Thursday, July 29, 2010

UNH PhD Student to Play In Rugby World Cup

July 26, 2010

DURHAM, N. H. - Some college students are involved in multiple extracurricular activities. For Jamie Burke, there’s just one—rugby--and it is all-consuming for two reasons. First, because she’s a member of the U.S. Women’s National Rugby Team headed to her second World Cup. And second, because Burke is in the process of getting a Ph.D. in outdoor education from the University of New Hampshire. The two take all of her time. And then some.
Burke is a prop, also known as a front-rower. She has played in 24 international matches, and is co-captain of the U.S. national team.
She began playing rugby in 1998 during her freshmen year at the University of Virginia. In 2006—the same year she was accepted into the Ph.D. program at UNH--she represented the United States in the World Cup, held in Edmonton, Canada. Training led her to defer for a year because she knew her schedule couldn’t support the demands of both school and sport.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let's Fill the Stands with a Sea of RED!

Headed to the World Cup to support the USA? Check out our awesome Fan T-Shirts produced by Bakline. Now available in the WNT Shop at

Monday, July 26, 2010

Being An Eagle: Blair Groefsema

Let USA WNT #8 Blair Groefsema tell you what Being An Eagle means to in the video module on

Friday, July 23, 2010

On My iPod: Nathalie Marchino

Whether we're on tour or simply training at home, music has always been an essential part of my preparation process. There's nothing like a good jamming session (which typically mostly consists of silent air-drumming, air-guitar or lip-synching on the bus). When I first started playing rugby, I would play whatever came up next on my ipod, but then I found that I was going through all sorts of ridiculous mood swings before games, because my ipod would jump from a mellow Morcheeba song, to some heavy bass house music, back to some latin ballade. Less than ideal. So I decided that the best way to do it would be to keep the emotions high by playing a bunch of really loud, high energy songs to pump me up. Another epic fail. I ended up realizing that I felt mostly tired during warms up, probably due to too much head-banging on the ride over to the pitch. So finally, the perfect musical approach. I've created a few lists for different occasions, which allow me to get ready for a specific task, i.e. game, work outs, fitness testing, and a few random ones in case I get tired of the others. Here are condensed versions of a few of the lists I have

Tour Pre-Game Playlist:
1. Clint Mansell:Requiem For A Tower
while this inevitably exposes the inner nerd in me, I love that song cause it always makes me feel like we're headed into enemy territory, sets the stage for the battle, calmly...

2. Daft Punk: Human After All (Human After All)
time to amp it up a bit, but not too much. good build up song

3. Muse: Butterflies & Hurricanes (Absolution)
jump right into some Muse - there simply is no better band to get the energy flowing - just listen to the lyrics - you'll understand

4. Daft Punk: Around the World / Harder Better Faster Stronger (Alive 2007)
now we're getting into the heavy duty songs - this one sets the stage perfectly for the final song...:

5. Muse: Knights of Cydonia (Black Holes & Revelations)
BAM! I'm ready! No one's gonna take me alive! Time has come to make things right!!!! Let's get the trophy back to the US, where it belongs!

Works Outs / Fitness Testing:
There probably isn't anything in life that requires more mental preparation for me than fitness testing. The goal here is to get into a mind-, and ideally body-, numbing groove, where I'm just on auto-pilot and have no time to think about the pain. It's a lot easier for me to run when there is a ball involved and an end goal. Tracks are a challenge. So without further ado, the "make me forget the pain" mix:

1. Killers: Mr. Brightside (Thin White Duke Remix)
This song is perfect!!! It lasts close to 9mins, which is perfect for timed mile runs, cooper tests etc.... it always seems to build up at the perfect time. hopefully you only need to play it once! That's really the entire play list but I'll add one more

2. Muse: Undisclosed desires (Uprising)
Not sure why this song makes sense for work outs but works for me

Odd Ball Songs:
1. Laurent Wolf: No Stress (Wash My World)
2. Orquesta Del Plata: Montserrat
3. Gotan Project: Diferente

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ashley Kmiecik in Washington State Magazine

July 19, 2010
The USA Women’s National Rugby Team chose Ashley Kmiecik (‘05, BA Liberal Arts) to start in the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup in England this August. Kmiecik will play as a fullback with the USA Women Eagles beginning with a match versus Kazakhstan on August 20.

The 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup features the top 12 teams from around the world. The teams are sorted into three pools and will play pool opponents on three match days through August. The fifth-ranked USA Women’s Team is in Pool B along with second-seeded England, Ireland and Kazakhstan.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Day in the Life of Mel Denham

Geophysics? Let USA WNT flanker Mel Denham give you a sneak peak into her world off the pitch. Check it out in the video module now on

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bowdoin to Host U.S.A. Women's National Rugby Team, Alumna For Training Camp

The U.S.A. Women's National Rugby Team — fortified with Bowdoin alumna Farrah Douglas '99 — is holding its summer residency camp at Bowdoin for three weeks beginning July 10, 2010.
Members of the team, called the Women Eagles, will be living on campus as they train for the World Cup in England in August.

