Novices To Compete At Head Of The Rock

Oct. 3, 2005

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THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa novice rowing team will travel to Rockford, IL, Sunday to compete in the 20th annual Head of the Rock Regatta. Competition will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.

THE RACE: The 2.75 mile Rock River race course begins at Martin Park and finishes near the Whitman Street Bridge in downtown Rockford. The races will be in a head race format. Teams will start the race one after another, with a 15 second break between each entry. The team that completes the course in the best time wins.

BIG TEN COMPETITION: Five Big Ten teams will be competing, along with Iowa, at the Head of the Rock. Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan finished second, third and fourth in the 2005 Big Ten championships, respectively. Northwestern and Purdue will round out the field of Big Ten competitors.

LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeye rowers competed at the Head of the Des Moines Regatta on September 24. Iowa took first place in three events and second place in four, winning seven medals. In the junior women’s single, freshman Laura Kanaris took first place with a time of 21:06. Freshman Kat Davy-Traynor finished second with a time of 22:28. Sophomore Ashley Gustafson took second place in the women’s novice single with a time of 26:02. The Hawkeyes took both first and second place in the women’s open pair. In the women’s open four, Iowa finished second. The most impressive result of the day was the women’s varsity eight, in which Iowa won the eighth straight year.

HEAD COACH: Mandi Kowal is in her 12th year as head coach of the Hawkeyes. In the 1997 and 1998 NCAA Rowing Championships, she coached the Varsity 4+ teams to fourth and eighth-places finishes, respectively. Kowal began her rowing career at the University of Wisconsin in 1981. She was a two-time rowing World Champion in the Women’s Lightweight 4- (1986-1987). 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 ASSISTANT COACH Laura Macfarlane: “This is a good race for the novices to start with because it shows us if we’re moving in the right direction. It will test who can maintain discipline and composure, while at the same time going for it during the race.”