Alumni athletes: Q&A with rower Sarah Brunsberg (’17)


University of Pennsylvania rower and former varsity crew captain, Sarah Brunsberg (’17), discusses her transition into competing at a collegiate level with Sports Editor Jonathan Sheves.

Tell me about your season so far.

The fall season was OK. There were ups and downs but I think that I’ve made loads of progress, and so has the team. Winning the Head of the Schuylkill and the Navy Day Regatta, our two home races, was good for the team.

What has been the hardest adjustment you’ve had to make so far?

Everything in college is more intense. The academics are harder, the training is harder and there’s more time spent in all aspects of training and recovery. It’s a big time and energy commitment and you have to make sure that you’re balancing everything because nothing is easy.

What do you think is the biggest difference between participating in varsity crew at ASL when compared to competing at a collegiate level?

The biggest difference is that all around, the atmosphere is a lot more intense.

What’s been your favorite part about competing in college?

It’s been really fun to be a part of a bigger team with strong goals and a strong team culture. There’s a lot of opportunity and it’s inspirational to be a part of such a big team with some really talented, older athletes.

How difficult has it been to manage your time between sports and academics?

It’s definitely quite difficult, and you kind of have to force yourself sometimes to do work, or go to bed, or whatever you need to do because you know that it will benefit you tomorrow. It’s a lot of time management and making smart decisions while trying to make your future self happier. I try to make sure to prioritize what’s important and have goals in mind of how I want my life to go.

Take me through your daily schedule

On weekdays, I usually have two practices. In the morning, I’ll have indoor practice on the rowing machines. [I’ll] then take a shower, eat breakfast [and] go to class. I have one morning class, a break for lunch and then two classes in the afternoon.Then, right after my last class, [I’ll] go to another practice which might be lifting with the team in the afternoon.

How can you improve going into next season?

Staying healthy, putting in the required work, and having a positive attitude. I need to stay on top of my academics and make smart decisions. It helps having a team and a schedule, and I I follow everything with the right attitude it’ll lead to success.


Written by Sports Editor Jonathan Sheves

Photo from Sarah Brunsberg