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Q&A With Women's Rower Julie Smetana

Dec. 7, 2007

Gonzaga University women's rower Julie Smetana is in her final season on the Bulldog squad. The senior from Lansford, N.D. has had a successful career as a Zag. As a freshman, she was a member of the novice four that won the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championship and was inserted into the varsity four line-up for the Grand Finale at the WIRA Championships. The varsity four finished third that year. As a sophomore, Smetana moved up to the varsity eight boat and helped it place second at the West Coast Conference Championships and third at the WIRA Championships. Last season, she rowed in the varsity four that won the WCC Championship and was a part of the junior varsity eight that placed second at the WIRA Championship.

Q- Why rowing?
A- I wanted to stay involved athletically and rowing seemed like a great opportunity to challenge myself and try something new.

Q- What is the training like?
A- The training is intense, but extremely gratifying and rewarding. It teaches you to push yourself to your full potential every day. Also, it serves as a great tool for learning how to manage and budget your time.

Q- Why did you choose to participate in such a demanding sport?
A- I think part of me just wanted to see if I could handle it. I knew that it would be able to teach me things about myself that I could not have learned elsewhere. Also, I knew that it would provide me with an opportunity to go through challenges in a team atmosphere, making incredible friendships along the way.

Q- Is Gonzaga Rowing a Division I sport?
A- yes

Q- Do you find it hard to balance your time?
A- I actually think that if I wasn't in crew, I would have a harder time balancing my time. Crew forces me to prioritize and organize my schedule around what is most important, consequently I have been able to successfully take a full load of credits every semester and still have time to hang out with friends.

Q-How was your fall season?
A- Fall season was exciting this year both on and off the water. It was amazing to see our progression as a team. We made big strides on the race course and during practice. I think that we are starting to realize just how much potential we have to take it to the next level (NCAA's).