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Pause at the Release: Season Approaching, Traveling & Being Student-Athletes

March 6, 2013

Pause at the Release is our periodic feature in which we highlight the perspective of one of our student-athletes. In these articles, the athletes share their personal experiences as part of the Golden Hurricane team with our wonderful supporters and community members. Here, you'll find the backstage story on TU Women's Rowing, told through the eyes of the athletes themselves. Check back often to see updates from more of your favorite rowers and coxswains.

With the first race quickly approaching what are some things we do as a team to get ready?

Patrizia Perazzo - Sophomore

It has been a long winter training session for Tulsa Women's Rowing with unusual weather keeping us off the water some days, so we are definitely excited to start racing. As race day gets closer, our team is getting more and more eager to hit the starting line. To keep the energy focused, we concentrate more as a group. We do "sister gifts", which is a tradition that has been on the team for many years. The team is divided into groups of 2 or 3 for the season and we exchange small gifts, cards, or go get some frozen yogurt together before we leave for a regatta weekend. We use this opportunity to encourage each other away from a practice setting. It is also a great way for you to get to know teammates who you aren't boated with as often. Having "sisters" on the team has a huge impact on our bonding and therefore our speed on race day. The best part about sister gifts is that it is something we are motivated to do by ourselves. Our coaches don't require us to do it, but we keep the tradition going because as a team we realize the importance and benefits of doing the "little things" like sister gifts. Boats also get together not only to talk about racing, but also just to hang out and relax a little. Racing is definitely an exciting time that my teammates and I look forward to everyday.

Being that we are student-athletes, what are some things you do to keep up in your classes while traveling?



Kate Cooley - Sophomore

Now that traveling season is here, it's going to be challenging to keep up with all of our classes. Thankfully, the teachers at TU are very helpful about any missed classes and will help us get right back into the school groove if we miss a day or two. All of my teachers already know me by name so before and after missing a day of class it is easy to go ask them for help. I've also learned to record lectures in some of my classes to help me when I go back over notes, so I am going to have some friends record the lectures for me when I'm not here. TU is a tough school, but you can definitely keep up if you work hard!

Carly Schmidt - Junior

Most people assume that it is impossible for student-athletes to take on a tough course load when they are in season, however I have found that I am more successful in my courses with heavy reading in the spring season. The attitude that is radiated by teammates, staff and coaches creates an atmosphere that keeps us aware that we are always students as well as athletes. During long bus rides, the team will schedule homework time in between movies and games, which provides a perfect mixture of fun and productivity. I feel extra motivated to get work done during these times. The fact that the team wants a few hours for schoolwork reminds me that it is the most important thing we do as college students.

Amanda Ames - Sophomore

To keep up with my classes while traveling, I check the syllabuses of my classes early on in the semester to see what I am missing in the class. As racing approaches, I make sure to prepare myself ahead of time by contacting the professors, telling them that I will be traveling, and asking what I need to do to stay on top of things in the class. When traveling by bus, I have a lot of time for studying. The team usually designates sections of the bus as socializing, quiet study or a mix. Traveling with the team is one of the best parts of spring and we enjoy the fun, but still remember we are student-athletes.

What is you favorite part of traveling with the team and/or racing?

Megan Fitzpatrick - Senior, Captain

Traveling for racing is definitely one of the best parts of being an athlete. Being able to see all different parts of the country has been an amazing part of my past three years at Tulsa. Some bus rides may have been longer than others, but all have definitely proven to be some good quality team bonding. On the way home from a successful race in Tennessee last year our team decided to make a long bus ride a little more interesting and create our version of the "Call Me Maybe" music video. Some of my greatest memories have come from times just hanging out with teammates at the hotel or in the different cities we have traveled to. Those are the moments that make all the hard work worth it.

Marissa Catalanotto - Freshman

Traveling with the team has been my favorite part of my college experience so far. I really enjoy spending the weekend away from campus with my teammates. It is the only time where we can all forget about the stresses of school and come together and focus on the thing we all love doing; racing. Everyone is always in great spirits and is excited to race. It is great to surround yourself with a group of women who love the art of racing as much as you do, and that makes the win in the end that much better.

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Contact Natasha Ostopovich at natasha-ostopovich@utulsa.edu