April 27, 2004
THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa rowing team will host the 2004 Big Ten Championships Saturday. Competition will be held on Lake Macbride and is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. with the final event set to begin at 2:45 p.m. Admission is free to the public. For more information regarding the championships, visit www.hawkeyesports.com.
THE BIG TEN: The Big Ten currently has four ranked boats in the Varsity Eight crews from Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Wisconsin. Ohio State sits atop the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association NCAA Division I Coaches Poll, receiving 17 first-place votes. Michigan State’s Varsity Eight crew is ranked seventh, while Michigan is 10th and Wisconsin is 13th. Ohio State’s Varsity Eight has also been named Big Ten Boat of the Week four consecutive weeks, sharing weekly honors with Michigan State on April 19.
IOWA VS. THE BIG TEN: The Hawkeyes have faced four Big Ten opponents this season. At the beginning of April, Iowa faced Minnesota on Lake Macbride. The Hawkeye Varsity 4+ was the only winning boat, beating two Minnesota boats with a time of 7:53.25. Two weeks later, the Hawkeyes faced Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin on Lake Lemon in Bloomington, IN. When racing against Wisconsin and Indiana, Iowa’s Varsity 8+ finished two seconds behind Wisconsin’s 14th-ranked crew. Iowa will face Michigan and Michigan State for the first time this season at the Big Ten Championships.
HEAD COACH: Mandi Kowal is in her 10th year as head coach of the Hawkeyes. Her most recent accomplishments include leading Iowa to the NCAA Championship meet three of the past seven years. Kowal was a two-time rowing World Champion in the Women’s Lightweight Four without coxswain in 1986 and 1987. She was named “Female Athlete of the Year” in 1987 by the US Rowing Association and was inducted into the United States Rowing Hall of Fame in 1997.
QUOTING COACH KOWAL: “Having the Big 10 Championships at Iowa is a great opportunity to showcase rowing. This is one of the strongest conferences in the country. We have four Big 10 teams ranked in the top 13 and two other teams on the verge of being in the top 20. The racing should be exciting and fun to watch. The Hawkeyes will have a chance to change some previous race results that were close, but didn’t go our way. I know our team loves to do well at home and would like to get some victories for family, friends, and themselves. We will also use this race to prepare for the Central-Southern Championships that will take place on May 15 and 16th. The tough racing provided at the Big 10 Championships creates an intensity needed for that Regional Championship.”