Q&A with Jennifer VanderMaarel
On why she came to The University of Texas: Well, I came down for a visit and I absolutely loved the school because other universities (not only in Canada, but others in the United States) are not like this at all. I came here and I could really feel the school spirit. It's just something in the atmosphere. I visited other schools [in the U.S.]; however, when I thought about not coming to Texas I knew I was going to miss out on something special if I didn't come here. I knew, 'I absolutely had to come here.'
On Hilary Corbett, her fellow teammate from St. Catharines, Ontario: I actually didn't know her before I came to UT, but I did transfer to the high school that she graduated from before coming to Texas. It is fun to know someone from St. Catharines now that I am here in Austin and so far away from home.
On when she arrived in Austin and her first impressions of it and UT: I arrived in Austin on August 22, so I've actually only been here about five days. It's hot here! I'm used to Canada, but I absolutely love it. Austin is a unique town -- it's quirky with all its little shops, and I couldn't be happier to be here.
On her goals for this year: This year, I would love to row in a varsity boat but if that doesn't happen I just want to improve as an athlete and as a student. Hopefully the team will make it to the NCAA Championships. I think that's everyone's goal for the team.
On what she is looking forward to the most this year: I'm looking forward to our first competition against other universities.
On how training compares to what she has done before: We actually don't start training until Friday, but I am excited about getting in there and working my hardest and trying to make a varsity boat.
On the diversity of the rowing team: I think that having people from all over the world actually helps because everyone brings in their different perspectives from their different backgrounds. On the team there is a girl from Germany, two freshmen from Croatia and Hilary and I are from Canada, not to mention the girls from all over the U.S. It is fun to experience different cultures when we get together, and in the end we all get along because we're all a part of the same team.
On her biggest accomplishment to date in rowing: My biggest accomplishment in rowing so far has been winning the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta by seven seconds. It was awesome! It's one of the bigger regattas in North America, so it was exciting to win such a big event by a margin like that.