Ready Al, Row

When she’s not studying for her three majors, Truman Scholar finalist Alexandria Perez ’23 is training with the rowing team.

Rowing is one of the toughest sports at the college level: Rowers have to build up incredible lung capacity, they work nearly every muscle during a race, and they must be completely in sync with their teammates to win. Heck, rowing is one of the most taxing sports, period.

And at Santa Clara, like many universities, rowers basically volunteer to take on the challenge. It’s that choice to wake up—way early—every day and dedicate yourself to the training that attracted Truman Scholar finalist Alexandria Perez ’23 to the SCU women’s rowing team.

“There’s so much discipline that’s required of you,” she says. “You have to be really intentional with your time.”

Perez, who planned to play collegiate soccer before a career-ending injury in high school, says finding a new sport was integral to her tackling everything she wanted to do in college. And she’s done a lot: A triple-major in public health, political science, and gender studies, Perez is also co-president of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and co-chair of the Inclusive Excellence Student Advisory Council.

Being a student-athlete “gave me a lot of confidence,” she says. “If I can handle practicing 20-plus hours a week, and going to all my classes, and having balance and friendships, then I really can do anything.”

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