Rowing's Fial Enjoys Her New Sport

By Carolyn Linck, '11

Sophomore Berkeley Fial (BF) had never rowed until she came to Santa Clara University.  Though the sport is new for her, she has picked it up well and enjoys the time she spends on the water with her teammates.  Recently, www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with Fial about how she joined rowing as a freshman, her goals for the coming season and her motivation to get out of bed for the early morning practices.

SCB: Did you row in high school or was rowing something you picked up at Santa Clara?  What sports did you play in high school?

BF: I did not row in high school. I played lacrosse for four years and ran cross country for two years during high school. I am from Colorado, and crew is not a popular sport there. I really knew nothing about the sport, but I thought it would be awesome to try something totally new in college.

SCB: Why did you decide to join rowing?  What do you enjoy most about being a part of this team at SCU?

BF: Since the rowing team here is a walk on sport, I was not as scared about the pressure of going through tryouts and making the team. I decided to go for it.  My favorite part about crew is rowing on the water while watching the sunrise. The sun rises over a mountain right by the resevoir; it's so pretty.

SCB: Aside from being a part of crew you are involved in other activities at SCU. How are you able to manage your time between sports, school and other interests?

BF: I am a member of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, I have volunteered for APB, and I also volunteer for the Books Aloud Foundation in downtown San Jose. Last year I learned that I needed to get my homework done during the day or whenever I have free time. I can't stay up all night procrastinating because I have practice so early in the morning. It was definitely a transition period because I initially thought I could stay up late and not be affected by it.  For awhile I ended up getting extremely tired and was unable to focus in class. I've figured it out and definitely manage my time better.

SCB: What do you hope to accomplish this season opening on March 26 at the Pac-10 Challenge in Redwood City?

BF: We lost a lot of seniors last year, so our boat is still working on gelling together.  We really want to have a strong start to the season, and we want to set a time that is equal to or less than our fastest racing time last year. We have a new coach this year, and he's been making awesome changes to the routine and training. We're definitely looking forward to a good start to the season.

SCB: Rowing is notorious for its early morning workouts. What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning for practice?

BF: Morning practices are definitely challenging. I get out of bed because I don't want to let my teammates down. I hate being flaky. I know that if I don't show up that someone else will have to fill in my position in the boat. This doesn't help the boat progress forward; it only keeps our skill level at a standstill. I think the entire team feels the same way. It's a sacrifice we all make together.  People definitely notice if someone misses practice.