June 1, 2004
In the week leading up to the IRA National Championships, members of the Cal Crew are highlighted. Each oarsman discusses some of their favorite things, and what they do in preparation for a race. Today, sophomore Dan McDonnell is profiled.
McDonnell, bowman of the second varsity eight boat, has been rowing since his freshman year of high school. Now, the sophomore rows for one of the best crews in the country, and is vying for a national title.
Position: Bowman of JV 8+ Favorite... Movie: Top Gun TV show: Saturday Night Live Athlete: Joe Montana Sport to play (other than crew): Water Polo, Ultimate Frisbee Sport to watch (on TV or in person): Football Food: Pot Roast Band/Artist: Metallica
Q: How did you get involved in crew? A: Some of my aunts and uncles were involved in junior rowing and collegiate rowing in my home area and they exposed me at a young age to the sport. What really pushed me into it was my math teacher in freshman year of high school, John Pescatore. He was the varsity coach at the time and said that I looked like someone he'd like to see rowing for him some day. So I started rowing
Q: Why did you choose to come to Cal? A: From day one I wanted to row for the best of the best, and CAL is it. Best combination of rowing and academics the nation has to offer.
Q: At the beginning of the season, what is the one thing you most look forward to? What is the thing you dread the most? A: I most look forward to matching up with the other eights and trying to come out on top. I hate pair matrices the most, dreadful things.
Q: What is your pre-race routine/superstition? A: I always listen to Metallica's Black Album and some other heavy metal. And the night before the race I try to watch Top Gun. It gets me pumped up.
Q: What are the last 3 CD's you bought? A: Metallica's Black Album, The Top Gun Anniversary Soundtrack, and the Sounds of the Eighties pack.
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you bring with you, and what 3 things would you want to take? A: I'd have to take one of the co-captains, Shawn Ghatan, with me because it seems like he could get out of anything; like our very own McGeyver. And I'd probably want an inflatable raft, a cell phone, and a paddle.
Q: What is your greatest achievement in crew? A: My greatest achievement in crew was to win the silver in the IRA my freshman year.
Q: What do you do in your spare time? A: Unfortunately I play way too many strategy games. Other than that I spend time with my girlfriend, read, vegetate in front of the TV and hang out with friends.
Q: If you could trade places with anyone (celebrity or not) who would it be? Why? A: The mayor of San Francisco. The city government in my home town has been corrupt for years and has screwed the city up so much it needs a change.
Q: Who/what inspires you? A: My teammates inspire me. I get no bigger thrill or inspiration then the feedback and encouragement of the guys who count on me and have my back.
Q: What is the one song/type of music that you think should be banned from the erg room? A: Country