Pac-10 Q&A with Erica Lewis, Washington State Rowing

Jan. 14, 2009

Getting to Know Erica Lewis

Starting her junior campaign for the Cougars this fall, Lewis contributed to a first-place boat finish in the open four, as well as a couple of second places in the open pair and collegiate eight NightSprint final at the Head of the Oklahoma. Sitting in the bow seat, Lewis also guided the varsity eight to a runner-up finish at the Head of the Lake. Last season, Lewis competed in the varsity eight that took first in four regattas: Head of the Oklahoma, Head of the Spokane, Head of the Snake and Head of the Lake. Her varsity eight boat was victorious for the third consecutive time in the dual regatta against Washington. Lewis's varsity eight crew nabbed third place at the 2008 Pacific-10 Conference Championships, after which it raced to a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Courtesy of

The sport you're worst at... Anything involving balls flying at me. I've tried many sports that require hand-eye coordination - tennis, racquetball, basketball. They're all really demoralizing. Racquetball doubles

With which of your teammates would you like to trade places for a day and why?... A coxswain. I'm not picky about which one! Believe it or not, I wouldn't want to trade places with the coxswain just for the sake of being lazy. Rather, I'd love to get her perspective of a boat and experience the process of looking for things that stand out. Coxswain are always looking for the subtleties of a boat, such as slight off-pacing, an oar that doesn't line up, a crew member's body position that is out of alignment, etc.


Favorite Washington State memory... Watching the 2008 NCAA selections with my team  was a pretty memorable experience. We huddled up in the team conference room and waited with great anticipation for our program to be announced. There was huge celebration after we learned that we did, indeed, qualify for the Championship regatta. Though Washington State had raced in the NCAAs previously, last year's Championship was the first time I qualified for the regatta. 2008 NCAA Rowing icon
What is the best advice you've received and who from?... My mom has always told me to focus on living in the moment, here and now. The past has passed and the future is uncertain. All we can control is the present. If you do things right now, it might just set you up for a better tomorrow! This mentality has certainly helped me during winter training, when morale tends to be challenged.
Something about yourself that others would be surprised to hear... I don't walk on sidewalk cracks. I don't do it intentionally - I guess it's just a stigma I had as a child that has since turned into a subconscious action. My friends comment on it a lot. Sidewalk cracks
Favorite moment in a competition... Crossing the finish line! I fill the bow seat, which means I am the first to cross the line. With 10 meters to go in a race, I look back and can't wait to be done. We are in so much pain and agony by the end of a heat!
What you're reading... I just finished a John Grisham novel - I can't remember the title, but it is a fairly recent book. I read it during training camp in Sacramento [Calif., at Pac-10 Championship site Lake Natoma]. It was so refreshing to read a novel for fun rather than academic study. John Grisham novel
Favorite athlete to watch... I enjoy watching [the WSU] men's basketball team. As someone who attempted the sport in my youth, I respect the strategy that the game requires. It's also cool to see the athletes' physicality and high jumps. Washington State Men
Best community outreach experience... I've participated in a few community service projects that have been rewarding. Once or twice a year, our rowing team takes part in food drive sponsored by the United States Postal Service. We always participate during the holiday drive, but sometimes we're good for a second drive earlier in the year. I have also contributed to reading buddies, which involves reading aloud to first- and second-grade elementary students. I am really looking forward to my next service opportunity - teaching fitness programs to the disabled community.
If you were stranded on an island, what are the three essentials you'd need to have?... 1. Music - probably by my favorite 'chill' artists like OAR and Dave Matthews; 2. Food of any type, except deep fried; 3. A friend, though I won't specify which one! OAR Album Cover
Favorite workout... Steady State. I like rowing at a steady pace for an hour or so, completely zoned out.
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