Iowa to Race at Longhorn Invitational

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THIS WEEK: Iowa will kick off the spring racing season at the Longhorn Invitational, hosted by the University of Texas. The Hawkeyes will face the University of Louisville, Central Florida, Kansas State and Texas. The Hawkeyes will be racing Varsity 8’s, Varsity 4’s, and Novice 8’s each session.

THE RACE: The competition will take place on Ladybird Lake in Austin, TX. Friday at 4:40 p.m with Iowa racing the Louisville Cardinals. Saturday Iowa will race the University of Central Florida beginning at 8:40 a.m., and take on the Texas Longhorns at 4:00 p.m. Racing concludes Sunday when the Hawkeyes meet Kansas State beginning at 8:40 a.m.

Iowa is taking full advantage of their spring break by training in Austin twice a day, and conditions have been excellent for rowing.

LAST EVENT: The University of Iowa’s rowing team last competed at the Notre Dame Regatta in early November. The Hawkeyes competed in the Varsity 4’s, Novice 8’s and Varsity 8’s down a 4100m stretch of the St. Joseph River. The Hawkeyes raced against Notre Dame, Michigan State and Indiana.

After the conclusion of the fall season, the team has spent much of the winter working on strength and technical skills. The Hawkeyes have a challenging race schedule, facing many ranked teams. Competing against strong teams will help the Hawkeyes prepare for the Big Ten Championships and the NCAA qualifier.

NEW HOME FOR THE HAWKEYES: The P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse was dedicated September 18, 2009. The new state of the art facility for the Hawkeyes is located within the city of Iowa City’s Terrell Mill Park, next to the Iowa River.

It is an ideal site to fulfill all the needs of the rowing team. More efficient boat storage racks, an indoor rowing tank, and an erg room (for machine rowing) is incorporated in the building.

HEAD COACH: Mandi Kowal is in her 16th 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’ve had some great practices in gorgeous weather. This group is excited to race and row with intensity every session.,” said Head Coach Mandi Kowal. Coaching intern Drew Cowens added, “Because we were able to practice out of the Beckwith Boathouse all winter, we were able to get on the water without losing ground on teams in warmer parts of the country. That is going to really help our speed in our races this week and in the season ahead.”