PHILADELPHIA - Senior Mike Fisher was voted as the 2011 team captain of the University of Pennsylvania men's lightweight rowing team earlier this summer. PennAthletics.com provides this opportunity to get to know Mike as well as his insights about the team.
Penn Athletics: What were your thoughts on the team’s performance and effort throughout last year?
Mike Fisher: The overall effort that our team put forth last year was great. I believe we took the necessary steps throughout the year to put ourselves in the position to race well with any of our competitors. That being said, our results were not always indicative of this effort. Looking back on the results from last year there were many bright spots for all our boats. Our freshman crew led the way with many good races, and that was exactly what we expected from them. On the varsity side, every boat performed to the best of their abilities, and this was shown through some great racing throughout the year.
PA: Nick Baker just finished his second season as head coach. What are your thoughts on the direction of the program?
MF: It has been apparent from day one that Coach Baker has very high hopes and aspirations for Penn Lightweight Rowing. Whether its day-to-day operations, recruiting, or coaching on the water, I know and trust that Coach Baker has the experience and knowledge to make the right decisions that will make us a contender in the league for years to come. Having such a great freshman class this past year is proof that we are an up-and-coming team, and I believe the incoming freshman class will further this point this year. Although we may be an up-and coming-team, in no way am I considering this a rebuilding year, and I fully expect to be competitive and successful in all of our races.
PA: What has the lightweight team been doing over the summer? How have they been preparing for the upcoming year?
MF: After the Eastern Sprints in May, we all went our separate ways for the summer. Although we all had different plans, I believe that everyone went into their summer hungry to stay in shape in order to make this upcoming year as successful as possible. We had many teammates doing internships in various fields, along with a bunch of guys rowing for summer programs in Philly and elsewhere. All in all, guys are excited to get back onto campus and start training as a team again.
PA: You spent part of your summer training with the Canadian National Team, how was that experience?
MF: The experience I gained this summer while training in British Columbia was extremely valuable, and eye opening. Although I wasn’t selected to represent Canada at the U23 World Championships, it certainly was not a waste. I learned many different rowing and training styles that I will be able to pass onto our guys at Penn, and if anything, not being as successful as I wanted left me motivated to train that much harder to improve myself, and better the team as a whole.
PA: What are some of the goals that you and the team are setting for next season?
MF: The goal to me has always been simple: to win races. However, the main goal is always our league championships: The Eastern Sprints. We want to get back into the A final, and if we can do that, then anything can happen. The competitiveness of our league shows that on any given day, anyone can win. Although the Sprints is always in the back of our minds, a more short term goal for the fall season is to be top 5 at the Head of the Charles for the Varsity 8, and top 5 in all boats at the Princeton Chase.
PA: How does it feel to be selected as a team captain for a program with such an illustrious history?
MF: It is an honor and a privilege to be selected by my teammates as captain for the 2011-2012 season. I know that because of this illustrious history that there are alumni that care about the program and want to see it succeed. I hope to help this team propel itself back to the top of the Eastern Sprints, as it has been in the past. I am very excited for the upcoming year, and look forward to leading this team to a very successful season.