Somebody pinch me because what just happened within the last 22 hours is too incredible to be true!
This week my rowing team and I traveled to Princeton, NJ to compete at the U23 World Championship Trials for a spot to compete for the US at the U23 World Championships in the Lightweight Women’s quad.
It came down to a nail biting 300 meters (just under 1/4 of the total 2,000 meter race) with the other boat in the lead. Watching the race later, I was even nervous for my boat because we were slightly behind. But in the last 10 strokes of the race we pulled ahead by several feet to win the race and the honor to represent the US in Lithuania next month!
All this went down between 9:28 and 9:35 yesterday morning.
At 9:34 (right when we were making the incredible move to come out ahead) I received an email from UVM, the medical school of my dreams, the only school to offer me an interview, the school to which I have sent about 4 letters of continued interest. I GOT INTO UVM COM FOR THE CLASS OF 2016!
I AM GOING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL!
So keep checking in as I head to Lithuania in 8 days and medical school in 45 days!
Somebody pinch me because what just happened within the last 22 hours is too incredible to be true!
Today I raced for a spot in the GMS Lightweight quad. A quad is a boat for four people where all four people have an oar in each hand. This quad is really special because if we win the U23 trials at the end of June, we will represent the US at the 2012 U23 World Rowing Championships in Lithuania in July!
So to have a spot in this boat is the first step to going to the World Championships!
My seat was determined by my strong performance on the erg (ergometer, a rowing simulator) and in our head race (where multiple people race in single person boats, one about 10 seconds after the other – it helps coaches figure out how fast each person is).
I promise to write more about this incredible experience as events unfold.
Tomorrow we are seat racing for the remaining seat (seat racing is when the coach substitutes different rowers into boats and sends the boats down the same course – the person whose change results in a faster piece is the one who gets the spot in the boat).
You can also follow me on Twitter: @CorneliaWillis I update this daily…
So I got into a car accident on the way to practice today…it was honestly an accident waiting to happen. The blind turns and driveways of this private road are dangerous.
But needless to say it happened and I survived. Parents, please teach your kids about what to do when you get into a car accident. It may be a simple procedure but in the face of your first startling accident, the details get muddled. At least I was able to find the registration and insurance cards easily.
Step 1. Remain calm
Step 2. Assess damage and exchange pleasantries with the other party
Step 3. Call police to obtain an accident report.
Step 4. Exchange information – names, numbers, addresses, car and insurance info
Step 5. Call the insurance companies to file a claim and decide what insurance coverage to consider.
Step 6. Do what the police advises you to do.
Step 7. Go find a quiet place and eat dark chocolate M&Ms
Well, for me that is…
Today was the first day of the rest of my life (hopefully). With 3.5 hours of rowing, it was quite the experience! I am training with 6 other girls for a spot in a 4 person boat trialing for the US spot at the U23 Rowing World Championships this summer.
Two years ago I would never have considered that this was where I’d end up…heck, even 2 months ago I would never have believed I would be here.
I have already developed some tremendous new blisters…showering has been a long and painful process!
If anyone has suggestions for things to do in New Milford, Ct, I will gladly welcome them…our plans include going to a Teddy Bear Festival and borrowing movies from the library…
I think that as an athlete, I view time differently. As a lightweight rower I view time differently than my heavyweight teammates.
If you had told me four years ago that I would be sad to see the day of my graduation approach as quickly as I feel it is currently approaching, I would have laughed. I figure that’s pretty typical. We’re all rushing to move onto the next phase of our lives.
But as a lightweight rower, I am not only ounting down the days until I can consider myself a graduate of the University at Buffalo (our competition is during graduation so no rowers will ever walk at graduation), but I am also counting to the epitome of college lightweight rowing – the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships or IRAs.
I feel conflicted. I don’t want the semester to end because that means rowing in college is almost over, but at the same time there are so many incredible things waiting for me out there!
My coach just told me that I was identified to row with the Under 23 Lightweight National Rowing Team this summer!
I am beyond excited for this experience – it will be a chance for me to experience a different level of competition.
Believe it or not, but before college I had no ambitions of working out on a regular basis, much less becoming an athlete or an athlete on a national team! I guess the UB coaching staff knows what they’re doing:)
This weekend was incredible. It was UB’s fourth trip to the Colonial Athletic Association Rowing Championship in Virginia. The lightweight 4 represented UB against the other crews’ heavyweight 4s and we won!
Four years ago I was unable to imagine that something as incredible as an invitation to represent UB at a conference championship could be offered to the lightweight program. Four years ago I was definitely not able to fathom the idea that we would be able to beat crews much larger than even myself (I’m the largest in my boat and the smallest girl is 5’3″!).
The venue was pristine – a beautiful, minimally developed park with a straight as a rod course – and the weather was perfect, 50 degrees, minimal wind, flat water.
