Everyday Champion - Alina Haberstroh

April 9, 2009

Everyday Champion - Alina Haberstroh

When you think of collegiate rowing on the West Coast, you think Montlake Cut, the San Diego Crew Classic or Lake Natoma. You probably don't think Pendleton, Ore. In fact this week's everyday champion Alina Haberstroh didn't think collegiate rowing growing up in Pendleton until she arrived on the OSU campus.

'I didn't have any experience with rowing before coming to Oregon State,' Haberstroh said. 'I wanted to do a varsity sport when I went to college, so when I arrived at OSU I looked at all the different sports and I saw you could sign up for a rowing physical activity course and then tryout for the team.'

Haberstroh, a senior pre-pharmacy major with a 3.25 cumulative GPA, doesn't even fit the mold of a collegiate rower in terms of physical stature at 5'6', but that hasn't stopped her from being a vital member of the Varsity-8 crew, which is ranked No. 14 in the nation this week.

'I don't really think it matters how tall you are, it's more about how hard you work.' Haberstroh, one of the shortest members of the team, said.

The former walkon has earned a scholarship and intends to continue with her education in pharmacy school.

I'm a senior right now, so I will graduate in the spring,' she said. 'Then my plan is to start Pharmacy school in a four-year program in the fall of 2010, hopefully at Oregon State.'

Add Haberstroh as yet another OSU student-athlete that has grasped an opportunity to compete in athletics to make herself, her teammates and the university a better place.

More with Alina Haberstroh....

Q. Did you have an experience being on the water before you got here?
A. I liked to canoe and to go fishing, but I never had any on the water experience before.

Q. What is your position in the boat and what is it responsible for?
A. For the past three races I have been in the bow seat. The bow seat doesn't really have any more responsibility than any of the other positions.

Q. If you were recruiting a non-rower, what would you say?
A. If I saw someone who had never rowed before and they were tall, I would ask them if they had previous experience in athletics, if they are competitive and if they liked to work hard. If that was the case, they should try rowing.

Q. What's the best part of being on the rowing team?
A. The best part about being on the rowing team is the camaraderie.

Q. Describe what it's like during a race...
A. During an actual race it is really intense. There are boats on either side of your boat and there are a lot of distractions with coxswains from other crews calling out. You have to focus on your boat and listen to what your coxswain is instructing.

Q. Are you going to stay involved in this sport after you're done?
A. I don't think I will stay involved in rowing competitively. Hopefully one day I will be able to join the masters program just to stay with it.

Q. What is catching a crab during a race, and have you ever done it?
A. Catching a crab is when your blade gets stuck down deep under the water. It throws the whole boat off and it will get sucked down into whichever side it's happening on. A lot of the times the handle of the oar will hit the rower, this happens really quick, and the oar will go back behind you and it can actually stop the whole boat -- that's a boat stopping crab. Sometimes people will catch partial crabs and be able to recover. I have never caught a crab during a race, but during practice I have.

Q. How did you get interested in pharmacy?
A. What first got me interested in pharmacy was when I was a junior in high school I was thinking about what I wanted to do. I really liked science and I wanted to do something in the medical field. I didn't want to be a doctor or a nurse, so pharmacy seemed to be a good fit for me. I looked into it and I really liked what it was all about.

Q. After you get your pharmacy degree, what's next?
A. I really don't know what I am going to do after I get my Pharmacy degree. I don't think I will go back to Pendleton. I enjoyed growing up there, but I don't really want to return. I would probably stay in the Northwest though.

Q. What was it like growing up in Pendleton?
A. I really liked growing up in Pendleton. I liked living in a small town, but it wasn't too small.

Q. Were you a varsity athlete at Pendleton?
A. I was on the varsity basketball team my senior year and I was also on the varsity cross country team for four years.

Q. What made you decide to attend Oregon State?
A. Originally, I decided to come to Oregon State because I wanted to do my undergrad at the same school where I wanted to go to Pharmacy school. At the time Oregon State was the only school that had a pharmacy program.

Q. How has your OSU experience been?
A. My experience has absolutely been positive.

Q. How have you been so successful in the classroom?
A. Time management is something I have learned over the past four years.

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