Iowa State Boxing Club continues its rise

Camryn Linster competes in a bout. The Iowa State Boxing Club has seen its popularity rise in the past few years.

Connor Ferguson

Fighting another human being one-on-one is not something a lot of people want to do. For the boxers in the Iowa State Boxing Club, it’s something they do almost every day.

The club practices six nights a week in order to stay competitive in the national club scene, called the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA).

“To be a college boxer and to be a competitive boxer is extremely grueling and demanding,” coach Jon Swanson said.

The boxing club fields both men’s and women’s teams and competes throughout the school year leading up to the NCBA Collegiate Boxing Championships in April.

However, getting a team to the championships is not the easiest task.

“It just depends on who shows up,” Swanson said. “There’s been times at the beginning of the season where we looked like [we could win it all]. For different reasons, guys had to drop out.”

Those reasons can range from a boxer accepting an internship to sustaining an injury — and everything in between.

“It’s hard to maintain a full team and get enough people who can take on that task,” Swanson said.

But that hasn’t stopped the club from achieving national success individually.

The club sent five boxers to the Collegiate Boxing Championships in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, this year.

“It’s a good number to send,” Swanson said. “It depends. Sometimes certain weight classes can be easier to get into. [Overall] it’s a good number to send.”

Three of the five boxers earned All-America honors, including Camryn Linster, the club’s president.

“Camryn took third place, she probably had the [best tournament],” Swanson said.

Linster made it to the semifinals of the tournament, before being downed by Stephanie Simon.

Simon, who was featured on “60 Minutes Sports” for her boxing ability, was the favorite to win the tournament, and did so after beating Linster.

Even in the loss, Linster had some bright spots. She lasted the whole fight against Simon, which is not something that usually happened in bouts with the Naval Academy star.

“Camryn told me it was the toughest fight she had ever been in,” Swanson said.

Linster finished third to add to her second-place finish in 2016.

The boxing club continues to try to grow by hosting more meets on campus in Ames.

In the spring, Iowa State hosted the Midwest Collegiate Invitational for the second year in a row. It welcomed Kansas, South Dakota and in-state rival Iowa.

“The boxing area of State Gym was full,” Swanson said. “The audience participation was very enthusiastic, especially when it was Iowa versus Iowa State.”

The club also hosts a showcase event in the fall semester in Ames, where it has the newer boxers show off their skills. The showcase will be the next event they are showcased in.