For runners Montuclard, Trost, Iowa was no-brainer


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Iowa freshman cross country runners Astrid Montuclard and Katharina Trost are accustomed to running long distances. However, this year, they’ll deal with some distances that even they have never experienced before.

That’s because both Montuclard and Trost are two out of the 3,400-student community of international students at the University of Iowa in the fall 2013. In addition to school, they chose to leave home and come to Iowa City to compete for the Hawkeyes.

Trost hails from Piding, Germany, a small town in Bavaria on the Austrian border not too far from Salzburg — roughly 5,000 miles away from Iowa City — and she first learned about Iowa through a sports agency in her hometown.

“I was at an agency and got connected with coaches in America, and Coach visited me in Germany,” she said. “He told me about all the facilities and the team here. He persuaded me to come to Iowa.”
For Montuclard, who is from Tahiti — roughly 5,500 miles away from Iowa City — it was the lure of a big-time cross-country program such as Iowa’’s to persuade her to join the program.

“I chose Iowa because the level is really high in track,” she said. “The university is NCAA Division I, so it was a great opportunity for me, because in Tahiti we don’t have this high of a level, and the universities level in pre-med is also high, so it was an easy choice.”

Montuclard is the first athlete on the team to come from Tahiti in the time head coach Layne Anderson has been at Iowa, he said.

Montuclard was so impressed with the school on paper that she committed without ever visiting the campus or meeting any of her coaches.

“[Coach Anderson] wrote me an email, and I got information about the university from an agency, and I decided to come, but I never met him,” she said. “My island is very far away.”

Though Trost and Montuclard are from different hemispheres of the globe and had little in common before coming to Iowa, they are going through this new experience together. And, as one might expect, there are some big differences between life and school in the United States as opposed to Tahiti or Germany.

“The life here is very quick, so everything is happening so fast,” Montuclard said. “In Tahiti, things move really slow, but I’m really busy here. I have lots of stuff to do and am always busy, but that’s exciting, and I’m really glad to experience that.”

Trost echoed her opinion about living and competing in the United States.

“I like it here. In Germany I often had to practice alone and train alone, but over here, we have the great team, and we all practice together,” she said. “ I thought I might be a little bit homesick, but up until now, I’m not. The team has been great and really supportive.”

That the Black and Gold were able to land the both of them could be a testament to the excellent program head Anderson has built in his 10 years as head coach of the team.

“They both certainly have the running credentials to be here,” he said. “Katharina actually has a personal best in the 800 meters that’s better than our school record, and Astrid has an upbeat personality that certainly has the tools to accomplish great things in her four years here at Iowa.”

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