Allyson Baker, a senior from North Royalton, Ohio, was an NCAA runner-up with the Second Varsity Eight at the 2015 NCAA Championships, helping Ohio State to its third consecutive team title. A former novice rower, Baker is a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten selection. She graduated from The Ohio State University on Sunday with a degree in health sciences.
What is the best time of year on campus?
I love the fall. Campus is so alive at the beginning of the school year. The weather is nice and campus looks beautiful. There is nothing better than game day at Ohio State, so every week goes by quickly when you are looking forward to Saturday in the Shoe!
What is your preferred mode of transportation to class?
I usually walk, but sometimes if I am feeling really lazy in the winter before an 8 a.m. class I will drive or hop on a bus.
Have you switched your major? If so, how many times and why and if not, how did you know your major was “the one”?
Yes. I was originally an exercise science major but switched to health sciences. I was trying to find a major that would set me up well to apply to grad school and Health Sciences was a really flexible major that worked well for what I wanted to get out of my four years here.
What has been your favorite or most interesting class at OSU?
Hands down, Anatomy 3300. I was fascinated learning about where everything is in the body. Cadaver lab was really interesting and it was neat to be able to see the inside of a human body.
If you had to give an incoming student advice, what would it be?
Take advantage of everything Ohio State has to offer – everything from events with free food, to tutoring services, to office hours. Seriously, going to office hours is a great way to get help from professors, and the professors at Ohio State are wonderful people with a ton of knowledge to offer. They will help you in any way they can.
What social media do you prefer?
Instagram. It’s a good way to keep up on people and not filled with as much extra stuff as Facebook is.
Which do you watch more: Netflix or TV?
Netflix. It is hard to keep up with shows on TV when you are busy so I stick to Netflix because I can watch it when I want.
Would you rather read the book or watch the movie?
I would rather read the book, but usually I end up watching the movie first because it doesn’t take as long.
What song can you not help but sing-a-long to?
Probably anything by Taylor Swift. She always has a catchy song.
What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
How to be Single on Valentine’s Day weekend with a bunch of my teammates.
When is your favorite time of your sport's season?
May, when we are in the championship season. We have the most important races of our season against the best in the country in May and it is some really intense but fun racing. Since we are done with school we are able to focus on training and nothing else, and it’s a really great time for the team as a whole.
Which team do you most look forward to competing against?
TTUN is always a great competitor and a fierce rival, so whenever we get the chance to race them I am excited for the matchup.
Do you have any pre-game/match superstitions or rituals?
I really try to avoid burdening myself with things like that. My biggest thing is just being in routine. I have to eat oatmeal on race day like I do every other morning before practice. Doing the warmup and everything the same way we always do it just keeps me calm.
What is your favorite part about your sport?
I love the challenge and the opportunities it presents – you have to push yourself to a mental and physical limit. Determination and persistence are key. There is always a way to get better every day, and each time I sit down for a fitness test or get in the boat I look forward to showing myself and my teammates what I learned the day before and what I can do better.
What is your favorite athletic memory?
The semifinals of NCAAs in 2015 is my favorite memory. In the race my boat really came together and I could feel the emotion and determination of every single person in that boat more than ever. We were not going to lose that race and we came back from being over a length down to win the race. It was a great moment.
Where is your favorite place to eat at in Columbus?
This is a really hard question, but Hangover Easy is always a good choice. They have great food and it is a great place to stop on the way home from a hard Saturday morning practice.
What is the best meal you have ever eaten, and where did you get it from/who made it?
I went to Italy in seventh grade with a huge group of family friends and we had a chef cook us pizza. He spent hours making every type of pizza we could ever imagine, cooking them outside in a brick oven. We ate them over-looking the Tuscan country side.
Do you have a sweet tooth and if you do, what is your favorite treat?
Of course, chocolate anything is good for me. I like keeping semi-sweet chocolate chips in my apartment for when I want something sweet.
When you are not at practice, what could someone find you doing?
Either doing some homework or cooking! I love making my own meals.
If you could play another sport other than yours, what would it be?
Golf. I played golf in high school and it is a great sport. I miss playing competitively.
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
Probably buy a nice car and set up funds for my family. Then with the rest I would do good deeds and travel the world.
What do you most look forward to doing during the summer?
I love getting the chance for some downtime. I usually play a lot of golf with my dad and spend time at the pool with my friends.
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
I would want to fly. It would be way better than walking around campus, and I think it would be really cool to see the world from above whenever you wanted!
Do you have an interesting nickname?
Not really, most people call me by my last name, “Baker” or “Bakes.” A few people call me “Al” too which I really like.
If you could switch places with anyone on your team for a day, who would you choose?
I would love to switch places with our coach Maddie [Davis]. I have always wanted to see practice from the coaches’ point of view and see what a day in their life would be like!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
One time someone walked up to me on the Oval and suggested I join the Ohio State rowing team. Being on the team has been one of the best experiences of my life, so I’d say that was pretty good advice.
Would you be the first O, H, I or last O in a picture?
The first O or the last O.
What is your favorite part about being a Buckeye?
Going to football games and being a part of a tradition with such a big group of past, present and future Buckeyes. I love representing this university, and cheering on the Buckeyes at football games is always a great time!