April 21, 2004
1. Name – Robin Mescher2. Year in school – Junior3. Major – Marketing4. Boat raced in and seat number – Varsity 8, 4-seat
5. What was the best part of your V8+ race at ACC’s? Our last 500 meters was my favorite part of the race. It’s the part of the race where we’re coming up on the boathouse and you just get this rush from the crowd and knowing that you only have 60 strokes left to lay it on the line. We did an awesome job of really sticking to our race plan and attacking our moves and sprint.
6. What has contributed to the success of the team so far this year? I really think that a lot of our growth this year is due to our competitive freshmen class. Coming in with 12 recruits, and then adding the awesome walk-ons, they really just jumped right into the team and started pushing us all on and off the water to get faster and work harder. With a couple of the freshmen in the priority boats, I’ve really been impressed with the leadership roles they have stepped up into. They’ve added to the positive inner-squad competition and it’s easy to see the improvements we’ve made because of it.
7. What are you looking forward to with the rest of this season? I’m most looking forward to improving our margins at our Regional competition. We have a whole month to build our boats up and gain more speed and confidence. The Regional championships are the perfect opportunity to put all the pieces together and show off how far we have come along this year. Also, with Regionals being our next opportunity to be matched up against our ACC counterparts, of course we’re looking to even the score!
8. Why did you choose Clemson? I really have no idea how I initially ended up here…it really was pure luck. I was searching for a school with nice weather, nice people, and where I could row competitively. Clemson fit all those criteria, and after talking to the coaches and coming on my official visit, I couldn’t see myself going to school anywhere else. The whole idea of the “Clemson Family”, and the crazy school spirit definitely sucked me in.
9. Why did you choose to row at Clemson? So much of my decision to come to Clemson was based on the rowing team and the whole athletic department. Having come from a high school crew team which my mom had helped start my sophomore year, I had already caught the rowing bug, and I knew that I wanted to continue to compete in college. The newness of the Clemson program really attracted me; there’s something about coming into a program that is still trying to make a name for itself and being able to watch our hard work really make a difference. The drive and determination of my coaches and teammates is amazing and you can’t help but jump in and pull your heart out for the team.
10. Why do you push yourself so hard everyday and put in so many hours? Because I like seeing the look on peoples faces when I tell them what time I woke up this morning! Ok, seriously now, it’s hard to explain but you just get this amazing sense of fulfillment being able to train with 60 other girls backing me up. Rowing is a sport of delayed gratification; since we don’t compete as often as other sports we don’t get the same sense of “winning” as often. But we do testing on the erg machines and in the weight room to give us benchmarks to go off of and our coaches train us for success. So really, the harder you push yourself at practice the more it pays off on race day.
11. How much of your success comes from mental toughness and how much comes from physical preparedness? I would say it’s almost 50-50. Our coaches definitely take care of making sure we’re physically prepared, so we just need to make sure that we trust that training and believe that we’re ready. I’ve definitely been in situations where the boat I’m in is not necessarily the fastest or strongest, but we end up winning pieces by just plain stubbornness and a refusal to accept anything less than first. Sometimes it’s best to just not think too much, trust Susie, and pull your guts out.
12. What were your feelings after the races at ACC’s? We were a little disappointed in where we placed, but we’d had a solid race and were proud of reaching the specific goals we had set for the race. It was amazing to have so many fans show up and cheer for us. It’s always been hard trying to get people to come to races, and it was nice to see such a big turnout.
13. Tell me what you love about this sport. Rowing is the ultimate team sport. I can try to move the boat by myself, but it’s not going to go very far. Each person in the boat has to be working for the boat as a whole. It’s very selfless. I love the feeling of all of us making a boat go fast. And there’s no feeling like when you cross the finish line first…it’s amazing how it doesn’t hurt when you win.
14. What has been the greatest experience for you as a Clemson rower? I think the people I’ve come into contact with through rowing here have made a huge impact on my experiences here. My teammates have turned into my best friends, and we’ve really turned into a family. Rowing here has pushed me to grow and mature so when I go out into the “real world” I am fully prepared to handle whatever life throws at me. It’s definitely been a journey so far, and I can’t wait to see what other adventures are to come.
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