Among the Cal field hockey squad, few have embraced the Berkeley spirit as much as Michaela Swensen. The fifth-year senior has made a steady impact in the Cal lineup this season while enjoying the many outlets Berkeley has to offer. From falafels to film, here are five fast facts on Swensen:
1. She calls herself a "Cheagan."
Vegan + Cheater = Cheagan.
After going vegetarian several times in her life and having trouble sticking with a vegetarian diet, Swensen finally committed to veganism this year.
"I knew that I didn't want to eat animals, but I never really knew why," Swensen said. "I didn't know how the whole process worked on it getting on my plate."
She watched "100 Reasons to be Vegan" on YouTube and the documentary "Earthlings," and it helped solidify her new lifestyle choice.
Swensen says becoming vegan has helped her feel more in tune with her body, and she gets sick less often.
"Now I know what's going into my body like vegetable, grains, beans, things like that where there may be GMOs," she said. "For me, it just works and I think the main part is I've just lived a compassionate life for animals and all beings, and now I can actually live that fully, and be in touch with my own body and what it wants and needs."
Still, eating vegan-friendly on the road with a sports team can be tough, so Swensen occasionally allows herself items with milk, or cheese.
"It is really hard on a team sport when you're going to restaurants where it has to cater to your whole team, and I'm the only vegan on my team," she said. "There are times when I'll have to get a little bit of cheese on it like a fettucine Alfredo because I want pasta the night before a game. I call myself a cheagan because every now and then I have to cheat, but when I am at home, I am very much vegan."
Over this past weekend the Bears freshman 8+ took to the waters of Lake Carnegie in Princeton New Jersey. Following a successful weekend at the Head of the Charles, the young Bears looked to continue the trend of successful fall races.
"We had to have the expectation to repeat of last year's results" said freshman coxswain Brett Cataldo. "It was our goal to compete with varsity crews, and then win the freshman race."
Cal's freshman boat competed in the varsity race early in the morning on Sunday and finished sixth overall beating a few of the country's best varsity squads. Then later in the day they returned to the water and raced against other freshman squads, and won that race by a margin of 15 seconds.
"It was a very good feeling to throw on that "C" and finally race for Cal. Plus to have all the fall training come together was exciting" said Cataldo. "I've seen how the older guys are proud to wear the Cal race shirt and to finally be a part of that team was something I'll never forget"
Watch as Trevor Davis breaks down his first career NFL touchdown and the big punt return that lead to the score.