The UC San Diego women’s rowing team was selected to compete in the 2006 NCAA Division II Women’s Rowing Championships.The championships will be held May 26-28 at the FinnCaspersenRowingCenter in West Windsor, New Jersey. Cara Kuebert, a member of the varsity eight, took time before heading to the championships to discuss UCSD women’s crew and rowing at the NCAA Nationals.
Q- What were you doing, and what were your thoughts when you heard the news that UCSD women’s crew earned a team bid to the NCAA Championships?
KUEBERT- I was so excited and knew that all of our hard work had paid off—all of our time on the water, in the weight room, and on the ergs.One of our goals the whole season has been to get a team bid to NCAA Championships--- something we’ve been working on for the entire four years I’ve been here.It is such an awesome way to end my collegiate rowing career and a huge milestone for the program.
Q- Last season you were part of UCSD’s at-large NCAA eight.What will/have you shared about that experience with your teammates that have never rowed at the NCAA’s?
KUEBERT- All of us from last year’s boat have tried to convey how important the mental aspect is.Physically we’re prepared—we’re the fastest we’ve ever been, but mentally we really have to stay focused.This isn’t just any other race—it’s easy to get distracted by new surroundings or all of the excitement and nerves that come with rowing at the highest level in collegiate rowing.We just have to remember that this is what we’ve worked for all season and we just have to stay in our ‘UCSD bubble’ and leave it all out on the water.
Q- After you arrive in New Jersey, what will the team do in the days prior to racing?
KUEBERT- We’ll do a little bit of physical preparation and a lot of mental preparation.Physically we’ve been training for the last nine months for this.We’re on a strong taper right now to achieve our maximal performance for our races this weekend.We’ll go out for a few light rows to get a feel for the water, do some speed work, and familiarize ourselves with the course.We’ll also have time for our bodies to adjust to the time change.Mentally we’ll be doing some race visualizations and trying to avoid distractions from the actual event.
Q- What’s something about crew that may come as a surprise to others?
KUEBERT- I didn’t know anything about it before I came to college so everything was a surprise to me.Most people think that you only use your arms, but actually you use your legs the most, that’s where you get the power from.
Q- What is your major and what do you plan to do after you graduate?
KUEBERT- I’m a double major in Management Science and Urban Studies & Planning.After graduation, I’m going to enjoy a little break—do some traveling, spend time with my family and friends.Then in August I’m moving up to San Francisco to start a job in financial consulting.At some point, I’d like to get my MBA.
Q- What would you tell an incoming athlete about the UCSD women’s crew program?
KUEBERT- Personally, being on the crew team has been the most rewarding thing I have done at UCSD.It is a good release from classes and other outside stresses.Going to such a big school, it instantly gives you a huge support system.The girls on the team are some of my best friends, we have shared an experience that few others will ever even understand.We do more before than most people do in an entire day.The program itself is getting better and better every year.When I first started rowing, going to NCAA’s was a big dream, but four years later it’s a reality for the entire team and it can only get better from here.
Q- How has head coach Pattie Pinkerton helped you throughout your time here at UCSD?
KUEBERT- Pattie instilled in me a love for the sport.I was a volleyball player throughout high school so crew was something completely new to me.She has really helped me develop and refine my stroke to be the most efficient and powerful it can be.She is always trying to figure out what we can do to make the boats go faster and really helps each individual maximize their strengths.Her deep passion and commitment to the team has not only proved successful on the water but off the water as well.She truly cares for each one of us and has helped us grow as rowers and as individuals.
Q- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
KUEBERT- With crew, classes, and working, I don’t have much free time.But, when I get a chance, I like to relax and hang out with my friends and spend time with my family.I enjoy going to the beach, playing volleyball, baking, and I love to travel—I’d love to go back to Europe soon.