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Ravaglia Paces Owls in Winter Break Pushup Competition

Izzy Ravaglia beach pushup

VARIOUS LOCATIONS - The Bryn Mawr track & field team has been carrying out teamwide pushup challenges across winter break since the 2013 season as a way for the team to stay in touch and stay motivated during the downtime. For obvious reasons, however, the Owls thought it was particularly important to keep the tradition rolling this year. It is still a great way for the Owls to keep in touch with their teammates and encourage lines of communication, but according to head coach Jason Hewitt, it has also become way more competitive as well.

"I'm so proud of how well these athletes have made the best of this past year," Hewitt proclaimed while sharing results from the weeklong competition. "They have continued to impress even without being able to compete in meets."

Junior distance specialist Izzy Ravaglia won this year's version of the competition, setting a new program record in the process. Ravaglia performed a mind-boggling 2440 pushups over the seven-day stretch, smashing the previous program record from last year. Her fellow classmate Amelia McDonnell grabbed second with a total of 2021 pushups, while Dorian Alexis wrapped up the top three with a total of 1600. Six student athletes averaged over 100 pushups per day, while the top three averaged over 200!

Winter 2021 Pushup Challenge Top 10
Izzy Ravaglia - 2440
Amelia McDonnell - 2021
Dorian Alexis - 1600
Zaynah Moen - 1111
Coach Hewitt - 1005
Sarah Keane - 921
Caroline Robertson - 800
Ellie Schumacker - 650
Mia Gaughan - 430
Emily Darrow - 365

Ravaglia relished the opportunity to get back into a competition mindset. "Our team challenges, like the pushup challenge, are a fun way to stay connected while apart and keep our competitive spirit alive doing something athletic but not super serious. Everyone is positive and encouraging and its really motivating to see what your teammates are pushing themselves to do.

Alexis, a senior mid-distance runner, shared similar sentiments. "The push-up challenge really got my competitive juices flowing again. I didn't realize until getting started just how much I was craving some form of competition. It was honestly so fun. It was really motivating to feel connected to my teammates through the challenge and to feel like we were all embarking on the same challenge together, even while apart. It was very motivating to have a goal for the week and to try to max out on something, given that I haven't been able to race in a year. It might sound funny but I kind of channeled my running goals into the push-ups and that kept me going."
"I kind of surprised myself with how many push-ups I could do after not being able to be in the weight room for close to a year now," Alexis continued. "It gave me and I think a lot of my teammates a nice confidence booster that we're stronger than we think. It was nice to have a way of channeling goals and seeing results off the track. It's pretty crazy how just a week of really focusing on something can make you feel and be so much stronger. I definitely feel stronger after last week!"

The pushup competition even led some of the Owls to have to find unique places to get their work in. "This past week my arms have been sore every day," closed Ravaglia. "I've done pushups in some ridiculous places (beach parking lot!) but I've had a lot of fun being creative with where/when to do them and feeling motivated by my teammates to see what I can do."

Alexis enjoyed the chance to get back into the competitive spirit with her teammates. "During break we're doing team lifts over Zoom twice a week, and last week we incorporated push-ups into our lifts. It was fun to pause the music between sets and say 'alright everyone, 10 more push ups! Let's go!'"
"We can't be at the track together right now to cheer each other on during workouts, but we're making the most of it. With the push up challenge it was nice to fire each other up with some healthy competition. It definitely lit a competitive fire under me. Most of all, it really made me miss racing!!!!!"