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STORRS, Conn. – To be a successful student-athlete on the UConn rowing team, a major factor in committing to team workouts and practices – while balancing a full academic workload – is dedication.
In anticipation of the Huskies opening their spring schedule on March 17 in Orlando, Fla., the program continues to share some of its team themes that make up the UConn rowing culture. It all starts with dedication.
“I’ve never seen a group of girls so committed to team success. Our dedication stems from our accountability,” said senior Katie Ullinger. “Our overall dedication is shown through our work when no one is watching.”
Under 20-year head coach Jennifer Wendry, the rowing program has continued to make strides due to the intensity, focus and dedication of each student-athlete that has competed on Coventry Lake.
“Dedication is always keeping goals to reach and work for, and when the hard work you put in gets you to those goals, striving for more,” said junior Gabriella Dombek.
The key to UConn rowing’s success isn’t just having productive practices in the early morning when other students are sleeping, but also having 62 rowers on the current roster who buy into the program’s culture.
“It becomes much easier when you know that 60 other girls are doing it with you every morning,” said freshman Sara Tavakoli. “Being a part of this team has taught me to not only be dedicated to this sport, but also my family, friends and academics.”
Freshman Caroline Richman added, “The beautiful part about the rowing culture is that you’re surrounded by people who are so incredibly dedicated and push you to be the same and I’m thankful for that.”
It did not take long for sophomore transfer Lillian Whitmore to catch onto the team’s culture, as she prepares to embark on her first spring season with the Huskies.
“I transferred to UConn from American University, where I rowed on the club team,” said Whitmore. “One of this team’s characteristics that struck me was the fierce dedication each girl had to the sport, but also to the team – always trying to get better.”
Once the spring season kicks off, the Huskies will be able to add to their fall success with all roads leading to the American Athletic Conference Championship in Sarasota, Fla. on May 13.
“When it’s hard to push through the pain, that’s when the drive to get better really kicks in, and you know that the hours you spent training are going to pay off,” said freshman Delaney McGovern. “Dedication gives way to excellence on this team.”