July 22, 2015
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa rowing program was represented at the USRowing Nationals by recent UI graduate and senior-to-be Beth Baustian on July 15-19 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Baustian has spent the past few summers training and competing with her home club, Y Quad Cities in Moline, Illinois.
“I’ve been rowing with them about four or five times a week. The junior rowing program that I have been working with practices twice a day for three weeks leading up to the event,” said Baustian. “It was definitely a different atmosphere, competing with juniors and competing with boys and girls. I am so lucky to have something like the Y Quad cities so close.”
After moving through the qualifying time trials and semi-finals on Wednesday and Thursday, Baustian nabbed a silver medal in the Intermediate Women’s 1x on Friday. Not content with the one medal, she followed up with a bronze in the Senior 1x event on Sunday.
The two-medal haul earned the Y Quad Cities club valuable points and helped her team to a sixth place finish overall and an eighth place finish in the women’s division.
“I didn’t really know how I was going to match up with everyone. It was kind of hard to gauge what my speed was going to be like. It is fun to surprise yourself,” said Baustian. “I was happy with the results but at the same time I have a lot of things I want to work on.”
Baustian’s rowing experiences began at a young age. Her love of the sport was sparked nine years ago when she took her first learn-to-row class.
“I was so bad at it. When you first start to row, no one is very good at it. So the first couple years were rocky. Rowing is an ongoing process,” said Baustian. “When you have a really good rowing experience, a really good race, a great practice, it feels so good. So you are constantly looking for that feeling again. It becomes an addiction where you are always seeking that experience again.”
The Davenport, Iowa, native tried to fuel her rowing addiction with the UI rowing program her freshman year, only to leave the program after one year. Baustian’s love of rowing inspired her return junior year when the team came under new leadership with head coach Andrew Carter.
“I can’t even begin to explain how much the program has changed for the better since coach Carter and coach Garbutt have arrived and I know everyone would say the same,” said Baustian. “I think it is a pretty big statement that I left the program after my freshman year and came back, tentatively, my junior year only to really enjoy it and improve.
“There are so many things that make the program a great place to be. Both Coach Andrew Carter and Coach Jeff Garbutt have so much knowledge about rowing and experience. It makes it so much easier to trust them,” said Baustian. “They care for everyone on the team and are invested in our finding success in rowing and in life in general. I think that is so important. It is a perfect mix of family and worth ethic. They hold us to a very high standard.”
Baustian’s pride for the Hawkeye rowing program inspired her decision to return in the fall for her final year of eligibility.
“As I get older and as I invest more time in the program, I care more and more about the program. I think that’s natural. I have a lot of pride in Iowa and our rowing program. I’m a lot more passionate about the Midwest and how we can produce good rowers and we can be competitive,” said Baustian.
With Y Quad Cities placing several juniors on the national team (all Iowa natives), Baustian’s success at the National Championships and UIowa’s recent successes, there couldn’t be a better argument that the Midwest, and Iowa rowing, in particular, is producing some of the nation’s best.