Photo by Stefano Balbusso
By Ariana Gastelum
Women’s team president Kelsey Davis has one thought on the upcoming season: It’s time to win.
“Every year, we’ve gone to WIRA (Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association), we’ve gotten a little bit better,” she said. “And this year, I know we have the girls and the motivation to take it, and I want it so [badly]. This is the year.”
It is more than Davis’s competitive nature that motivates her to pull at her utmost ability. Her teammates and coaches also play a large factor.
“Just knowing that I have 25 other people on my team who wake up early in the morning to work out on the ergs together and work to get stronger inspires me,” Davis said.
The women’s team begins practice at 5:30a.m every morning and finished at around 7:30a.m. They have land practice every Tuesday and Thursday, which consists of rowing on the ergs, running and strengthening in core circuits.
Davis also looks up to novice coach Megan Smith, who began rowing at University of California Berkeley and continued training with the US Women’s National Team.
“She didn’t have 10 years of experience,” Davis said. “She joined in college – a novice – just like we did. And knowing that, we could really do some great stuff.”
Davis noted that if she had to summarize her life into one word, it would be “busy”. In addition to being president and team captain, she also works at Coffee Bean and is a full-time student at Long Beach State University, majoring in psychology.
“It’s different than being just a regular college student,” she explained. “It requires more focus, more time management, more organization…I’ve been doing it this way since I was a freshman, and I don’t think I could do college any other way.”
For those who are just starting as a novice on the team, Davis advises them to get through the initial struggles that cause them to ask themselves, why should they stay?
“You get really worn down, and your body gets tired, and you get sick,” she said. “Just hang in there. You could be really good, and you can make a huge impact on the team. You just have to want it…I think people come back if they are successful the year before. If we show that we are a good, competitive team, then people will want to come back. They want to win again. They want to defend their title. And so, I think we need to work hard and take home some medals.”
Photo by Sarah Dresser