By Connor Laubenstein /// Staff Writer
Strength and conditioning coach Angela Dendas was excited to see the summer come to an end and welcome a wave of student-athletes flood into the weight room.
This summer Dendas headed a large renovation of the Lewis & Clark weightroom. The weight room now features renovated floors, as well as new heavyweight equipment. The floorplan creates more open space and allows for for more platforms and pull-up bars.
“My main objective was to create a space that was safer and more accommodating to our campus community,” she said. “By abating the floor and updating most of our equipment, I feel we have accomplished that objective.”
In the summer of 2013, Dendas was appointed to aid student athletes at LC with weight training and proper exercises for certain sports. Since her instatement, she has allowed for a greater focus on the overall strength and agility in LC athletics.
Due to NCAA regulations, the amount of time coaches are allowed to spend with their teams in the off-season is strictly limited. The addition of a strength and conditioning coach adds structure and a consistent standard for athletic performance at LC. Workouts are not only tailored to be sports specific, but also are adjusted depending on the season.
Athletes such as goaltender Geena Fong (’15), who recently received a nomination for the Northwest Conference Women’s Soccer Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week, attest to improvements in their teams’ strength and agility since Dendas’s involvement.
“The impact that Ange has made on Lewis and Clark affects not only the teams in the athletic department, but also all of the students at Lewis and Clark,” Fong said. “When incorporating strength and conditioning into an athlete’s schedule they will be both stronger on the field or court and will be more likely to stay healthy all season,. Ange also provides quality conditioning programs that are available for all students. Specifically related to our soccer team, Ange works closely with us during the offseason and gives us workouts during the summer. All in all, our athletic department has truly benefited from having Ange and I can’t wait to see the hard work to pay off.”
In 2011 the women’s soccer team posted a record of 3-15-2, giving them a winning percentage of only .200. In Dendas’s first year, of 10-9-1, jumping the winning percentage up to .525, amidst tough conference play.
This year, the women are already improving their numbers with a record of 4-1-2 boosting their winning percentage even further to .714. Student-athletes like Geena Fong attribute this growth in success to the proper training and speedy recovery provided by Dendas.
Dendas received her Master’s degree in Kinesiology: Exercise Science before coming to LC. She then served as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for Humboldt State University for two years after earning her advanced degree.
Within the Kinesiology Department at Humboldt State, Dendas gave lectures and got the opportunity to teach a capstone course in Exercise Science. This capstone course outlined the benefits of strength and conditioning on the basis of science, and proper methods in application of exercise.
Now, after spending a year coaching at Lewis & Clark, Dendas is happy with the progress she has seen in Pioneer Athletics.
“My time here at LC has been great,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed seeing the physical development of the student-athletes who have been training with me. It’s even better when you see those improvements in their playing performances.”