SANTA CLARA, Calif. – With Fall sports in full swing, Santa Clara women's rowing is in the midst of preseason training. The Broncos have been training since the end of June after a summer of workouts. Head coach John Wojtkiewicz gave fans a peek into where the Broncos are at this early stage of the season.
"The training season started back at the end of June, but since we just started with formal team practice three weeks ago you can say we're about a third of the way through the training season," said Wojtkiewicz. "Most of the base aerobic work that is so important in our training is complete and now that we are together as a team, we're bringing in the higher intensity work on the water and the erg. We're in early stages of trying to find out speed and how much more we need to pick up between now and May."
One of the biggest parts of collegiate athletics is staying in shape over summer break while the players are away. Wojtkiewicz gave his team training schedules to assure everyone was keeping up with conditioning.
"We did a lot of aerobic volume," said Wojtkiewicz. "The athletes were required to submit weekly training logs and each athlete was averaging between 40-50K a week of distance (running, biking, erging, rowing etc). By way of comparison we totaled 15 million meters of distance training for the entire 2012-2013 season. This year the team put down 11 million meters just over the summer alone."
All of the work the Broncos put in over the summer has paid off as Wojtkiewicz is happy with where his team is in the training process.
"We're in a pretty good place," said Wojtkiewicz. "We've had a few early season injuries but despite some missing faces the practices and training sessions have been very productive. Because we function as a smaller team unit I've been able to get eyes on everyone and we've made some really great first steps in improving our rowing."
Despite coming in with a lot of reps under their belts, there are still things that need to be improved on.
"The freshmen are really cranking it up a notch and it's affecting the whole team," said Wojtkiewicz. "Kelby Nardoni '17, Brittany Peters '17 and Hannah Carlson '17 are having the immediate impact that I hoped. They all come from great programs and are bringing an intensity we've lacked the past few years as we've been building the team. We also have seven seniors who are pretty fired up to make their last season their best. That being said, we can still bring more intensity to the water with all boats; it's been getting better and the practices have been very competitive but I still think we have a couple more notches to go before I can confidently say everyone is giving 100% pressure on every stroke in every session. I'm confident we'll get there."