Our varsity 4 event went off first and there was a false start. I had never been in a false start before and was actually kind of glad to have it. We were all a little anxious about how we would fair against the heavyweight crews right off the start and found, that at the end of first 100 meters, we were right with the 5 other crews (the 6th had failed to start and thus the false start was called).
It was one of those great races but I am really glad I was rowing and not watching! Apparently we were in 5th place in the first 250 meters of the 2000 meter race and every call the official made over the loudspeaker was for Buffalo making a move and creeping up to the lead. Our main competition was Old Dominion and Boston University but ODU dropped off at the thousand and we continued to battle BU down the course, exchanging the lead 5 times!
Our coxswain called us up to the sprint at 750 meters to go…about 1 minute earlier than we usually go up (in a 7 minute race, this is the last 3 minutes)…and we responded with surges of power. I could hear BU on my starboard side the whole time, the rush of their slides and the snap of their oarlocks but I did not dare look over and upset our boat.
At the final stretches we gave it everything we had and finished neck in neck with BU. Kate, our coxswain said she looked over and stared the BU coxswain right in the eyes. No one knew who won but we had a sinking feeling it wasn’t us…we historically end up on the losing end of a close call and we had fought damn hard against a heavy crew so we were proud!
20 minutes later we had congregated at the grandstands and were waiting for the results of our V4 race and preparing to watch the 2v come down. The announcer started with 7th place and listed the crews and their finish times. As we listened to the names, we held hands waiting for what we thought we already knew. ODU got third and then we heard it. “Second place was Boston…” And we knew. We had won!
None of us heard the final times but later found out we had eked out a win by 0.1s!
If you ever feel a craving for a delicious, home cooked, free meal, go to the Newman Center by the Ellicott Dorm Complex. Every Wednesday a different group from the Buffalo community prepares dinner for the UB students. Technically teh Newman Center is a church that caters to the religious tendencies UB students but on Wednesday nights it hosts 20-30 large tables of students and caters to their more basic interests.
The Student Athletic Advisory Committee has been hosted by the Newman Center regularly throughout the 2011-2012 school year for both delicious dinners and scheduled SAAC meetings. Tonight was sadly our last meeting of the year, but as a graduating senior I will look back fondly of the one time I partook in the massive amounts of free food and entertainment UB has to offer.
Whether you are an athlete or not, a devout Christian or a staunch atheist, a vegetarian or a hard core carnivore, come join everyone at the Newman Center next semester – Wednesdays at 6pm! And be prepared for open mike night!
’cause sometimes it’s great to get away!
This weekend I followed my team to Boston where we competed against three of the top four lightweight crews in the country. Boston is my absolute favorite city in the US, and I am actually going to live there after graduation and competitions this year – I’m so psyched!
We were only competing on Saturday so I got the permission of my coach to stay Sunday to hang out in Boston. My trip was only about 30 hours so I filled it with as much food and as many activities as I possibly could!
I have a friend at UB, Kevin Lyons, who is the UB pool guy – he’s the one that maintains the pools on North and South Campus – and a tremendous gentleman and a wise individual. Before I left he gave me two tips…
1. Eat stuff you can’t get at home
2. Get a trolly pass because you can see the city and have affordable transportation for the weekend.
I followed his tips (for the most part) and had a great time!
Day 1 was a visit to my future rowing home, Riverside Boat Club, where I met with the high performance group coach and a couple athletes. I walked around Cambridgeport with the athletes and then dashed across the river to catch the Red Sox v. Yankees game at Fenway.
Even though I’m a Red Sox fan and the Red Sox lost, it was a great game for the Yankees – Swisher hit a grand slam, gotta hand it to him…
Oh and the food! sooo good! Thin crust pizza courtesy of Groupon and of course frozen yogurt:) lychee is the new favorite.
Day 2 promised rain so I wanted to stay as covered as possible. I followed friends to Quincy Market for breakfast of a passion fruit smoothie. I have never had passion fruit before and I’m not sure if I have an opinion about it yet…it was not as flavorful as I had hoped:/
I didn’t take a trolly ride, but I did go on the Boston Duck Tours…actually a lot of fun!!! We got to drive the boat when we were on the Charles! 80 minutes of Boston sightseeing reaffirmed all the reasons why I love Boston!
I spent the rest of the day before my flight home at Harvard Square, snacking, and walking around.
I can’t wait for June!
You know those pesky group projects that seem to always fall on you to organize, execute, and present? Yeah, they don’t go away in college. All I can say is that I am so glad I’m not a business major because all of my teammates in the school of business are complaining about their group projects.
I have had to do a couple group projects in the past couple semesters but I always manage to find a buddy who is equally invested in the group’s outcome…the perks of being an upperclassman!
Like with most things, participation in group projects gets better over time – once my peers were as into the classes as I was, it was far easier to find those people who put as much into a project as I did.
Another tip is to make friends with the people in your classes so you always have someone who is in your corner, who won’t leave you in a lurch at the last minute.