See You In Sarasota: Meet the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls

We are pleased to introduce the duo of Emily Schmieg and Michelle Sechser for today’s Get To Know Your 2017 Senior National Team.

Representing Potomac Boat Club and Vesper Boat Club, respectively, Emily and Michelle won the 2017 Senior World Championship Trials earlier this month, earning their spots on the team.

Check out their journey to Sarasota and ongoing training via Instagram: @reginaems and @michellesechser

Fast Facts:

  • Emily represented the U.S. at the 2016 World Rowing Championships, racing to a fifth place finish in the women’s quadruple sculls
  • This marks Michelle’s sixth U.S. National Team appearance, with one Pan-Am team and five senior teams.
  • Emily is a legal assistant, coffee lover and two-time winner of Best Female Sculler at Potomac Boat Club
  • Michelle has her masters degree in business administration
  • Both Emily and Michelle’s favorite dessert is gelato

Who inspires you and why?

ES: Serena Williams; to be the best in your sport, dominate on and off the court. You see the aggression and the power, she isn’t afraid to be strong.

MS: All the women who have come before me, forging the way as strong role models. So many powerful women have set such a high bar, showing me just how powerful and fast lightweight women can be.

What do you wish you would’ve known as a novice rower?

ES: That sculling is better than sweeping

MS: I wish I had known just how fast the rowers at the top of the sport are. In each step of my rowing career, it’s been so eye-opening to be exposed to a whole new level of speed. It’s important to keep perspective of how much faster others are, and then use that to realize how much faster you can be. In high school, I thought I was fast because I went 7:18 on a 2k erg. Then I learned that there are lightweight women who can go sub-7 minutes. It opened my eyes to make me realize if other lightweight women could break 7 minutes, then I could do it too. It was very motivating.

What is your favorite rowing memory?

ES: The repechage at the Olympic Trials 2016. We were sitting in second with 750 to go and only the winner moving on. Had one of those moments where I could have given up or gone for it, and I went for it and caught the leader right at the line to move on.

MS: My favorite rowing memory was World Cup in Lucerne with Devery Karz in the LW2x. We were in last in the final and had the sprint of our lives to move into third place for bronze. It was exhilarating!

In what ways has rowing helped you, outside of the boat?

ES: Rowing, especially at the club level, has helped me with self-discipline. It’s on me to get the work in and I see that carry through my work life. It helps keep me on time and on task.

MS: It has shown me how rewarding it can be to truly and completely go “all in” on chasing a big dream. It’s terrifying and makes you feel pretty vulnerable to have one big goal mean everything to you, but it has been such a meaningful journey.

If you could be any animal what would you be, and why?

ES: Duck. Best of both worlds: flying and swimming.

MS: Regatta dog! I’d get to be around rowing all day and have an endless supply of belly rubs.

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