Everyday Champion: Justin Wagner
Justin Wagner (Portland, Ore. / Jesuit HS) is one stand-up individual. He is a member of the Oregon State men’s rowing team. Not only has Wagner excelled on the water, but in the classroom and community as well. Wagner, a biology major has an astonishing 3.97 grade-point average. He is a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), he has volunteered at places such as a soup kitchen and at camps for disabled children, and Wagner has also just finished orientation at the Boys and Girls Club where he hopes to get more hours in the spring. This summer Wagner will also be working in Philadelphia on an internship with Dr. Arthur Feldman at Thomas Jefferson University dealing cardiology research.
What or who got you into rowing?
“My brother and my dad encouraged me to do it in my sophomore year in high school. My cousin, she rowed at Princeton, and a couple of people I knew from my high school were pretty good. Oregon Rowing Unlimited in Portland was the club that I rowed in.”
What do you enjoy most about rowing and why?
“The competitive atmosphere. I have played other sports, but I think rowing is the most competitive sport everyday, all of the time. The competitive atmosphere is always there, such as all of the race pieces during practice. For somebody who likes racing, rowing is the sport.”
What are the goals you and your team have set for the season?
“To compete to our highest ability when we need to. Hopefully that means that we are competitive with the other big schools in the Pac-10 and at the Pac-10 Championships. Hopefully we can get our boats into the Grand Finals of the IRA. But the main goal is to be our best when our best is needed.”
Being a student-athlete takes a lot of time, how do you manage your time to stay on top of your studies and your athletic performance?
“I just try to get all of my homework done or anything important done before practice. I just try my best to not let any days slip by. I try to do as much as I can during night time.”
What have you enjoyed most about being a student-athlete at Oregon State?
“Being a part of the team. The guys on the rowing team are really stand-up guys. The coaches are great. The whole atmosphere that goes along with rowing is what I have enjoyed most.”
Talk a little bit about the internship you have earned at Thomas Jefferson University.
“I earned an internship with Dr. Arthur Feldman of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He is a well known and reputable cardiologist and currently the chairman of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Feldman's research is directed toward congestive heart failure and he is working on molecular biological approaches to finding treatments for heart failure. I will be working on a project this summer that continues his research on this problem.”
What are your plans after Oregon State?
“Hopefully get into med-school if possible. I want to be a doctor someday.”