May 19, 2005
STANFORD, Ca. - Sophomore Meredith Coleman (Piedmont, Ca) is the stroke seat of Stanford's 4th-ranked varsity lightweight eight. Before coming to the Farm, Coleman helped lead the Oakland Strokes club crew to a number of victories, including the 2003 national championships. The Cardinal crew is currently preparing for the IRA national championships to be held on June 3-4. She sat down with GoStanford.com to answer some questions.
How did you become involved in rowing?
I didn't really know what crew was when I started rowing. A friend suggeted that I go to a rowing camp because she had gone before and said it was fun. I thought that "rowing camp" meant rowing in rowboats and I was really excited. By the time I figured out I was sadly mistaken, it was too late to get my money back. By the time the week was over though, I had completely fallen in love with crew. Plus I was a natural, I think I only caught 12 crabs that week.
What made you decide to come to Stanford?
I was thinking about going to small liberal-arts schools on the east coast. But my coach recommended I think about rowing in college. Crew was enough a part of my life that I wanted to be part of a competitive program. I ultimately decided that I didn't want to spend winters on the east coast and the Stanford Lightweight crew team was just developing which was really exciting for me.
What are your pre-race rituals?
I always have to eat a Luna Bar. I also have a lucky pair of sunglasses.
What has been your greatest rowing achievement?
Winning the 2003 USRowing Youth Invitationals Lightweight 8. But my favorite race was the 2002 SW Jr regional championships. Our program hadn't won for awhile so it was amazing and unexpected. It was a sign of great things to come. I went from one year of being really bad at rowing to stroking the varsity boat.
Who/What inspires you?
(Teammate) Cady Kintner. She is awesome. It's amazing that she's only been rowing for four years and she's one of the best rowers I've ever met in my life.
How is rowing in college different than rowing in high school?
It's fun to be on a school team. In high school my team was unaffiliated with my high school which was good for meeting other people but there wasn't always as a good sense of cohesion. It's nice to be representing Stanford. It's definitely harder but you would expect that.
What is your nickname?
Arby. On a team full of healthnuts I like junk food, specifically processed foods of all types.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Reading. My favorite book is Youth in Revolt. RIght now I am reading, Under the Banner of Heaven.
You have the national championships coming up. What are your thoughts on IRAs and the competition?
I am more excited about this nationals than ever before. I think we have the potential to do some great things. The final will be full of a lot of fast boats.