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Sophomore rower Martha Kuzzy (Minneapolis, Minn.) recently checked in with to preview the team’s competition at the 2010 ACC Championship on Saturday, April 24, and talk about the season so far. The Cavaliers head to Clemson, S.C., seeking their 10th conference crown in the last 11 years.

Question: This weekend, the team heads to the ACC Championship. Last year, UVa finished second to Clemson, so how has that provided motivation and how much is the team wanting to reclaim the title of ACC Champs?
: This year, we realize we have to be ready for anything. I think we are more mentally prepared and plan to go out there and treat it just like any other race, but there is definitely some further motivation from last year’s disappointment.

Question: Last year you were voted the ACC Rookie of the Year. How much of an honor was that for you at the time? How has your second year differed from your first year?
: I had actually never heard of the award before, so it definitely was more meaningful as time went on. It is something I look back on now and am really honored to have received. Rowing is such a team sport, it’s difficult to pick one person out of a lineup or successful team, but I look forward to future UVa rowers receiving this award. As for this year compared with last year, I honestly enjoy rowing as a sport more than before, which has made things easier. In the past, rowing was more an obligation, with the exception of the camaraderie. This year I not only love the people, but have grown to love the sport.

Question: People visiting may have noticed a picture of you with a shaved head. Can you talk about that?
: St. Baldrick’s is an organization that raises money for children’s cancer research, you shave your head in solidarity with kids fighting cancer while raising money from friends and family. The idea was originally triggered after seeing people around Grounds who had done it last spring. I remember deciding one random day that this was something I wanted to be a part of. All the pieces just seemed to fit together, there was no reason not to do it. While training over winter break we were introduced to Katie Carr and her story, it really inspired us further. For me, it’s not that different without hair. Maybe that’s because I’m not the one looking at it, but after all, it grows back.
(For more information on the rowing team’s relationship with Katie Carr, click here, and for more information on St. Baldrick’s, visit

Question: How do you expect the team to bounce back after Princeton won the Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Eight races this past weekend?
: We definitely realized there are some things we can work on. I think the competition motivated us to step up to the challenge of getting faster and seeing how much we can improve in the next weeks. We know that there is incredible talent out there and I think we’re excited at the opportunity to try and meet it.

Question: You have a lot of international and USRowing experience. How is rowing for your country different than collegiate rowing?
: Comparing the two, rowing with the Junior National team seemed to be a whole different lifestyle. You are basically in a secluded environment with your team for an entire summer. With collegiate rowing there are other things to be a part of and focus on. I really enjoyed the experiences abroad and the excitement of racing for the U.S., but I also love to compete at the collegiate level and race against people I once rowed with.

Question: Who is your favorite athlete at UVa?
: I’m not sure I have a favorite UVa athlete, but my brother recently competed in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and he’s pretty much my hero. (Garrott Kuzzy competed in cross-country skiing in Vancouver).

Question: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
: Hands down, eating. Even when I don’t have any spare time.

Question: What is your favorite spot on Grounds?
: When it’s nice, anywhere outside where I can be enjoying a cup of coffee.

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