May 18, 2014
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By JIL PRICE
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — University of Iowa rowing completed its season with a seventh place team finish at the 2014 Big Ten Championship held at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Indiana on Sunday morning. Last year’s national champion Ohio State recorded its second consecutive Big Ten title with 164 points, followed by Michigan (140), Wisconsin (109) and Indiana (103). Michigan State (60), Minnesota (55) and Iowa (39) rounded out the team standings.
“Their performances have been really consistent,” first-year head coach Andrew Carter said. “They’ve been a steady force. Both of those women have been in the 1V pretty consistently. They have different personalities, but they bring a good attitude to their training. They’re very deserving of their awards.”
Junior Gabrielle Watson was Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award recipient.
The Hawkeyes opened the championships with a pair of sixth place finishes in the 2N8 (7:44.997) and 1N8 (7:28.030) events, which awarded the squad two points and four points, respectively, in the team competition. In the 2N8, the UI edged out seventh-place Minnesota by more than three seconds (7:31.274).
Iowa’s 3V4 boat got off to a strong start occupying fourth place at the 1000-meter mark, but was outdone in the back portion of the race to cross in sixth place with an 8:21.787 effort to record two points. Just over four seconds separated the Hawkeyes from fourth-place Wisconsin (8:17.753) and a three-second margin separated Iowa from fifth-place Indiana (8:18.689).
The 2V4 crew narrowly missed a fifth place finish to record Iowa’s fourth-straight sixth place finish of the conference championship and add four points to its team total. Minnesota (7:55.606) slipped ahead of the Hawkeyes (7:55.662) by six-tenths of a second to finish fifth. Iowa bested seventh place Michigan State (8:03.700) in the event by more than eight seconds.
In the 1V4 race, the Hawkeyes recorded another sixth place finish for sixth team points. Iowa (7:49.300) topped the seventh-place Golden Gophers (7:52.738) by a margin of more than three seconds.
Heading to the final two and highest scoring events of the regatta, Iowa occupied seventh place with 18 total points behind sixth place Minnesota (19 points). In the 2V8, the Hawkeyes (7:00.950) finished over a second ahead of Michigan State (7:01.102) for their sixth, sixth place finish of the day and 12 team points.
In seventh place with 30 team points, Iowa was in striking distance of sixth-place Michigan State (33 points) and fifth place Minnesota (37 points) with the 1V8 race remaining in the regatta. The boat was in sixth at the halfway point, but was outlasted by Minnesota in the final 1000 meters to finish seventh in 6:53.982 by a four-second margin. The Hawkeyes added nine points with the result, bringing their total to 39 for a seventh place team finish.
“One of the bright spots from today was the team’s willingness to try new things and strive for a gear that they haven’t been in before,” first-year head coach Andrew Carter said.
“A lot of our crews got off the line well so that’s a bit of a bright spot as well. That reflects part of their training and part of their technical adaptation. They just needed to be able to sustain a bit higher pace through the bulk of the race. We’ve seen all the parts in practice so we’ll continue to work toward tying it all together in racing. I don’t think we had our best round of racing today but I think that some of the experimenting and eye-opening that happened today was timely. Coming off some of these realizations, generating some speed, and having some success with it is the last thing they’re going to remember. They’re going to remember what it’s like to go that fast and there’s a little bit of a taste in their mouth of what is possible. I’m hoping that is going to stay with them for the next couple of months when they’re training in the summer.”
“They’ve meant a lot and I’ve appreciated their leadership and the investment that they’ve made,” Carter said. “They’ve invested four full years in this program and that’s pretty special, and to do so under circumstances that they did moving through different coaches in their four years. That’s impressive and it shows great character. They laid a good foundation and positioned the team for forward movement.
“It’s full speed ahead from here. Their training and our recruiting of incoming student-athletes is all going to make us better. The incoming kids have to be better, and the next class has to be better than that. The women already here will be better tomorrow than they were today.”