Iowa Kicks Off Spring At Longhorn Invitational

March 17, 2009

THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa women’s rowing team will compete in the Longhorn Invitational this weekend in Austin, TX. Friday’s races will begin for the Hawkeyes at approximately 4 p.m. Saturday will consist of two sessions (8 a.m. and 4 p.m.) with a final session on Sunday at 9:20 a.m.

THE RACE — The Hawkeyes will compete in four different sessions during the weekend. Each session will consist of two boats each of V4’s, V8’s and N8’s.

SCHOOLS ATTENDING — Iowa will compete in a seven-team field including Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Texas, Central Florida, Duke and Kansas State. Iowa will compete in a head-to-head format on Friday against Oklahoma and Texas. Saturday’s competition will be against Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Duke, Texas and Central Florida in the same format, with Kansas State and Central Florida on Sunday in similar fashion.

LAST EVENT — Aside from a scrimmage March 14, the Longhorn Invitational will be the first competition the Hawkeyes have seen this spring. Iowa last competed at the Rivanna Romp on Nov. 17 where they had two varsity pairs finish in the top five.

HEAD COACH — Mandi Kowal is in her 15th 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 COACH KOWAL — “We have our first big racing weekend coming up and the team is very excited. They have worked hard over the winter and from what we can tell on the water, it seems to be paying off. We have appreciated this weekend each year as it provides many racing opportunities early on this spring. We hope to improve on our performances from the previous year. The seniors, in particular, have some special goals in the coming days. I look forward to see what we can do this year at the Longhorn Invitational.”