Dutchman of the Week: Tommy Gagliardi ’19

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Hometown: Armonk, NY

Major: Biochemistry Minor: Sociology

Clubs/Activities: Gagliardi is involved with Colleges Against Cancer, the Chemistry Club and is a fellow in the Writing Center.

Q: Can you briefly explain how you started rowing?

A: I never thought I would be a rower. I knew very little about the sport until I first came to college. A football and baseball player in high school, I knew I wanted to play a sport in college. In the fall of my first year, I remember thinking about how cool it could be to go out and row boats every afternoon. I talked to the crew coach, went to a practice and found out it was fun after all. I’ve been doing it ever since and now it’s all about making the boats go really fast.

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A: Oh, I absolutely do. For starters, I wear the same pair of Union socks every race day (and only on race day) because they’re lucky as far as I’m concerned. I have a dynamic warm-up routine like everyone else, and then once we’re getting lined up for the race I have to tighten all of my straps in my seat in the boat like three times before I feel confident to race. I also fist bump all of the guys in the boat before going out to race.

Q: What are some of your favorite things about being on the crew team?

A: My favorite thing about the crew team is my teammates. We all click very well and it’s great to have those guys to hang out with every day. My other favorite aspect of the crew team is being able to literally be on a boat in a river on a beautiful day just appreciating nature.

Q: What has been the highlight of your crew career so far?

A: Before last weekend, I would’ve said State Championships with the Novice Eight boat last spring (it was a very intense race), but now I would say this year’s Liberty League Championships because our varsity boat was dialed in for this race for a long time. We were going up against some seriously tough crews like Hobart, RIT, Rochester and St. Lawrence, but we stepped up and took third for the day. It was a crazy race and we pulled ahead of Rochester with about 100 meters left out of a 2000-meter race.

Q: What are some of your favorite things about Union?

A: I would say Union’s close-knit campus atmosphere is just great. I also love the small class size and being able to connect with professors on a personal level.

Q: What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

A: Hands down, my favorite thing to eat on campus are the breakfast wraps at Dutch Hollow. It’s the perfect breakfast before class.

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in the Schenectady area and why?

A: Sticking with the breakfast theme, I would say Peter Pause always hits the spot and is great because it’s right next to campus.

Q: If your teammates were to give you a superlative, what would it be?

A: They would probably give me “most likely to get way too excited for practice.”

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