Women's Rowing Winter Training Trip Blog

Holy Cross Athletics   01-17-2019

SARASOTA, Fla. – Follow along as the women’s rowing team updates their winter training trip in Sarasota, Fla. Click here to see pictures from the trip. 


Day 1: Kate Hegermiller

Day 1 and we are back!!!!! It is so good to be back with my teammates. The day started off with a nice morning flight, ISP to TPA, with the arriving weather of 70 degrees and sunny, but even nicer than the weather was the fact that I was reunited with my teammates.

Once we all arrived, we jumped on the bus and made our way down to Sarasota. We were greeted with a pizza lunch and eager coaches. Once our luggage was in our rooms, it was time to head down to the course. The course is so close to our hotel that we are able to run there!  This week we have the opportunity to demo a Hudson boat, which we are all very excited about. Having the demo boat, we only had to rig one eight and then we were back on the water.

The water was calm, and my teammates and I were excited, which made for a great first practice. At first we did a lot of rowing by sixes and then we brought it to all eight! We were able to find some rhythm which has fueled our excitement for this week. After a first great practice and a quick run home, we had a delicious dinner from Fresh Kitchen. We were able to squeeze in a quick pool session before our night meeting, where we closed the day with mediation and film. We are all very excited for this week, where we get good water practice, spend quality time with friends and make our team faster.


Day 2: Paige Cohen

Day 2 was another day of beautiful warm weather.  We started off the day early, with most of us waking up around 6am to grab a quick breakfast downstairs in the hotel lobby and then start our run to practice. We got to watch the sunrise as we jogged along.


At morning practice, we went through our team stretch, and then took out some eights to do some pieces. We mixed up the distances and stroke rates a lot to try out some speed work. It started out a little rocky, but we really improved from piece to piece, which was encouraging for the week to come.


In the middle of the day, I and a few other teammates ended up going to Mass at a local church in Sarasota, and then relaxed for a few hours to recharge, eating lunch, taking naps, and sitting by the hotel pool.


Around 3:00 in the afternoon, it was time to start running back to the course. Definitely getting lots of steps in this week! That afternoon, we focused more on technique, especially working on our “hang” off the front end and our timing together.  


One more run back to the hotel later, we had another delicious dinner from Fresh Kitchen, and then got together to watch film. We talked more about how to sit up through our core to get in a nice supported, strong position throughout the stroke. We also celebrated our captain, Kate Hegermiller’s, birthday at the meeting with some delicious chocolate cake, before closing out with 10 minutes of meditation. It was another early night for me -- time to get ready for another busy day on Monday!


Day 3: Grace Rett

Day 3 started with another team breakfast and run to the course.  Today’s sunrise was especially beautiful!  While running on the path down the center of the course, we got to see a bunch of turtles enjoying the sun! 

Our first row of the day was in eights and we pushed ourselves through some pressure pieces.  After watching film last night, we all had something to focus on!  We headed back to the hotel for some free time to rest and recover, before team lunch.  

We headed back to the course for our second row of the day (and saw more turtles).  We rigged our fours and took them out in addition to our eight.  Even though it was windy, we were able to do some solid technique work before bringing it in.  After another yummy team dinner, we had cake for my birthday! I’m so lucky to have such awesome teammates to celebrate with!  We ended the night with team meditation before everyone headed their separate ways to get ready for another day of rowing camp.

Day 4: Maegan Moriarty

Day IV started off with a surprise: as a result of the cold, windy weather, we got to sleep in an extra hour!  My roommate and co-captain Kate [Hegermiller] and I enjoyed a longer breakfast and then were off to the course.  I ran to my favorite running playlist, the sun was just rising, the temperature was crisp, Kate and I were running at a brisk pace-- add a morning row and there could not be a better way to start a morning.  


Practice this morning went exceptionally well; we were engaged and focused on our boat's set and working on the technical corrections we discussed the previous night.  I also believe that our mental training has started to positively impact our performance.  It has been easier to "navigate the mental traffic and distractions" that a typical practice brings, and to concentrate on my form and coach corrections.  


We could not have planned our run back more perfectly-- we arrived just as lunch did!  After lunch we were told that we would practice in two groups in order to optimize individual coaching time.  I was in the later group, thus was able to write emails and take a recharging nap.  


At our second practice, we were in mixed line-ups.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to row with girls who I had not been in a boat with.  We worked on technique like where our elbow should be at the release of the stroke, and how we should rotate our oar around the pin of the rigor at the catch (Coach Diggins showed us that this is the natural position of the oar when you are taking a stroke).  


