Track and field star signs commitment letter to University of Memphis

By Garrett Simmons

Lethbridge School District No. 51

Communications Officer

Emma Bauer has accomplished a lot in her young track and field career.

But for the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Grade 12 student, the biggest moment in her athletic career likely came Wednesday afternoon, inside the Large Lecture Hall at her school.

There, in front of a collection of local media, friends, family and LCI staff, Bauer signed a letter of intent to join the University of Memphis track and field team.

“Track and field is something I have always wanted to do,” said Bauer, who added she has greatly benefitted from training locally over the years with University of Lethbridge track and field head coach Larry Steinke.

Bauer began her track and field journey in Grade 8, and began working with Steinke in Grade 10. Success quickly followed.

Bauer has been throwing shot put and discus for four years, hammer for two and weight throw for one. She has won zones in shot put since Grade 8, and has done the same in discus. Bauer is also the two-time defending Alberta School Athletic Association gold medalist and three-time defending Athletics Alberta gold medalist in discus. She has also won two national medals in the event. 

And while hammer is not a part of the ASAA meet, Bauer is also the Athletics Alberta provincial champion in that discipline. She also holds that title for indoor weight throw, as well, and is ranked No. 1 in Canada in the event. Bauer is ranked third in discus and sixth nationally in hammer.

Now, she will be taking her talents to Memphis, under the direction on Kevin Robinson, the head coach of the university team.

“Coach Robinson from the University of Memphis is the main reason why Emma chose to be a Tiger ahead of five other schools that offered her visits,” said Emma’s father, Rob Bauer, who added Oregon State, Tulane, Washington State, Northern Arizona and North Texas were among the schools who pursued Bauer. “He’s (Robinson) been incredible and has been really supportive and sees the potential in Emma.”

The local track and field star also had 26 other schools who were in contact with her throughout the recruiting process. 

“Memphis was the first letter we received from any school in the United States,” said Emma. “Memphis was always my first choice.”

What made the decision even easier for the family was the fact Robinson will have the opportunity to work directly with Bauer.

“It is rare to have the throws coach be the head coach of the team,” said Rob. “With the international composition of the team, as well as the success of Canadian throwers under his guidance, they were on the top of her list. Meeting him, the entire team and visiting campus convinced her to compete in the AAC and pursue her degree in Memphis.”

Emma added the fact she will be able to train year round, in the warm Tennessee climate, didn’t hurt either.

“I’m definitely excited to just train constantly,” said Emma.

She will focus academically on Anthropology, with a minor in Art History. Bauer added while Memphis is a great university for track and field athletes who focus on throwing, the educational and cultural components also attracted her to the school.

“It’s just kind of a great environment there, with a lot of school pride everywhere.”

Bauer knew all along Memphis would be her destination next year, but added it didn’t feel real until she finally put pen to paper on her commitment letter.

“It feels real now,” said Emma, who also gave credit to her parents for pushing her to be the best, each and every day.

She will compete in discus, hammer and weight throw in Memphis, and may even try her hand at shot put.

“I’m really excited to be throwing more and being around athletes that love to throw as much as I do.”

Bauer added she will be one of two Canadians on the team next year, as she hopes develop a bond with a Memphis team that this year also included international athletes from Holland, Finland, Norway and Spain.

“I’m super excited to represent Canada in Memphis, and I’m hoping to be part of Team Canada afterwards.

Date posted: Nov. 8, 2017