By Megan Anderson
The tedious schedule of student athletes continues well beyond the school year, affecting lifestyle during the pre-season, season and off-season. Lewis & Clark athletes are lucky to have Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Angela Dendas-Pleasant, who creates workouts specific to each sport. Before athletes leave for the summer, Dendas-Pleasant assigns workout routines that consist of weight lifting, running and agility exercises. During the offseason, teams train with Dendas-Pleasant in the weight room and on the football field along with other training facilities.
During the season, teams continue to work out but with less rigor. The summer is when most athletes engage in hardcore training, and being provided with specific workouts encourages athletes to maintain fitness. Dendas-Pleasant plans a workout for every day of the summer in preparation for the upcoming sports season.
Women’s soccer, a fall sport, utilizes the summer to train in order to be physically prepared upon their arrival back to campus. Women’s soccer sweeper Alexa Hanson ’20 has played in 40 games throughout her career at LC, and has started for 39 of them. She feels the summer workouts given by both Dendas-Pleasant and Head Coach Jim Tursi are essential tools for her and her teammates.
“The soccer team receives two separate training packets to prepare us for preseason,” Hanson said. “The first packet focuses mainly on running, whereas the second packet focuses on lifting. With both packets, we can ensure that we maintain the cardiovascular capability of playing an entire 90 minute soccer game, as well as the muscular strength to outcompete opponents and prevent injuries.”
In addition to the provided workouts, softball player Emily Drevdahl ’19 completes her own cardiovascular workouts during the summer to stay in shape.
“Usually for me it means keeping up on the lifting workouts that Coach Ange assigns and mixing in some longer distance jogs either outside or on the elliptical to build endurance for our long weekends,” Drevdahl said.
Although the workouts can go a long way, diet is an important aspect in every athlete’s life. It is crucial to fuel the body in a healthy way, and athletes maintain a diet beyond fruits and vegetables, always making sure to eat enough protein.
Eating well while in season can be a challenge most athletes face due to the lack of time and energy, and most find it easier to eat better during summer. Caroline Hennes ’20, a center forward for the women’s soccer team, finds her diet changes during the summer.
“When I’m at home, I always have access to food, so I’m able to eat light meals or snacks throughout the day instead of heavier meals three times a day, which is what I have to do at school,” Hennes said. “Being in control of what I eat means I’m able to properly prepare what I need to eat for after a workout or when that afternoon hunger hits.”
On top of summer workouts, athletes must complete practices specific to their sport. Each athlete’s conditioning varies based on their role for their team. Swimmer Kassie Kometani ’19 often hops in the Hawaiian waters as one of her summer training routines.
“I am a sprinter, so my favorite workouts consist of high-intensity sprint work,” Kometani said. “This might involve short sprints off the block or sets that allow me to work on breakouts and turns. However, I always love when I have the chance to fit in an ocean swim when I’m back home. It doubles as snorkeling!”
Kometani’s teammate, Claire Greene ’20, will be staying in Portland to utilize her coaching staff for summer workouts.
“I will be here over the summer and will swim with a local club team that practices in our pool as often as I can,” Greene said. “I also will lift with our assistant coach, Sarit (Gluz), two or three times a week. It’s always easier for me to train when I have a coach watching and critiquing me.”
LC athletes are fortunate to have Dendas-Pleasant as a resource that promotes healthy practice habits during the summer. Ultimately, it is up to each individual athlete to stay in shape so the upcoming sports season is filled with strong performance and achievement.