After practice, we ran back to our favorite meal-- dinner from Fresh Kitchen-- and watched film as a team.  At dinner my friend Grace Ward was describing the audition process for Broadway (her sister is doing this now in NYC) and also was telling us that her brother is auditioning for performing arts programs at different colleges this week-- good luck, Greg!  


Our fourth day wrapped up with a dip in the hot tub.  This has become our new team tradition every night before we go to bed.  


As we move on to our fifth day, we are excited to keep progressing and gaining speed!


Day 5: Stephanie Jordan 


We started off day 5 with an extra hour of sleep due to a later start time for our first practice of the day! It was a windy, cold day on the water but the sun came out from behind the clouds occasionally.


We stayed at the course between practices. During our free time, we explored a nearby mall, grabbed lunch, and napped. Before practice, we meditated and did some energizers. For our afternoon practice, we dressed to impress in our new unis (and splash jackets). Our afternoon practice workout was repeats of 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off. We took a team photo after practice too. The Nathan Benderson Association gave us really awesome free t-shirts.


After a delicious dinner of quinoa, chicken, sweet potatoes and broccoli, we went out for ice cream for dessert. We ended the day with 40 minutes of film and a relaxing meditation. 

Day 6: Tyler Sparling

Day 6: the last full day

I was wishing I hadn’t left my pogies in Worcester on my morning bike to practice.  Despite the 45 degree weather, I enjoyed the newly familiar Sarasota city lights and sunrise overlooking the course. Morning practice consisted of some really helpful technique and timing work in response to last night’s film. After practice, I rode back to the hotel and snuck in some reading and a nap before lunch. 

After the usual lunch from Perkins, I ordered my textbooks from the hotel computer after realizing that my senior spring semester is only a few short days away. Scary! Soon enough, it was back to the course for the second session. 

The Florida sunshine finally came through so we lathered up in sunscreen and pulled up our unis. Practice was a mix of drills, including team favorite 5-and-glide (a drill that consists of consecutive repetitions of letting the water run after 5 pressure strokes) and a few 1000 meter pieces. After docking, we derigged some small boats to quicken up tomorrow’s departure.   I walked home with some teammates across the middle bridge of the course. Surrounded by the beautiful water and my teammates, I realized that I’m not quite ready to leave Sarasota tomorrow. :(

The team hung out during dinner and played a couple games before sitting down to film with the coaches. There was SO MUCH improvement from yesterday’s footage. We closed out the night once again with 10 minute meditation before heading off to our rooms to pack and get some shut eye. One more practice to go before heading back to New England!

Day 7: Anne Comcowich

Day seven began with another chance to sleep in. Practice started at 8:30 and the water was flat. We were excited to get started. It was about 50 degrees and sunny, which made it very comfortable weather. 

Our morning session consisted of some drills and 1000 meter pieces. Everyone in the boat was tired from a week of hard work, but when we needed to increase pressure and go faster, we were all ready to finish the trip strong so we were very capable of picking up speed. We finished practice with an easy but strong row back down the course. My boat did some eyes closed strokes followed by some five and glides. As my pair fell out while docking, I realized that those were my last strokes in a boat for a while, and the last ones for a while where the weather is warm for sure. That made me sad to leave Sarasota. The course is beautiful, the weather is amazing, and back home in Worcester it’s snowy and cold. It’s going to be a slight adjustment. 

After docking, we de-rigged the eights and loaded the trailer. It didn’t take very long at all, and we left the course around 11. Morale was good on the way home. We were happy with the strides we made in overall technique and other improvements. It got to be super hot, so once we arrived at our hotel, a few people went to the pool which I definitely wish I’d done. It would have been an excellent day for a swim but I showered and hung out with some teammates instead. 

We ate lunch at 1. Considering the heat and the amount of exercise we’d done, we were craving some ice cream, so we walked across the street and enjoyed some milkshakes. It tasted amazing, and I’d say we definitely earned it. 

At 2 we met one last time before the coaches left to drive the trailer to Tampa, and then we were on our own until the bus came at 4. Most of us napped by the pool and dipped our legs into the hot tub. The bus came and we boarded it for the hour ride to the Tampa airport. It was a mostly quiet ride. We got there, and were able to get through security in 10 minutes or less!! That was so surprising to me. I was so nervous that we were going to be late, but after that we had so much time to walk around the terminal.

We left Sarasota as a stronger team; we’re better on the water as rowers and off the water, our bonds have strengthened as well. I got to know a lot of the upperclassmen a lot better and I wish I’d done so sooner. It was a great trip and I’m so glad I got a chance to go. Can’t wait until next year!




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