DURHAM, N.C. – Before Duke rowing senior Abby Artmann enters her final season as a Blue Devil, GoDuke.com reflects back on her time on the water.
Artmann joined DWR in the fall of 2016 after spending two seasons with Duke’s swimming and diving team.
As a junior, Artmann became a member of the 2V8 squad for the majority of the season before transitioning to the V8 for the conference championship. Artmann helped the Blue Devils win the Carolina Cup with 99 overall points by winning its race nearly 10 seconds ahead of second-place Clemson. The 2V8 also captured first at the Dale England Cup to hold off No. 16 Indiana, Notre Dame and San Diego.
With the V8, Artmann helped the squad to a fourth-place finish in the ACC Championship Grand Final and was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll for her efforts.
GoDuke.com recently sat down with Artmann to reflect on her time at Duke, discuss goals for the upcoming season and learn what DWR means to her.
How do you know coming to Duke was the right decision for you?
AA: “I knew that Duke was the right decision for me because it is the perfect combination between athletics and academics. I knew that the rigorous classes and hard workouts over the four year would build to create a degree and legacy in school and sports that would make me proud to remember.”
What have the relationships you’ve formed here meant to you and how have they added to your experience?
AA: “The relationships are probably what I am going to remember most. The friendships I have built on both the swim team and the rowing team have been the defining characteristic of my college career. I have learned in my human development classes that the relationships you build between the ages of 16 and 22 will be lifelong because this is such a formative period of development. I know this will be true as my friends and I continue through the next stages because we have watched each other learn and grow over the past four years, everything from how to sort laundry to finding out what credit is and if you have some and if it is good.”
What will a degree from Duke mean to you?
AA: “A Duke degree in essence means excitement for my future. As I am applying to different jobs, I have had a first-hand experience of how a Duke degree opens doors and creates opportunities.”
What has been your proudest academic achievement throughout your three and a half years?
AA: “My proudest academic achievement is the perspective that classes through my minor in education has given me. It might not be an accomplishment per se, however the way policy, working with children and the ongoing challenge of trying to meet the needs of American children interacts has been one of the most enlightening experiences of my academic pursuits at Duke.”
What is one lesson Duke rowing has taught you that you will carry over to the rest of your life?
AA: “One important lesson I have learned from rowing is to take small steps one-at-a-time. Whether I am working in a class, anticipating a workout, or stressing about a test, rowing has taught me to take things as they come.”
What is one team goal you all have for the season?
AA: “Win ACCs.”
How has your role changed since joining the team?
AA: “My role as an athlete at Duke has changed a great deal. I came in as a swimmer and have now transferred to the rowing team. The transition between these two teams has shaped who I am as an athlete primarily in my work ethic. Rowing is a grind and it has taught me to really put aside whatever my body is feeling to keep going and push myself harder than I have ever thought that I could. It has been instrumental in forming my passion for pushing my limits whereas before, as a freshman, I moved away from hard work and tried to rest on talent or natural ability.”
What does Duke rowing mean to you?
AA: “Duke rowing has been such a joyful, sweet family for me these past two years. I have not been on the team long, but I didn’t have to be in order to be accepted and loved on immediately. I feel very accepted and supported by my teammates and they have grown to be dear friends.”
What is one of your favorite memories from being a part of the rowing family?
AA: “There are so many that I can’t pin point one memory in particular but some of my favorite times over the past year with these girls has been when we’re traveling. I remember that we spend a lot of time laughing, maybe some singing and a lot of talking about everything from school to our futures. Traveling so frequently can be hard on our schedules, patience and school but it has been some of my fondest memories with our team. “
How do you plan to lead your team this year and how will you define success?
AA: “I generally define success in two different ways: objective success in competition and in the attitude and character you display throughout competing and training. A good year for Duke Rowing would be a win at ACCs. A successful and lasting year for Duke Rowing would be a season where each person discovers an excitement for their progress as an athlete, grows in their efficacy as an encourager and unifying force on the team, and we have a win at ACCs.”
What role are you embracing this year that you haven’t in past years?
AA: “I am trying to become more vocal in my encouragement and ideas for the team’s success.”