More Than Just An Athlete

by Tori JamesStaff Writer

From balancing residents, rowing, and radiology, Morgan Seger, junior allied health major, spends her Sunday nights on duty in Chrysostom Hall preparing for her 5:00 a.m. practice the next day.

Not only is she a Division I athlete, Seger also has the commitments of being a new member of the Manhattan College crew team and a resident advisor.

As of this year, the Manhattan’s women’s crew team is officially a DI sport — making them eligible to compete in the NCAA tournament. Prior to this semester, it only had four members. Now the men’s and women’s teams have roughly 30 combined athletes, many of which are new and eager to start the season like Seger.

“When I joined the team I had no experience with rowing,” she said. “It always sounded interesting to me and this year I saw the opportunity to join and took it. The relationship between everyone on the team was what really appealed to me. The coaches were so welcoming to newcomers, even if they were like me and had no experience. They were excited to see a novice.”

Seger, along with the rest of the team, wakes up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to leave by 5:00 a.m. for the drive to its boathouse in New Jersey. Practices consist of working with coaches Jim Fully and Chelsea Ernst to improve rowing, strength training and building the team dynamic for the synchronization needed to win.

“It’s definitely a commitment to get up and get there,” Seger said, “but the practices are so refreshing. The coaches are super organized and always supportive. They’re on their game all the time, extremely positive and really just want to see us do better and grow.”

It is recognized throughout the athletic department that pupils are students first and athletes after, but Seger faces the dilemma of also being an RA. Since she is in Chrysostom Hall, she is required to be on duty two to three nights a week every week.

“It’s all about balance,” she said. “Once you find that balance and figure out how your week works, it becomes a system.”

The women’s crew team will compete in several cities in New England and the Tri State area, including the Metropolitan Championship in New Rochelle and the MAAC tournament in upstate New York.

“One of the best parts is the fact that we get to travel and go to meets,” Seger said, “and see new cities where other teams row. It’s always such a cool experience and I can’t wait to experience more of what it’s like.”

Seger elaborated on the difficulties of crew and how underestimated of a sport it is, especially as a newcomer. Between the technique, the endurance, the energy and the synchronization needed between the team itself, the sport has proven to be extremely intensive.

“It’s all about rhythm and uniformity,” she said. “Once you all collectively function as a unit, that’s half the battle.”

Despite her busy schedule and RA duties, Seger is excited to see what lies ahead for Manhattan’s crew team.

“It’s a culture, being part of a rowing team,” she said. “Just seeing how many people love the sport and the work you put towards it. I loved seeing how many people were like me and what I can aspire to become in the future.”