Cougar of the Week: Brooke Wilson

Photo by Steven Castiglione
Photo by Steven Castiglione

Brooke Wilson (‘16) has been a part of Clark Women’s Rowing team, hails from Alaska, and double majors in Economics and Management. This past weekend, Brooke showed her varsity colors and helped secure the women’s team a top five finish at the team’s regatta this past weekend.

Scarlet: How the season is going so far? I know you had a huge regatta this past weekend.

Brooke: Definitely, this season is going really well. It’s definitely a rebuilding team; we have a lot of people on the novice team. They have gone out and won both their races. Varsity has been doing just as well. This past weekend we showed our prowess, our varsity eight did really well against Mt. Holyoke, and in a couple of weeks we’ll go against them at NEWMACs.

Scarlet: What goes into training as a rower here at Clark University?

Brooke: So there is quite a bit that goes into it. In the winter you’re putting in a lot of time on the erg. During the season you are up at 5 a.m. on the water, up before the sun. There is speed training, and lifting to get us ready. Those dedicated will be in the rowing room in the kneller getting in extra lifts to be better prepared. A lot goes into it and I hope it shows.

Scarlet: Does the team get a lot of recruits who are experienced in rowing?

Brooke: No, a majority of the team are walk-on rowers. Look at our novice class, very few of them have actual experience. My coach is very involved in getting other people, and the captain reaches out to find people. I myself was recruited and I started my freshman year and here I am now.

Scarlet: I’m not to familiar with how a regatta runs, can you give me a rundown of what goes into it?

Brooke: It depends on the type of regatta. The one for this past weekend Clark hosted, usually a school hosts it. Usually it will be varsity eight, then two varsity eight, and then the novice eight. This repeats for the men and women. We don’t have boats that participate in each event but that is the usual way it runs for a regular regatta. A championship regatta is slightly different. It consists of trials and finals, trials in the morning, finals in the afternoon, hour and a half in between them.

Scarlet: What has been the most rewarding aspect from being on the women’s rowing team?

Brooke: I would say the friends I’ve made. The team is small, unique, and a quirky group of women. Knowing that they are by my side no matter what whether we’re on the urg or in the classroom together. I joined the team on sight on scene and they have been a great outlet for me for these past four years.

Scarlet: Enough about rowing. If you were to describe your life as a TV show, which show would it be?

Brooke: I’d say it’s a mash up of House of Cards meets Nashville with a dash of Game of Thrones.

Scarlet: Why those shows?

Brooke: In both House of Cards and Game of Thrones there is a specific theme of competition; I’m a very competitive person. I am also very close with my family and Nashville is a lot like that. I have parents in Alaska, a sister in India, and a brother in Oregon. Maintaining that aspect of family even though I’m really far away.

Scarlet: If you were stranded on an island and could bring two people and one item, who and what would you choose?

Brooke: Oh! I’d say My sister and my brother, the item would be a fire starter. I’d say growing up in Alaska I was taught a lot of useful survival skills, I know it so Alaskan, but I think growing up with my brother and sister who also were taught these things might be useful. A fire starter kit is just an obvious answer.

Scarlet: Do you have any hobbies, or hidden talents?

Brooke: I really like to go hiking, I was here over the summer and went out to Western Mass. and New Hampshire and got to get out in the woods. I don’t really have a lot of hidden talents, I survived Alaska if that’s something.

Scarlet: While at Clark, who has been the most influential person here for you?

Brooke: My coaching staff, both the head and assistant coach. Coach McDonald started four years ago with me. We’ve gotten faster and stronger. He has really changed and transformed what Clark Rowing really is, we are really well know in the community and in the rowing community. My assistant coach rode at WPI and graduated a couple years ago, she has a competitive aspect that resonates with the team. She has helped establish the athletes that we want to be. She also is very young and she really relates to us, and helps us be more dedicated and push past limits I didn’t think I could beat.


Thanks for the interview, Brooke!