The ULM Water Ski Team welcomed Carter Lucas (CAN) and Stanislava Prosvetova (UKR) to the team this fall. In a smaller recruiting class than we are normally accustomed to, Carter and Stasia arrived in Monroe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Head Coach Michael Woodgate caught up with our freshmen who answered a couple of questions about their first couple of weeks at the University of Louisiana Monroe.
Now you have had a couple of weeks to settle into life in Monroe, what are you enjoying the most about life as a member of the ULM Water Ski Team?
Carter: I really enjoy having the site on campus, which makes it extremely easy to get there and train as much as I want.
Stasia: The possibility to get access to some additional services such as gym, medical and recovery help. The assistance off of the water is really helping me.
How has the transition from life at home into the college athletics setting impacted your skiing/training?
Carter: Having an awesome site, and a team full of other skiers who are able to coach me has already been making a big improvement in my skiing, and will continue to at a large rate in the future. At home it was hard to get consistent coaching and training without traveling, but here it is the opposite.
Stasia: The biggest thing which I can't not mention is that I practice here without my coach, which is unusual for me. I have been skiing with my coach for 12 years.
Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be participating in intercollegiate competition this semester. What are you doing to remain focused in your training and has this altered your approach to skiing this semester?
Carter: I'm using the semester to train as much as I can and keep improving my physical health without tournaments, so that I can be as prepared as possible for the upcoming tournament seasons. This has changed my approach to training in a large way because I'm not worried about tournaments, and I'm using this time to make all the big changes I need to make in my skiing that take a long time.
Stasia: I just keep training. For me it doesn’t matter so much because I understand that if I relax and stop training, I'll lose my shape and level for next season.
This academic semester is like no other that any of us have ever experienced before, how are you finding the balance between the in-class environment and online learning?
Carter: Throughout high school I did a mix of online, and face to face classes so that it would be easier for me to travel to train for skiing in the winter months, so this isn’t a very hard adjustment for me.
Stasia: It is not new to me as i was studying 2,5 years of school at home due to training. (I didn't like the way we waste time in school, and I understood that I can do the same things at home but 3 times faster). The only thing is that I never studied online, but it is even easier than the way I had in school.
What are the main challenges you have found settling into college life during the pandemic? Do you feel that COVID-19 has presented you with any unique challenges as an international freshman athlete?
Carter: Settling in and getting my classes in order was a bit confusing, as well as getting comfortable with where everything is on campus due to covid. The main challenge that covid made for me was actually traveling here, and making sure I was able to get across the border and on campus for the start of classes.
Stasia: It was one big challenge for me to get here as I'm from Ukraine. I was going to fly here for the next semester, but things changed unexpectedly and I got here now.
What was the main attraction for you coming to ski for the ULM Water Ski Team?
Carter: The biggest attraction for me was the accessibility to athletic training, the beautiful site and equipment, and the many talented skiers that are on the team and willing to help each other improve.
Stasia: The biggest attractions were conditions for training, nice location of the ski site (the Bayou) and the scholarships offered from the university.