They forged a friendship on the water and now share a common dream: to row for Canada on the senior women’s national team.
With that goal in their heads, a pair of 23-year-olds from Langley — Lisa Roman and Kristin Bauder — packed up and left for London, Ont. late last month (Dec. 29).
London is the training centre for the Canadian national rowing program.
There are 20 rowers — all by invitation only — are in London for the rest of the month in preparation for a training camp in February in California.
The coaches will use the camp to gauge the rowers to see who works well together and from that set their line-up for a pair of World Cup events in March and July.
Roman and Bauder earned the invite after a third-place finish at the Canadian national rowing championships at Victoria’s Elk Lake back in November.
Roman has represented Canada before, spending last summer with the senior development squad which won gold at the Royal Henley Regatta. The summer before, she competed at the U23 world championships.
Roman, a D.W. Poppy graduate who was also a competitive figure skating, won a pair of gold medals and a silver medal rowing for B.C. at the 2009 Canada Winter Games.
She did not even begin rowing until after high school, as the D.W. Poppy graduate first gave the sport a try during her first year at the University of the Fraser Valley.
But after earning MVP honours in her second year with the Cascades program, she caught the eye of Washington State, and earned a scholarship to join the Cougars program.
She graduated from WSU in 2012, with a degree in psychology and a double minor in sports management and human development.
So while Roman may has some experience under her belt, Bauder is a relative newcomer, having only taken up the sport in the summer of 2011. That doesn’t mean Bauder isn’t used to being on the water.
In fact, she was also at the same 2009 Canada Winter Games as Roman, but while Roman was rowing for Team B.C., Bauder was competing in the canoe/kayak events.
But upon graduation from R.E. Mountain, Bauder shifted her focus away from the water and to volleyball with the SFU Clan.
It was only after she was done with the volleyball team and out on the water one day at Burnaby Lake, when a rowing coach persuaded her to give the sport a shot.
“I still needed something to keep me competitive,” Bauder explained and she found rowing very similar to kayaking “so it fit really well with me.”
It also helped that the rowing training schedule fit perfectly with her school schedule, allowing Bauder to fully commit to the sport.
Bauder is one credit away from finishing her degree in criminology and she plans to do that course by correspondence.
Working with John Wetzstein, a coach at Rowing Canada Aviron’s national development centre in Burnaby, he suggested last July that Bauder team up with Roman.
“She has a lot of international rowing experience so it was really good to have her work with me because I didn’t have much experience,” Bauder said.
“And she was willing to put in the time and effort to make me better, so it was really nice to have an athlete like her to get me through the process.”
The relationship was mutually beneficial.
“She was fairly new to the sport and I was coming out of Washington state, kind of not knowing where I was going to go,” said Roman.
“And I was able to excel at what I wanted to do and she was able to help me get there.
“It was just kind of nice to find someone that was new and wanted to learn.”