This week's row2k Interview is with UCLA senior Ellen Ulitsky. We talk with Ulitsky on racing at U23 Worlds, rowing with her twin sister, and more.
row2k - How did you get your start in rowing?
Ellen Ulitsky - I began rowing when I was 16 years old at Palo Alto Rowing Club, located in Redwood City, California. I owe a lot of my success to my high school rowing coach, Lynn Gardner, who believed in me and inspired me to be able to pursue this sport at the collegiate level.
row2k - How did you decide to attend UCLA?
Ellen Ulitsky - I decided to attend UCLA due to its balance of high academic rigor and an excellent rowing program. I loved the team culture and knew I wanted to be part of this team. UCLA also allowed me to be part of an excellent pre-medicine department with amazing research opportunities.
row2k - What is it like having your twin sister as a teammate?
Ellen Ulitsky - I rowed with my twin sister in a 2x throughout high school rowing and then at UCLA in bigger team boats. I love being her teammate as we work very well together and I have a constant support system. Rowing this summer for the U23 W4x was the first time I did not row with Irene and it really made me appreciate having her on my team.
row2k - What was racing at U23 Worlds like and what was one of the most important things you learned there?
Ellen Ulitsky - I truly had the best experience with my boatmates at this regatta as we had gotten very close during the camp and trusted each other in the entire race. It was amazing to improve on different parts of the race as we went further along in the regatta and we were able to complete our race plans due to the trust we have formed with each other.
row2k - What do you like most about the sport of rowing?
Ellen Ulitsky - I love the comradeship that rowing forms and allows you to push yourself mentally and physically in a very rewarding way.
row2k - What has been your most memorable race and why?
Ellen Ulitsky - My most memorable race was the first race I rowed representing the US which was during the heats of the U23 world rowing championships where I remember coming out of the first 250m and looking around to see that we were ahead of the entire pack. It was such an amazing feeling and one that I will never forget as there was so much buildup to finally start racing.
row2k - What are you studying at UCLA and do you have any plans for after graduation?
Ellen Ulitsky - I am studying Molecular, Cell, and Developmental biology at UCLA and I plan on attending graduate school after.