Catriona Harris checks in for the latest addition of Q&A. Read what the sophomore mechanical enigneering major from Newberry, SC had to say below.
What was the best part of your JV8+ race? The last 20 strokes of the race were incredible! After catching a crab in the 3rd 500, we lost our open water lead on Notre Dame and were down 3 seats at the beginning of the sprint. We were so unified throughout the sprint that we were able to effectively execute our moves and walk through our competition. We earned a three seat lead on Notre Dame in the last 20 strokes to finish ahead by 1.7 seconds.
What has contributed to the success of the team so far this year? Everyone has had consistently good attitudes at practice which has really allowed all of us to make changes and find more speed. Our novice have also brought a lot of depth to the team which creates a positively competitive atmosphere at practice. We push each other to improve every day.
What are you looking forward to this season? At this point, I’m really excited to compete at the San Diego Crew Classic this weekend. We raced well in Michigan and I’m looking forward to race so many nationally competitive programs in one place. It will give us a good idea of how we match up so far and what we need to improve on in preparation for ACC’s.
Why did you choose Clemson? I was really impressed with President Barker’s high aspirations to make Clemson a Top 20 University. I also had the opportunity to meet several alumni, they were overflowing with pride for Clemson and never had a negative thing to say. But, the campus won me over in the end. I love everything about it.
Why did you choose to row at Clemson? My sister got involved with rowing in college and really encouraged me to consider it when I had received mailings from the coaches during my senior year of high school. When I arrived in Clemson, I tried out for the team as a walk on so that I would be involved in something other than school. Now, I couldn’t imagine not being a part of this team.
Why do you push yourself so hard everyday and put in so many hours? It has a lot to do with pride, our team has a lot to prove and I want to play a part in that and in creating our history. Personally, I like being challenged. School challenges me mentally and rowing challenges me mentally and physically. It is one of the most rewarding things to think you can do no more and then to prove yourself wrong.
How much of your success comes from mental toughness and how much comes from physical preparedness? I think our success is a result of both mental toughness and physical preparedness, but these are both dependent on each other as well. We must be physically prepared to have a basis on which to build our mental toughness and we must equally be mentally tough enough to meet our physical potential. Mental toughness has been a focus for our team this year and I think it has already helped us prove to ourselves that we are well trained and physically prepared for anything.
What were your feelings after the racing in Michigan? After last weekend, I couldn’t wait to get back to Clemson and start practicing for San Diego. We had had incredibly productive practices the week prior and that had showed in Michigan.
Tell me what you love about this sport: I love that rowing is so team oriented and that our team in particular is so supportive of each other. I know that each of my teammates is working just as hard as I am. We respect each other and are most importantly friends in and outside of the boat house.
What has been the greatest experience for you as a Clemson rower? I think traveling stands out above the rest as my greatest experience as a Clemson rower so far. Getting the opportunity to travel across the U.S. during college is awesome and being able to represent Clemson at the same time makes it an experience that I will value forever.
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