Jogging for Jill
Women’s rowing to promote lung cancer awareness
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 10:10
This Saturday Santa Clara’s women’s rowing team will be competing against Saint Mary’s’ women’s rowing team to see who can raise the most money for “Jog for Jill,” a fun run designed to raise funds and promote awareness for lung cancer.
Beginning at 8 a.m. at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale, Calif., the 5K walk/run will precede the Santa Clara Bronco Invite hosted by Santa Clara’s cross-country team.
“Jog for Jill” is named after a former coxswain on University of California, Berkeley’s rowing team, Jill Costello, who passed away in 2010 from lung cancer. She continued to compete through her illness, which was diagnosed in 2009, and helped her Cal team finish second at the NCAA Championships in 2010, two months before the disease took her life.
In an interview with Santa Clara Broncos Athletics online, coach John Wojtkiewicz cited Costello’s close ties with the sport of rowing for fueling the team’s passion for the event.
“I thought it was a problem that the ‘Jog for Jill’ series was exploding all over the country, with events as far as New York and Florida, but there was originally nothing here on the Peninsula in the fall,” he said. “Jill was originally from San Francisco and her connection to our sport, and her goal of eliminating the social stigma of lung cancer as a ‘smoker’s disease,’ made it an obvious choice for our fall community service project.”
Santa Clara coxswain Clarissa Yaw seemed excited about competing against Saint Mary’s. “We are competing with Saint Mary’s since they are in our conference,” she said. “We’d like to have some friendly competition.”
Yaw was quick to point out that the focus will still be on the cause. “We would like to focus more on raising money and awareness for lung cancer research than (winning),” she said.
Captain Adrienne Lohe also emphasized the importance of remembering Costello. “Even though we may be in competition, we are working with Saint Mary’s to remove the stigma from lung cancer and promote research for the disease,” she said.
It is clear that Costello has left an impression on the rowing community that will last for years to come.
“I think she’s a model of strength and endurance as well as the power of the mind over body,” Yaw said.
The Santa Clara women’s rowing team has had a history of community service and “Jog for Jill” could be something they participate in for a long time. Wojtkiewicz said, “I am looking forward to running this for many years to come, and having it be a part of our tradition.”
The team will be tabling in Benson today from 11a.m.-2p.m. where students can sign up to run or donate.
Contact Chris Glennon at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.