April 30, 2013
CalBears.com recently sat down with Kendall Chase as the freshman discussed a variety of topics, including her adjustment to college and why she chose California.
Cal Bears: When did you start rowing and what first made you interested in the sport?
Kendall Chase: I Started rowing the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school. One of my soccer teammates played hockey with a girl who rowed. Her mom mentioned that I might enjoy and excel in the sport so I attended rowing camp that summer. When I started rowing, all the other sports took a back seat and rowing became my priority.
CB: What other sports did you compete in during high school?
KC: I also played volleyball, golf, soccer, basketball. I felt that I would have the best career in rowing and that I could go farther with it.
CB: Why did you choose to attend Cal?
KC: I am from California originally. When I came to Cal on my visit, the team environment seemed really fun place and I wanted to be a part of this program for four years. I felt like I fit in here more than any other school.
CB: After spending most of your childhood in Colorado, what are you family ties to California?
KC: I was born in California and moved to Colorado when I was three. Most of my family is still in California. I have a lot of connections to the area. I am away from home, but I still have a piece of home here.
CB: Has college life been what you expected so far?
KC: I came into college not knowing what to expect. I took a course load I thought I could handle in the fall to help me adjust better. Adapting to college along with rowing has been a smooth transition so far for me?
CB: How has the transition to college rowing been for you?
KC: Racing is racing. The thing that stands out with collegiate rowing vs. junior rowing is overall competitiveness. You reach a certain level where everyone in Division I is super skilled and spot on. When you race, it comes down to who wants to win and whoever wants it the most is going to pull the hardest and come out first.
CB: Has your experience been on the varsity eight as a freshman?
KC: I wasn't sure where I would stand among everyone. I knew the competition on team was really high. I set my goals high and aimed for the top boat. I said to myself I was going to compete and just see what happens and I started rowing with the varsity group. When I started stroking the varsity, I focused on learning from everyone around me since I was the young one. I continue to look up to them.
CB: What do you like most about rowing?
KC: Even though rowing is one of the hardest sports out there pain-wise, the gratification you get from winning a race masks all the pain you put yourself through during practice and through the race. Personally, that is why I row. The gratification of winning is unparalleled, compared to winning a basketball game or getting a low score in golf.
CB: Define your experience at Cal so far?
KC: Coming to college, I have grown and matured a lot as a person. Coming from high school and junior level, it is an eye opening experience. It has helped prepare me with a real-life experience. I have to plan out my life with academics, rowing and additional activities.
CB: What have you learned from the Cal coaching staff?
KC: You can never stop improving. You put the team on your back, the results that you have on the erg or on the water directly affect your teammates. It is a real team environment.