Speed5 Interview with Stesha Carl, US W4x

Stesha Carl Stesha Carl's biography

WOLF – Is there a ginger bias in rowing?

CARLE – Well, seeing how I am not a ginger I don't know. I do have red hair, but a true ginger has fair skin and freckles. I can thank my Portuguese heritage for my dark red hair and ability to tan. But let's face it, everyone loves red heads. Except Carrot Top.

WOLF –How long have you been in the in the system before making a senior team?

CARLE – I started training in Princeton in January 2007. I put in a solid year and a half and learned a lot about myself as an athlete before I made the senior team. I was in the non-olympic four in 2008 and last year I was in the quad. [They got a Silver medal at Luzern world cup regatta]

WOLF – How was the transition to sculling after a successful u23 sweep career?

CARLE – Even though I sculled in high school, the biggest transition was realizing how much I had to learn about rowing the single (like placing the blade before you push). When I showed up at the 2006 Fall Speed Order, I ended up placing 39th out of 42 competitors. Later, our coach, Tom asked me if I had ever sculled before. It was very humbling start.

WOLF – What are your thoughts on the upcoming competitiveness of the sculling field both in US selection and internationally?

CARLE – It's very exciting to see our sculling group become more competitive. We have improved so much from the "developmental group" that we were all a part of not so long ago. We keep redefining what sculling in the United States can be. Because of that, I think NSR1 will be more competitive than it has ever been. And as we move closer to Worlds, more scullers will join our training group to help create a faster team.
As for the international field, I can't really be sure. Having Worlds in New Zealand this year makes me wonder if every country will send a full team. If they do not, we might not be able to see a true field until 2011 in Slovenia. Regardless of who shows up, I think everyone on the US sculling team is in the hunt for hardware.

WOLF – We all know there are a ton of practices when you are training , what do you guys do during your down time and what is the living situation like at the Training Center?

CARLE – My living situation is great. I live in a big purple house with a couple sweep rowers located a mile out of town. When I am not rowing, I am either at my part time job at Lindt Chocolate, grilling with teammates or occasionally grabbing a beer in town.

WOLF – Do you prefer the quad , what about the double or even the single ?

CARLE – I like them all. The single is by far the best training tool for both sculling and sweep. The more time I spend in the single, the more I enjoy it.  The double is the boat that we row the most during selection.  I just love the connections that are formed after a grueling 5x2k row.  That's when you really get to know your teammates.  And the quad is fun.  It's fast, for one thing.  And usually four scullers together create a crazy dynamic of hard work and inappropriate jokes.

Thanks again to Sean Wolf for letting us reproduce his interview.  It originally was published on  Rowing Illustrated .

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