Q&A with senior Rachel Sander

Oct. 31, 2003

Interests and hobbies outside of Rowing:

I enjoy going to the beach and toying around with surfing. I spend a lot of time with teammates. I also enjoy reading classic literature and experiencing the culture of Miami. I am focusing on my studies and community service opportunities.

List any academic honors you’ve won or class/club offices held (Honor Roll, Honor Society, Class President, etc.):

Honor Roll junior year. Academic BIG EAST Honors three years.

Why did you choose the University of Miami?

I chose Miami because I wanted to get away from the snow of my hometown, Syracuse. I also liked the academic offerings they had for Marine Science, even though I have slightly altered my major since freshman year.

What was your first impression of Miami?

My first impression of the campus was that it looked like I was living at a resort. As far as the welcoming atmosphere my freshman year, everyone made me feel right at home very quickly.

Why did you start rowing?

I started rowing because I had received a flyer in the mail about the novice program. My dad suggested I try it because he thought I had the “body build” for it. So when I got to Miami, I went to the meetings and before I knew it, I was hooked.

When did you start rowing?

I started rowing my freshman year here at Miami.

What challenges did/do you face as a novice rower?

As a novice rower, I really had to work at the whole fitness aspect of the sport. I was not a big athlete in high school, so I had no real athletic base. I also had to learn to deal with the intrasquad competition that is so important, yet difficult to get used to in rowing. I had not been used to competing with my friends. I really did enjoy the schedule though, especially in my first year of college because it really focused me as to what I wanted to do.

What changes have you recently made to improve your rowing technique?

I have really tried to work on my overall fitness so that I am able to hold onto my technical aspect through the course of practice and race. I really try to make every stroke count at practice, and if it is a bad stroke to learn from my mistakes and take two good strokes.

What is your best rowing memory?

My best rowing memory was my sophomore year when I won the state championship in the varsity four. It was one of those perfect races that you just can’t forget.

Would you ever consider rowing as a “life sport”? (ex. such as tennis or golf)

I think that rowing could be a “life sport” for ex-rowers because it is such an extremist sport. You either enjoy getting up at six a.m. and watching the sun rise over the glassy water or else you don’t. I also think it is geographically oriented. I know I wouldn’t want to be rowing in the snow up north in November or February, but Miami is always nice.

What advice would you give young people?

I would tell young people to get involved with numerous sports in their youth. Throughout high school, try to make friends & build your confidence. If you love something specific, then settle into that in college. The most import thing is to get a good education because that will last a lifetime.

What did you do this summer? (Please include anything interesting – Sports/Non-Sports for possible feature stories)

I attended both summer sessions here at UM. I also worked the camp for the adult rowing team held at our boathouse.

What are your goals at Miami both in sports and outside sports?

My main goal in rowing at Miami is to help build a faster team and create a positive environment for all of my teammates. I want there always to be a common bond between my teammates outside of sports. Outside of sports, I aim to excel in my studies and gain experiences and talents that will help me live a happy and successful life.