May 4, 2010
By Michael Jeremiah
SEATTLE - When the Washington Women's Varsity Eight captured their fourth consecutive Windermere Cup by 17 seconds over Syracuse and Oxford, it secured a perfect Windermere Cup record for senior Adrienne Martelli. It's another top mark for an impressive career at Washington and came during an important regatta for any Husky rower.
The event has always been one of Martelli's favorites, as it's not only a chance to row against competitors from around the world, but also one of the best advertisements for collegiate rowing.
"Every year it's just so exciting because you have so many people that line up along the cut," said Martelli. "It's really a great thing for our sports because it's not recognized as often as some of the other sports. So to just get so much attention and it involves the Seattle community. It's really a great opportunity for our sport."
The regatta was also a great opportunity for the Huskies' to increase their national ranking with a dominating win. Currently ranked seventh, Washington is on the rise and hopes to be peaking at the right time with Pac-10s and the NCAA Championships coming up soon.
Martelli is one of the leaders of the Women's team this year as a senior, and says that the team is ready to take the next step to cement themselves as one of the nation's top crews.
"We need to find more speed," said Martelli. "When we raced against [top-ranked] Cal, we lost by three seconds, which for me, that's a not a lot of time. We are right there. We just have to push it and keep moving forward for the last couple weeks."
She knows what it takes to be successful during the rowing postseason, having captured a silver medal in the Novice Eight as a freshman before earning a Pac-10 and NCAA Championship in the Varsity Four as a sophomore.
As a part of the Varsity Eight for the first time as a junior, Martelli didn't earn a medal for the first time in her career. At the time, Martelli said that they would regroup and use the 2009 NCAA Championships as a starting point for a strong season in 2010.
Martelli made good on that statement in her preparation for her senior year. She trained with the U-23 National team that won a silver medal at the World Championships in the Czech Republic.
National team competitor and NCAA medalist only describes part of Martelli's accomplishments at Washington. The Tacoma, Wash. native is a star in the classroom as well, majoring in Biology with the hopes of attending medical school in the future. Balancing an academic schedule that is mentally taxing with an athletic schedule that takes a massive toll physically has been a challenge that Martelli has navigated well.
"Freshman year it was okay because you're just kind of easing into it," said Martelli. "My sophomore and junior year were just kind of really difficult because you have the big classes and lots of lab hours. I see underclassmen going through the same things I did."
"It was rough, but if I had to do it again, I would do the same thing. I've enjoyed all the classes that I've taken and that I've dedicated myself to this sport as much as I could."
Martelli will finish up her studies and athletic career at Washington this year, but the future is bright in both arenas for the senior.
"My U-23 eligibility is out but I'm going out to Princeton after this to train with the National team for a while and see how that goes," said Martelli. "Hopefully I'll make it to London in 2012 and from there I want to go to Medical School."
There is more work to be done before she takes the next step after college. Over the next few weeks, Martelli has the chance to earn her third medal of her career and help to reaffirm the Huskies on the national scene of women's collegiate rowing.
After four years of dedicating herself to her sport and studies at Washington, Martelli treasures aspects of the crew team that were built off the water as much as on it.
"The sense of camaraderie and being a part of a community," said Martelli. "We've worked out together and spent a lot of time together and I really feel the sense that this is my team and that I've represented it well and been a part of it."
Martelli and the Washington crew teams head to the Pac-10 Championships on Lake Natoma in Cordova, Calif. on May 16th. Fans of Washington Rowing can follow their progress on GoHuskies.com.