Douglas, a U.S.A. National Team member for seven years and veteran of many international matches, played for the Bowdoin women's rugby team, then a club sport, all four years of her college career.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

US Women's Rugby World Cup Team Selected

7.7.10 - from USA
BOULDER, Colo. - The USA Women's National Rugby Team has officially announced the roster of 26 players and four reserves who are set to assemble in the weeks leading up to the 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup (WRWC) in England.
"It is never an easy task to trim down a squad we have been working with for almost four years," said Women's National Rugby Team Coach Kathy Flores. "With the 2010 World Cup less than two months away, we are working to prepare for every variable possible and select according to the needs of the team, in regards to the commitment and dedication of each individual and their contribution to the squad."
Assembling on July 10, the USA squad will hold a residency camp at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine for three weeks before departing for England.
"The U.S. Women will feel right at home in the college's top-notch residential and athletic facilities," Women's High Performance Manager, Alex Williams said. "Bowdoin is home to one of the few women's varsity rugby programs in the country and it's a great environment for the intense final preparations prior to the World Cup."
The residency camp will include a lot of individual and unit skill work, along with strength and conditioning sessions, video analysis, and creating game plans for its upcoming RWC pool matches. Brought into the camp will be additional skill specialists, sports psychologists, nutritionists and select media personnel who will all work with the players and staff in preparation for the team's biggest event of the quadrennial.
The National Team's time at Bowdoin College won't be all work and no play, however. On July 12, the USA Women's Team will host an Under-19 rugby clinic for new and upcoming Under-19 female players and then on July 25, the Women's National Team will play the Northeast Rugby Union All-Star Women's Team in a final Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up match for the Eagles.
The U.S. will also have one week of preparation and acclimatization once landing in England, prior to the kick-off of the 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup.
The 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup features the top 12 teams from around the world. The teams are sorted into three pools and will play pool opponents on three match days through August. The fifth-ranked USA Women's Team is in Pool B along with second-seeded England, Ireland and Kazakhstan.
The USA will face the 11th-ranked Kazakhstan, first, on Friday, August 20. Four days later, the USA will play the eighth-seed, Ireland side, on August 24 and will finish against England on August 28.
"We don't have the luxury to look past any team at the Women's Rugby World Cup," Flores added. "While we were playing Canada in June, Kazakhstan played close matches with South Africa. Ireland is lining up practice competition in the coming month and I am sure England will be training and lining up practice matches as well. No team is taking anything for granted in this event."
The U.S. Women's Rugby World Cup Team includes:

  1. Sharon Blaney (Beantown)
  2. Stacey Bridges (Texas A&M)
  3. Jamie Burke (Beantown)
  4. Lisa Butts (Berkeley All-Blues)
  5. Melanie Denham (Beantown)
  6. Farrah Douglas (Keystone)
  7. Blair Groefsema (Berkeley All-Blues)
  8. Phaidra Knight (New York)
  9. Jillion Potter (Minnesota Valkyries)
  10. Beckett Royce (Oregon Sports Union)
  11. Lara Vivolo (New York)
  12. Kittery Wagner (Beantown)
  13. Maurin Wallace (Beantown)
  14. Kristin Zdanczewicz (Minnesota Valkyries)
  1. Claudia Braymer (Albany)
  2. Emilie Bydwell (Beantown)
  3. Amy Daniels (Beantown)
  4. Ashley English (Berkeley All-Blues)
  5. Victoria Folayan (Berkeley All-Blues)
  6. Melissa Kanuk (Minnesota Valkyries)
  7. Ashley Kmiecik (Oregon Sports Union)
  8. Lynelle Kugler (Twin Cities Amazons)
  9. Kim Magrini (Keystone)
  10. Nathalie Marchino (Berkeley All-Blues)
  11. Vanesha McGee (New York)
  12. Christy Ringgenberg (Minnesota Valkyries)
  1. Stephanie Bruce (Berkeley All-Blues)
  2. Kate Daley (Keystone)
  3. Naima Reddick (Berkeley All-Blues)
  4. Hannah Stolba (Minnesota Valkyries)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CrossFit Oakland Athlete Spotlight: Nathalie Marchino

This week's athlete spotlight is Nathalie, who has recently been chosen to represent the United States at the Rugby World Cup in England August 8th! 

Nathalie typically trains at Open Gym during the week and flies pretty low under the radar.  She is amazingly humble for being the real deal.  If you've met her, you won't soon forget.  She is a beautiful, athletic woman with a soft accent (born in Colombia and raised in Switzerland) and stunning smile and is super-tough (duh, she plays international rugby!) and has been recovering from a serious injury as she hits the CFO workouts hard.

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