Everyday Champion - Celia Magistrale

May 17, 2010

Celia Magistrale came to Oregon State with an idea that she wanted to row and study biology. A natural leader, Magistrale has served as a coxswain on the women’s rowing team for four seasons, guiding Oregon State boats to some of the best accomplishments in program history. While at Oregon State, she’s decided she wants to be a leader in the classroom and on the field as well.  Next season, while she finishes her degree, Magistrale will serve as a volunteer assistant with the women’s rowing team before she enters graduate school with the hopes of becoming a future physical education teacher.


As this week’s Everyday Champion, Magirstrale took some time to discuss her life at Oregon State and her future plans.


Why did you choose to come to Oregon State?

“I came to Oregon State, first of all because it was close to home.  I’m kind of a homebody.  My sister came here.  She’s a year and a half older than I am so it was a pretty good fit to come here.  I had heard about the rowing program through some family friends and decided I wanted to try it out and this was the place to go.”


How did you hear about the rowing program?

“I actually had a friend in high school whose older sister was a coxswain here at Oregon State a few years ago and they encouraged me to try out for the team and I took the PAC class.  She loved the experience when she was here and she was small and a good leader.  They saw my leadership skills through basketball and soccer in high school and thought that I would be a good fit and should try it out.”


What’s it been like rowing for Coach Ford?

“Rowing for Coach Ford has been great.  I think she’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had.  She doesn’t only build you physically but helps build your character as well.  There have been many life lessons that she has taught me and the team has taught me that I don’t think I’d be able to find anywhere else.”


What is your role as coxswain during practice and during the race?

“So basically we’re the Coach in the boat.  We give any type of technical feedback to the rowers that we can.  On race day, especially, there’s no contact with the coaches as soon as we push off from the dock so it’s all on me.  I run the entire warm-up and make sure it’s timed correctly and that were at the starting line at the right time.  I make sure they are warmed up and ready to go.  I steer the boat all the time but during the race I just make sure I’m steering as straight as I can.  I also help call the race plan and motivate them to keep going.”


What have you taken from the sports you played in high school to being a coxswain now?

“Just having a leadership role on my teams in high school I’ve always been that person my teammates have looked to for guidance.  Having that kind of leadership capabilities has really helped me as a coxswain and also just being able to work with all types of people.  I went to David Douglas High School and it’s a very diverse area so just learning how to work with people and get to know them and get to know what get’s them going has really helped.”


What surprised you about Oregon State once you got here?

“What’s surprised me is how small it actually is.  It’s a lot bigger than high school but once you get used to the town you realize that it’s a pretty small town.  Everyone here is associated with the University.  Anywhere you go you hear that someone is an alum or in this class or working here so it’s cool how interconnected everyone is.”


What’s your plan for after this year?

“I’m going to finish out the rest of my degree and minor next year so I have a fifth year of undergrad.  Then my hope is to get into the masters P.E. teaching program here at Oregon State and hopefully after that get a job as a P.E. and health teacher somewhere.”


How have you been active in volunteering while here at OSU?

“I have helped with P.E. Majors Club in Girls on the Run and helped facilitate that event.  Also, we’ve worked with the fall kid’s carnival and set up booths and done activities with the kids there.  We’ve gone to Jefferson Elementary School and did a Mix It Up program with them.  We went and played and talked about our sports and what it’s like being an athlete.”


Do you plan on staying involved with Oregon State once you leave?

“Absolutely. I’ll be coaching with a novice team next year so hopefully that will help with my transition from not being on the team to helping out in some way.  I’ll try and stay involved in any way that I can. The program means so much to me.”


How did you get the coaching job?

“There had been previous athletes that were finishing out their degree and they had helped out with Coach Maxim and it was something that I had mentioned to the coaches my sophomore and junior year. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to finish in four years so I asked if there would be something that I could do.  They really liked the idea and so we all just kind of worked together to make that happen.”


How do you balance your life as a student athlete?

“A balance is the hardest part about it.  I’d say just being able to manage your time and make use of any little moment you can have.  It’s been hard because when you really don’t want to and are tired and want to take a nap you have to take your books out and start studying, start doing something earlier than you would have wanted to because there might not be time later to do it.”