an hour long Indian run.  By the end, I was the only coxswain that survived.  And that, my friends, is how I made it into the novice A boat without having any experience in rowing whatsoever.

I raced the whole year in the novice A boat and even made the Eastern Nationals.  I, unfortunately, didn't get to compete in that race as I had a robot competition the same day (don't judge me).  I did come back to the team in the fall and stayed on for a few months until my advisor told me rowing or engineering and I chose engineering.  

Hindsight, I wish I had stayed on the team as I would have received my varsity letter and I would have gotten to compete in the Big Tens.  But, I did go to college to study and study I did!  

By the way, I was not a coxswain for the men's team, which was a club sport.  I was on the women's team which was a varsity sport.  Novice is the fancy term for JV, but in team competition novice points count toward the final score.  My highlight was beating Michigan in a dual and getting thrown in the water (tradition for a winning coxswain).  I got my picture in the Columbus Dispatch and even got interviewed.  I have that sports page framed and hanging on my wall.

Thanks for asking the question.


jeff said...

please tell me it was a robot dance competition and not a robot engineering competition.

Sara Cox Landolt said...

I also rowed in college at Wisconsin. We spent our winters in Cocoa Beach too. I rowed at Eastern Sprints as a spare. I actually rowed for Radcliffe, because their stroke had a 104 fever, so I rowed for them & beat the Wisconsin boat! Crazy fun!
See you in CdA!