Who knew that the Sonoma State rowing club was ranked one of the top in the state? Believe it or not, the club practices Monday through Friday from 5 to 7:15 a.m. Before the rest of us are even awake, the club has been out to the Petaluma River and back to prepare for the upcoming season.
The group is compromised of both men and women and is now in its 10th year. They compete in intercollegiate races year round against other west coast NCAA teams and travel in the spring season to places like Davis and Sacramento.
According to Kevin Gugerty, a senior and varsity member, the club is highly competitive and requires a large time commitment. However, Kevin said that he has met a great group of people through the club and is thankful for the closeness that they all share. Gugerty has been a part of the club since he was a freshman and believes that Sonoma State has one of the best programs around.
Gugerty said, “We are awake before anyone else so there’s nothing to interfere with.”
Maya Hoholick, a senior on varsity, even went to Nationals this past summer in Gainesville, Georgia with her pair partner Lauren Linney. The pair rowed on the lake where the 1996 Olympics took place and is known as one of the best places in the world to row. The first race that the girls rowed in would determine if they would race for the grand finals.
The pair was against 12 boats and placed second. The following day, the pair raced “in the most important race of their lives” said Hoholick.
The girls rowed their hardest ever and Maya said it was the most pain and adrenaline she has ever felt. The pair beat Kansas State, Vanderbilt, University of Cincinnati, Washington State and New Hampshire.
Even though the pairs from the other schools had been rowing together for years, the Sonoma State duo still managed to come in second. A huge accomplishment for the pair’s rowing career.
“The rowing team has been a huge part of my SSU experience; it has taught me hard work and dedication. It has also disciplined me to always work for what I want,” said Hoholick.
As far as the season details go, there is a 6,000 meter race in the fall which takes around 20 minutes or less (hopefully). In the spring, the races are more like short sprints and can be between 2,000-3,000 meters. The summer consists of individual work and weight training to prepare for the upcoming fall season.
All practices throughout the year take place on the calm Petaluma River at the Boathouse owned by the North Bay Rowing Club. The boathouse is just a 15-minute drive, a speedy commute in the desolate morning hours.
Unfortunately, due to Title IX, the club cannot become an official Sonoma State team. Therefore, the club members must pay dues and fundraise to cover the costs of supplies and competitions. The group is always looking to recruit team members and spread the word about club sports.
So, for those wondering how to join the club should attend the info night on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. in Ives 101.
The club will be tabling on Sept. 8 and 9 throughout the day to provide the student body with more information. Be sure to check it out if looking for a competitive sport.