June 21, 2013

Summer Spotlight: Kate Diggins

By Olivia Cappoli
Special to GoHolyCross.com

The summer is usually the time where college students begin planning their futures with jobs, internships, etc. For athletes, their summers are also spent with countless hours of training for the upcoming season.

When she's not on the water this summer, junior women's rower Kate Diggins (Holden, Mass.) is spending her time doing an internship at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where she assists a doctor in the Geographic Medicine and Infectious Disease department in his research on the effects of aging on the immune system. With her work at Tufts, she will take her knowledge and experiences down to Honduras, where she will be traveling in early August. To stay in tip top shape in the off season, Diggins is a member of the women's sweeps team, which means each rower has one oar, at the Riverside Boat Club in Cambridge.

For Diggins, rowing is a family affair. Her mother, Kristen, was the captain of the women's rowing team at Holy Cross, and her father, Patrick, is the head coach for the women's rowing team and also rowed at Holy Cross. Diggins' younger sister, Maggie, caught the rowing bug and is joining the team this upcoming season.

Diggins, who is a two-year member of the varsity eight and part of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy, recently talked to GoHolyCross.com to fill us in on her summer plans and what she is looking forward to this upcoming season.

GoHolyCross: What is your daily/weekly routine? How do you find time to balance your internship and training?

Kate Diggins: I practice at 5:20 a.m., go to my internship from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and then practice again at 6:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. It's a really long day but it's never boring and I mostly balance everything with a lot of coffee!

GoHolyCross: What do you hope to take from your internship?

Diggins: I'm hoping to gain some experience with research and working in a lab so I know if that's something I want to do in the future. 

GoHolyCross: What made you decide to join a club team over the summer?

Diggins: A big reason for our team's success this past year was that every one worked really hard to stay in shape over the summer and winter breaks, so it's really important for us to do the same thing this year. Rowing for a club team is a good way to do that because it's easier to motivate yourself to get through hard workouts when you're not doing them by yourself. 

GoHolyCross: Are you hoping the Crusaders' success of last season carries into this upcoming season? What are you looking forward to?

Diggins: We had one of the most successful seasons the Holy Cross women's rowing team has ever had so I definitely hope that we can continue that and be even more successful this coming season. I'm looking forward to meeting all of the freshmen and seeing them and the rest of the team build on what we accomplished last year and get even faster.

GoHolyCross: Are you looking forward to having your sister at Holy Cross and on the team?

Diggins: I'm definitely looking forward to having her around at school and on the team next year. We were on a lot of the same teams in high school and we've always been competitive with each other so I think we'll push each other to become better rowers. 

GoHolyCross: Were your parents an influence on you to start rowing?

Diggins: I don't think I would have gotten involved in rowing if it weren't for my parents. Both of them rowed at Holy Cross and my dad has been coaching here for over 25 years so I've been around rowing since I was born. I played other sports in high school but I always wanted to try it because they both loved it so much and I ended up loving it too. 

GoHolyCross: What are you most excited for when traveling to Honduras?

Diggins: I'm in the outreach part of the Medical Ministries program, which means that I get to go to schools around the town and teach preventative health care, so I'm most looking forward to working with the kids and learning about their culture.  

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