Jaspers Talk: Lisa Angeles

Lisa Angeles joined the women’s rowing team when she was a freshman. For four years she has been row six seat in the Women’s 8+ and bow in the Women’s 4+. Now, as the only senior on the team, she looks back on her four years here and towards her future at law school.

Lisa Angeles, right, is the only graduating senior on the rowing team. Lisa Angeles/Courtesy

The Quadrangle: When did you join the MC rowing team and why?

Lisa Angeles: I joined the rowing team my very first day of college thanks to the Class of 2016 Facebook page. After watching videos of the Olympic women, I was completely hooked.

TQ: How did you feel before your first race? When is your last race and how do you feel about it approaching?

LA: I wish I remembered my first race. I was so nervous that I blanked out the whole way through. My last race in Manhattan green is May 15th at the MAAC Championship. I try not to think about it.

TQ: You were the only senior on the rowing team this year, did that feel strange or difficult for you?

LA: It’s a team that’s building, and that’s not something you’re doing. Everyone gets to say “next year, next year” to a lot of things. That’s not a reality for you. There are a lot of concessions, but there is so much beauty in seeing the sport you love grow at your alma mater. I’m confident that one day I’ll get to see my team cross the finish first with my name on the bow.

TQ: What do you want to do with your degree?

LA: I’m a Psychology major with a General Business minor. The plan so far is to take a gap year, and attend law school. I believe in the idea that each of us can make a practical impact on our world. A Juris Doctor (J.D.) would allow me to help others to the best of my abilities.

TQ: What has been the best part of being on the team?

LA: I spent my first two years rowing with Chelsea Ernst. I was genuinely upset when she graduated my sophomore year. Our first team meeting of my junior year, Chelsea walks into Draddy. All I could say was, “Aren’t you supposed to be in Albany?!” I had my suspicions that the team was hiding something from me, but not that Chelsea would be our new assistant coach. She has been such an amazing resource since I started rowing. She’s been in our boats so she knows our team’s weaknesses inside and out. Every time she tells me to work on something, I have not a single doubt in her judgement. That’s what rowing is all about: that unique experience with a unique set of women that builds an incomparable bond.

TQ: Do you plan on rowing in your post-college life too?

LA: Rowing is a special sport. It’s the only one where, with confidence, you blindly go backwards while fully exhausting your physical capabilities. It’s hard not to apply such a metaphor to your own life. We can never see the future, but we must push our hardest in hopes that our best efforts will put us in the position we desire to be. In a way, you can say that I am and always will be rowing.