What got you interested in rowing?
Pitz: I was a swimmer in high school, and I always loved being part of a water sport. When I heard about the rowing team, I didn’t really know much about it, I just wanted to try it out. I originally thought it was going to be something a little easier, but I fell in love with it once I started it.
Pettenati: It started junior year of high school. Before that, I was running and had a lot of growing pains. So, I decided to try a sport where I could use my height and relieve the stress on some of my joints and I fell in love with rowing.
How have you adapted to the practice schedules?
Pitz: For high school, I had a pretty similar practice schedule. I always had practice at 5 a.m., so it’s pretty much the same for me. It’s just so different waking up three hours earlier than a normal person and practicing early in the morning. Your mind’s kind of in a different mindset, but you get into a routine that makes it doable.
Pettenati: It’s definitely tough getting up in the morning, but after a couple of weeks, you get used to it. You realize that it’s nice to get your workout done in the morning.
What is the best part about rowing?
Pitz: There’s a very individual aspect, but at the same time, it’s very much about the whole entire team. I like that part. You need so much concentration on yourself to have a good schedule, be on top of yourself, weight lifting and doing extra workouts. If you’re not doing that for yourself, you’re not doing anything for the team. When we get it all together and put a lot of work in, you say “Wow, look at all we did.”
Pettenati: Definitely the feeling of coming across the finish line with my teammates and knowing that we’ve completed a race, done well and really came together as a team.
Describe the breakdown/how a race usually goes.
Pitz: Well, the biggest race we go to is the Head of the Charles and in my race, there were about 45 boats in our event. That’s the largest one we’ll go to and that includes schools from all around the country. Then, we have smaller races where there are more Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams. At those races, there will be like seven schools.
Pettenati: We usually have a team dinner the night before and go over some videos of other rowers and seeing how we can match what they’re doing or at least try. Just going over everything that we can change or make better in our boat.
How does everyone on the team get along?
Pitz: We get along pretty well. We’re pretty close because we have a lot of practices together and we’re all pretty much best friends. We practice together probably two times a day and then on the weekends, we hang out. We try to really involve the freshmen.
Pettenati: We’re all a big family and we like to do everything together.
What other Fairfield sport would you play if not rowing?
Pitz: Well, I swam in high school and I was pretty competitive, but when I was looking at colleges, I was looking at either swimming or rowing.
Pettenati: If I could play another sport, I’d probably use my height to play basketball and join the basketball team maybe.
Do you have a favorite professional sport/team?
Pitz: Football. I like the Miami Dolphins and I don’t know if I have a favorite player. I like Tannehill, but he’s so unpredictable. It changes every week who on the team I like the best. My dad and my family have always been a huge football family, so I’ve watched football my whole life growing up and I loved the Dolphins, just because the animal. I didn’t even know what they were doing and I was like “That’s my team.”
Pettenati: I like basketball a lot. It’s either basketball or football. I’m from the New York area so I’m a big fan of the Giants. I used to like Eli Manning, but I don’t know now.