Oct. 20, 2011
Rebecca Eustice (Women’s Swimming 1996-2000)
Eustice was a stand-out swimmer at KU from 1996-2000, who made an immediate impact on the program, breaking the 200 backstroke record in only her freshman season. The Loveland, Colo. native came to Lawrence after falling in love with the school and campus. Just a few years later she would fall in love with her future husband, who ran track at KU. Since graduating, Eustice, now known as Rebecca Norton began coaching swimming at her old high school in her hometown. Currently, she works for the city of Loveland as a civil engineer in their water and power department.
How did you get started in swimming?
“I grew up in Loveland, Colo., and when I was in middle school a few of my good friends were going out for the swim team. They asked if I would go with them and I said sure.”
How did swimming at Kansas become a possibility for you?
“Well I wasn’t super-fast so I was kind of expecting to walk-on, but one of the KU assistant coaches contacted me. She got a scouting report on me and she also knew my high school coach but she basically called me on a whim.”
“I remember that she mailed me a video of KU and campus life and I still recall being really amazed by the rock chalk chant; I had never heard anything like that before and thought that was really cool. I finally got a recruiting trip scheduled and fell in love with the campus and after that trip I was sold.”
What do you think of when you reflect on your time at Kansas?
“I just enjoyed being at the school with my friends from the team and the friends I met in the engineering school. Engineering was a pretty tough academic program for me, so I got to be really close with some of those students. I met my husband, Matt Norton, there while he was running for the track team. And my grandfather actually went to KU, so I had a family tie there as well.”
Have you stayed involved with swimming after leaving KU?
I actually coached my high school team that I went to, Loveland High School (Colorado), for two seasons. I worked as a full time civil engineer and I had the opportunity to reduce my hours in order to take that coaching position. But since then I have taken a new job and I am not able to coach anymore. About a year ago I started working with the City of Loveland in their water and power department, so I still work with water, just from a different angle. I am a project manager, which means that I am a civil engineer and I manage capital projects for the city’s water department.”
What is your most memorable accomplishment at KU?
“Two things come to mind. The first one, which probably means the most to me, was during my freshman year when I broke the school record in the 200 backstroke. That was really special, just to be a part of the school’s history. I had that record memorized and I set that as a goal for myself before I graduated. I did not expect to break it as a freshman, so it was very surprising. The other was during my senior year when we beat Nebraska. I never thought in a million years we could beat them and we did. That was a pretty cool memory as well.”
Is there anything else you would like to add?
“Just that I am really honored that you are interviewing me for this. I looked at some of the other profiles (on kuathletics.com) and there are a lot of really great athletes that have been interviewed for this, so thank you.”