Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Morgan Perce, New Trier rowing
Morgan Perce is a recent New Trier High School graduate and rower. She will continue rowing next year at Ohio State University.
1. Do you have prerace rituals or superstitions?
Before a race, I have to zone in. I listen to music beforehand. We have a tent and I have to sit and listen to music and visualize the race and everything that’s going to go down, so I know everything that is going to happen when the race starts.
2. Why is Ohio State the right fit for you?
I wanted the big school, which Ohio State definitely has, and the rowing program is one of the best in the country. … I am looking forward to going to a program that is already really strong. When I talked to the coaches, they made me feel very welcome. The environment is really great, the people are really nice, the school itself is beautiful, and the academics are really strong. … I put self forward to be the best student and athlete I can be there.
3. What is your dream job?
If I could do anything, I want to be a doctor that specializes in pediatrics. I want to work with kids and help little kids in hospitals — make them feel better, make them feel comfortable, even though they are going through something terrible.
4. What is your favorite thing to do outside of rowing?
Probably hanging out with my friends, but more specifically, my friends and I really like to go to concerts. We go to a lot of small ones in downtown Chicago. We fine smaller bands people might not know and find their shows and go to see them.
5. What’s your favorite small band you have found?
They are called the Giant Rooks. They are really small and really cool.
6. What makes a good rower?
A good rower traditionally has to be pretty athletic but at same time has to be relatively tall. You have to a great attitude toward rowing and working hard, because rowing is a pretty grueling sport. You have to be ready to put 110 percent in all the time, be mentally tough as well as phsycaily tough. …. Rowing is such a team sport, you have to be a good teammate.
7. If you could play another sport, what would it be?
I was a volleyball player before rowing. I really liked that. That was really fun. I liked the team aspect of that as well. I liked that you had to rely on your teammates and had to work together to score points. It was also individual-oriented, where you have to improve your own skills. Something I do miss is playing kids from other schools. Rowing is so unique to New Trier; it’s not like we go to neighboring schools to compete.
8. If you are in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?
Probably like a Ghirardelli chocolate and a nail polish.
9. What’s something people do not know about you?
I actually own (a sailboat) and compete in sailing races and I work at a yacht club.
10. What makes New Trier rowing special?
I have to say the girls that are on the team. This whole team environment really pushes us to be our best and compete on a national level and do well, which is really crazy coming from a public high school in the middle of Illinois. … The girls on the team really push each other to be the best as possible and work together. And having such a big program helps create that team environment. We’ve been together so long we really are just one unit. We know each other so well we can be as successful as we are.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319