Written by Student Assistant Genre McAtee
Although the women's rowing team has suffered a number of injuries this season, Brenda Arellano (BA) remains optimistic that her team can pull through and have a successful final race. Arellano talks to Santa Clara University (SCU) about how her team has improved this season thanks to rigorous training and dedicated teammate support.
SCU: How are you and your team preparing for your last race of the season at the WCC championships in Sacramento?
BA: Right now our focus is on sustaining the training that we've done throughout the year. We're also going through a selection process (seat racing) to put together the fastest boats we can. Because some of the rowers are injured we have to remain flexible with workouts and lineups.
SCU: You first started rowing in your freshman year here at Santa Clara. How would you compare your first year rowing with this season?
BA: I joined the team as a rower my freshman year, and that was really fun! It was hard work, but it was less structured than it is now. Starting my sophomore year I started coxing (I sit at the front of the boat and steer, motivate, give corrections and try to get everyone on the same page). I really like coxing, and it's also a lot of work, but in a very different way from rowing. Coxing is more of a mental focus and there's a lot of pressure to do things as perfectly as possible. So in that sense, for me this year is very different from my freshman year because I have a different kind of pressure. But for the other women who were novices with me and are still on the team, I think the biggest change has been in the culture of the team. We're more oriented toward getting the workouts in together and our attendance has definitely improved a lot.
SCU: What's your favorite part about rowing at Santa Clara?
BA: My favorite part about being on crew at SCU is the team. And I think that goes for many, if not all, of the women on the team. As much as we love waking up before the sun's up and doing two practices a day and not going to Cabo for Spring break, we keep doing it because we love our team. We're here for each other, and I think that's the best part.
SCU: During the season, do you and your teammates do any team bonding outside of practices?
BA: Sometimes we'll have boat dinners before races to talk about our goals and what we want to accomplish or focus on for that race. We'll also do team dinners, and everyone will go over to a teammate's house and just hang out and have good food. We also get bigs and littles (like the sororities do) before the Spring racing season starts and we have a little activity that goes with that.
SCU: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
BA: Just to say thank you to everyone on the team for being so great this year. We've made some great strides forward, and even though we're in a tough spot because of injuries, I think we've made a lot of progress this season and I'm really excited to see what happens next year!