Class Notes Profiles
She’s a rugger
By Jessie Bazan
Sylvia Braaten didn’t know what rugby was when she first came to Marquette. But after seeing a table promoting the club sport at O-Fest during her freshman year, the lifelong athlete was sold.
“I went to a practice and fell in love with it,” Braaten says.
Fell in love, she certainly did, as the team’s starting inside center went on to become team captain her junior and senior seasons. Although Braaten’s playing time at Marquette inevitably ended at graduation, her rugby career was far from over. Along with working as the strength and conditioning coach at Totino-Grace High School in Minneapolis, Braaten is a proud member of the USA Rugby program. Since age 19, she has traveled with the national team (aptly named the Eagles) to countries such as England, Wales, New Zealand and, most recently, Canada for the 2011 Nations Cup.
Now Braaten has her eyes set on a bigger prize: a coveted spot on the 2014 World Cup team. “There’s a pool of 40 players training for a chance to compete for the USA,” she says. “The goal is to stay healthy and stay on top of your game.”
To keep her competitive advantage, Braaten trains six days a week with teammates from her Twin City Amazons club team and meticulously studies the game on video. She was also recently invited to represent her country with the USA Sevens team, a group that plays a faster-paced form of the traditional game. Come time for World Cup evaluations later this year, there is no doubt this alumna will be ready.