Sam Dunn had the opportunity to participate in a US Rowing National Team ID Camp
Dec. 4, 2016
Junior Samantha Dunn recently had the opportunity to participate in a US Rowing National Team ID Camp in Princeton, N.J. Here is a Q&A session with Sam.
What did you think when Coach Joe Setting suggested the ID camp to you?
Honestly, when Coach Joe first asked me if I wanted to go, I was shocked. I thought because of my height, it would never be an option. Once I realized he was serious, I was extremely honored. I knew how important these camps are and the fact that Coach Joe thought I was good enough to go meant a lot. I was very excited to go even if it was just a learning experience.
How did you feel when you first walked into the boathouse and saw all of the other members?
When we first walked in, there were only two other girls there. They were definitely taller than me, but size wise I thought I could have a good chance. As more girls showed up, I realized that they were all going to be taller me, but they also looked just like me. They were just girls from another college. Were they strong? Of course, but so was I!
How did you do on the tests?
On the 10 second WATT test, I pulled a MAX WATT of 668, beating the other girls by a good gap. It felt good. I was confident. On the one minute test, we were capped at 40 RPM. I pulled an average WATT of 449. I was still up there near the top of the group. I knew I was strong, but I wanted to stay focused on what would come next. I pulled decent WATTs on both tests, but these girls were taller than me and I had to stay focused on the water testing and technique as well.
What was it like rowing with women that will potentially be on the US National Team?
I was nervous to go out on the water with these women. I was two seat in the eight boat. The bow was a place I had never been before, but once we started I reminded myself that I knew what I was doing and could swing it with these girls. I just had to stay focused and listen to the coach. The boat felt fast. It felt strong. It was a really cool experience to be with these girls. They were all very professional and focused. They were taking the whole experience just as seriously as I was. It was an educational experience. I got to see how these girls rowed and how I meshed with them. It really helped me focus on what I want and need to do to improve in the future.
What did you learn from your experience that can help you and your team as you prepare for the spring?
I learned a lot from this weekend. I learned how truly focused you must be on every point of the stroke, for every stroke, and how this effects your body. You cannot let things outside of the boat distract you. Even if you feel like you are performing a repetitive motion that you know how to do, there is always something that you can improve upon. I learned how hard you can work if you truly set your mind to it. Do not ever limit yourself. Most of the time, your body can push further. One last thing I learned is how lucky we are to have the coaching staff we do. The coaches there this weekend were intense to say the least. They were never afraid to tell you how it is. Their only concern is to find the women who want and will train to their fullest potential. This weekend was an amazing experience and I wish every single person on our team could experience it. It has helped me appreciate what I do more. I cannot wait to start winter training and see how much stronger I can get for the spring season! One last thing I would tell my teammates that I gained from this weekend was, never be afraid to fail because if you never fail, you aren’t trying hard enough.