May 21, 2007
Tennessee's lone returning Pocock/CRCA All-American, Erin-Monique Shelton, has been a vital part of the Lady Vols' success this spring. As the Lady Vols prepared to host the 2007 NCAA Rowing Championships, Shelton answered a handful of questions for us here at utladyvols.com.
What originally drew you to rowing?
It was very much a spur of the moment thing. I was watching the 2000 Olympics on TV and said, "I think I would like to try that." So the next thing I know my mum was handing me the phone book. The next weekend I was in a boat.
How did you land in Knoxville, Tenn., from the North Island of New Zealand?
I heard about UT through NZ Indoor rowing and vice versa. I wanted to come here to be with a large group of athletes who wanted to make boats go fast.
What is your favorite spot on the UT campus?
The art building, as it is very much a second home and there is always something interesting to look at in there.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Being at home, hanging out with friends, drawing, painting and daydreaming.
What has been your favorite athletic moment at Tennessee?
Regionals last year. Coming together as a crew and making the most necessary race of the season our strongest.
If you could invite four people over for dinner, who would they be?
Right now it would be my family (that makes more than four, but I guess it can just be crowded).
What quotes inspires you the most?
"The fight is won or lost away from witnesses...behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." - Muhammad Ali
"You become what you think you are."
Also a coach asked me once, "How much can you take for seven minutes of your life?"
Which reality show would you rather be on: American Idol or Survivor?
What is the one food item you cannot live without?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
An artist and an athlete would be my dream jobs, but I think in this century that may be very difficult. I'll see where life takes me next!
Which season do you like the most?
The spring (but I do really like them all).
What is your most memorable sports moment?
Hearing for the first time about Tennessee rowing and the first time I raced a single internationally. Those are probably the most memorable because those were some of the few times in my life where I have felt sickly nervous with a mix of extreme adrenaline.
If you could go on a vacation right now, what country would you most like to visit?
I really want to travel around Europe and live there for a few years. I would also like to visit Africa one day too.
What is your favorite kind of ice cream?
Golden Crunch...but you can't get that in the U.S.
Which holiday do you enjoy the most?
What do you do to relieve stress?
Paint and sleep.
What are some routines you use to prepare for a regatta?
I don't really have a routine, I used to have lucky socks though...but now I must always wear a cap when I'm racing...I don't know, it helps.
What goes through your mind when you are rowing?
Feeling the rhythm of the boat and getting the most out of each stroke I take.
Why do you love rowing so much?
I like the way it makes me feel. It gives me confidence and time and time again that I am capable of a lot more than I sometimes think.
When you have time to watch TV, what shows do you watch?
Lost and Project Runway.
If you were not competing in rowing, what sport would you pursue?
Cycling. I would love to do the Tour de France. I would also like to do a bit of mountain biking too.
Tell us about your marathon row last summer when you set a world record for your age group in the 100K indoor row.
It's really as simple as it sounds, I sat on the rowing machine until I had finished 100 kilometers. I had teammates from NZ who were also doing the 100K, either as individuals or as a team. I chatted to everyone who came to visit us while we were doing it. I ate a little and drank a lot! I suffered a bit of a problem with my back about five hours into it, but Greg, my coach from back home, and the support of everyone who was there got me through it.
What was it like to be the only freshman in last year's First Eight at the 2006 NCAA Championships?
It was a privilege for me to sit in that boat, as everyone works so hard every day. We all do the same amount of training, and we all strive to be at the top, so at any one time, the boat could change, and there could be a new line-up. But the fact that we all want the same thing, to compete at Nationals, is what makes sitting in any UT boat so exciting.
What makes the Melton Hill Lake course such a great site for the 2007 NCAA Championships?
I truly love the course. It is great for spectators, because they can stand anywhere along the course and see the boats, and also we can hear them all along the course.
Complete the sentence: You'd be surprised to know that I...
am not related to Crocodile Dundee, he's Australian, and I'm from New Zealand (yes they are two different countries). I also was never really the sporting type before I started rowing.