Getting To Know Martha Helgeland
In the days leading up to the NCAA National Championships, members of Cal Women's Crew are highlighted. Each member discusses some of their favorite things, why they chose Cal and what they do to prepare for a race. Today, senior co-captain Martha Helgeland is profiled.
Helgeland, along with junior Remy Hitomi, serves as the team captain for the No. 1 ranked Bears. She has helped lead the varsity eight to its second straight Jessop-Whittier Cup and its first Pac-10 title since 1979. The Bears are undefeated going into this weekend's NCAAs and are looking to cap off an incredible year with a national title.
Name: Martha HelgelandPosition: currently 7 seat in v8, co-captainFavorite... Movie: As Good As It Gets and Shawshank Redemption TV show: Alias Athlete: Marion Jones Sport to watch (on TV or in person): Biathalon Food: Pasta and Sushi Band/Artist: I like most music except techno
Q: How did you get involved in crew?A: I met this really cute guy the summer before high school,and decided to join the rowing club because he was a member.
Q: Why did you choose to come to Cal?A: I wanted to go to a school with both a good rowing teamand a good academic program. And I had a friend on the men'steam,and since I couldn't go on recruiting visits, it feltsafer to come to Cal. I also talked to Dave on the phone,and he seemed like a very good coach, which ultimately wasthe most important thing.
Q: At the beginning of the season, what is the one thing youmost look forward to? What is the thing you dread the most?A: I like working out, I'm not just looking to racing. Racing makesme nervous. But I like to win. What I dread the most is erging, althoughthis year it wasn't so bad.
Q: What is your pre-race routine/superstition?A: Nothing really. I like eating seedless grapes, becauseI'm scared of getting hungry on the water, and I can't really eat anythingsubstantial when I'm nervous. This year I've gooten in the habit of clutching6 seat's (Laura Terheyden) foot right before thestart, and now I feel like I have to do it. I guess that's kind of stupid.
Q: What are the last 3 CD's you bought?A: I don't really buy cds anymore; I like to burn my own.
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, who would youbring with you, and what 3 things would you want to take?A: I would bring Ghandi or someone else amazing to tell stories, and thenI would bring a radio transmitter, a cell phone and one of those red thingsyou shoot up in the air when you're in trouble. That way I could make sureto get back home when I was tired of tanning and swimming and stories aboutsaving the world.
Q: What is your greatest achievement in crew?A: I think when we placed third at NCAA two years ago, I was really happy.But I guess my biggest acheivement was when I won junior worlds in the doublescull in 99. but it's a long time ago, and I'm looking to do somthing this yearto be proud of.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?A: Most of the time I eat and sleep, but I also like to play hearts over theinternet.
Q: If you could trade places with anyone (celebrity or not)who would it be? Why?A: I wouldn't mind to get rich , but I think I'd rather trade places with someonewho workes in the UN, perhaps Kofi Annan's secretary or something. That way I couldlearn a lot and travel the world and hopefully do something good.
Q: Who/what inspires you?A: A lot of things, but I have to say that disabled kids are amazing. I usedto travel with this girl who was in a wheelchair and couldn't do anything onher own, but she was on the national team for boccia (a paralympics event) andalways laughed. That was inspiring.
Q: What is the one song/type of music that you think should bebanned from the erg room?A: Monotonous techno
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