While Coons spent her summer at the Pennsylvania AC Camp, Mayo was at the Wisconsin Rowing Camp. With early morning practices, there was no such thing as sleeping in for the Buckeye pair.
"My alarm went off at 6:50 a.m. and we were off to our first row by 7:15 a.m.," Coons said. "We would go anywhere from 8-12 miles in the morning."
After morning practices came breakfast, a quick nap and lunch before heading back to the water. While Coons' afternoon row was mandatory it was typically shorter than the morning practice, but could still last up to 12 miles.
Mayo's afternoon row was an optional practice, but one she enjoyed and chose to participate in almost every day. For both, it was off to the weight room to work out with a trainer three days a week which would last from an hour to an hour and a half.
However, the summer was not all work and no play. In their free time both Buckeyes spent time with their roommates watching TV, exploring their respective cities and forming friendships with others from colleges across the country.
"My roommates were great and we would go explore Madison," Mayo said. "We went to the zoo, cool local restaurants and the farmer's markets on Saturdays."
Learning the importance of training during the summer, Coons was able to train and compete through the beginning of August while many of her teammates stopped competing at the start of June. By spending the summer focused only on rowing, Coons was able to improve greatly as a rower.
"With such a rowing-focused summer, I am better prepared for our preseason training and therefore, better prepared for the year," Coons said.
Enjoying a similar experience at Wisconsin, Mayo was able to focus more on the smaller details and fundamentals. With less focus on preparing for regattas, Mayo's summer coach, Coach Bebe Bryans, was able to break down each rower's performance.
"She would tape us and have us come into her office and break down the video by frame, showing us what we were doing wrong and what we were good at," Mayo said.
Without other obligations, both rowers took advantage of other coaches and extra time on the water.
"Towards the end of the summer when I felt like I'd done everything, I asked my coach if he would take me out in a single so I could row more and learn from him one-on-one," Coons said. "Those last two weeks I didn't take any half days. I'd do my row with the team in the morning, then later in the afternoon I went back alone and rowed the single. One day I did 12 miles by myself."
As Ohio State head coach Andy Teitelbaum tells his team- 'the competition never sleeps'. A lesson Coons and Mayo learned at camp this summer.
"I learned Wisconsin is really intense and I now understand why they won the Big Ten Championships this year," Mayo said.
Coons' team in Philadelphia, Penn AC, was made up of rowers from all over the country representing Clemson, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Washington State, USC and Cal.
While Coons and Mayo may not have perfected the perfect tan, caught up on their favorite novels or traveled to the beach this summer, they are returning to Ohio State for preseason training better prepared than ever and ready to take Ohio State rowing to a new level.
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