Dutchwoman of the Week: Ally Insero ’18

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(Courtesy of Union Athletics)
(Courtesy of Union Athletics)

Hometown: Albany, New York
Major:  Biology
Sport: Women’s Crew

Q: When did you start rowing and what got you interested in it?
A:  I started rowing the summer before my freshman year of college. A few of my cousins had rowed throughout high school and college and it was something they really seemed to enjoy so I wanted to try it out for myself. I had taken a quick Learn To Row Class that summer and fell in love.

Q: Where are your favorite and least favorite places to compete?
A: My favorite races to compete in are the larger regattas, like Head of the Fish in Saratoga Springs and Head of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia. Being surrounded by so many talented teams is an amazing learning experience and the excitement surrounding the spectators and rowers is amazing. I do not think there is a specific place where I do not like to compete, but the races I seem to dislike the most are the races with the worst weather, like torrential downpours and wind speeds so high that whitecaps form on the river.

Q : What kinds of thoughts run through your mind during a tough race ?
A : I cannot really say word-for-word what runs through my mind during a tough race. Usually, my mind is so focused on staying in time with the other rowers and pulling my hardest that I do not really think of anything other than “pull”.

Q: What are your team’s main strengths and weaknesses?
A:  One of our greatest strengths is our connection as teammates. In a sport where timing and synchronization are crucial to creating speed in the boat, having a connection with one’s teammates is of utmost importance. One of our weaknesses happens to be getting up in the morning. For a sport where early morning practices and races are quite common, getting up in the morning is a big struggle.

Q: What’s one thing people may be surprised to know about the women’s crew team?
A:  Crew is a sport that succeeds with tall people. Many would be surprised to hear that the average height on our women’s crew team happens to be around 5’7”, compared to other college crew teams with an average height between 5’9”-5’10”.

Q: How do you think being on the women’s crew team is preparing you for your future endeavors?
A:  Like any sport, one of the first things one learns is time-management and teamwork. These skills can go a long way in the real-world and significantly makes life easier in a work environment.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Union?
A: My favorite thing about Union has to be the professors. I have never met a group of people more willing to not only help students with their academic success, but also support their students at athletic events. This is one of the main reasons I decided to come to Union.

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