BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The No. 14 University of Iowa rowing team defeated No. 17 Michigan State and No. 20 Louisville Saturday at a double dual regatta hosted by Indiana University.
Cool temperatures and light winds were the conditions of the day on Lake Lemon. The 5-6 mph crosswinds provided a slight extra test for the racing crews but the course was mostly cooperative and provided a good day of racing.
The Hawkeyes won the morning session over B1G rival Michigan State by a final score of 63 to 54. Headlining that win was a sweep of the NCAA boat classes of I Eight, II Eight, and I Four.
The I Eight had a hard-fought battle with the Spartans over much of the 2000m course. Iowa was able to get its nose in front in the first 500m but was not able to push MSU back much further than 2-3 seats. The Spartans mounted several attacks but the Hawkeyes fended off each one with a move of their own. Once into the final 250m, Iowa lit into their finish and were able to push themselves out to a half-length lead to cross the line nearly 1.5 seconds ahead of Michigan State.
The II Eight let no doubt enter into their race as they led from start to finish. They shot off the line to move out to a full-length lead by the 300m mark and they never looked back. The Hawkeyes continued to power their way down the course and stretched their lead throughout. At the line, they had separated themselves from the Spartans by over 15 seconds.
The I Four’s hard work wore down the Spartans in the first 1000m of the course. Both crews got off to a solid start and it took a full 500m for the Hawkeyes to gain a half-boat advantage. By the 1000m mark, they had broken contact with MSU. As they passed the fan-lined shores at the 1500m mark, they had stretched their lead to a boat of open water. The Hawkeyes’ finishing sprint brought them a few more meters and they crossed the line over eight seconds ahead.
Michigan State was unable to field crews in the II and III Four events so the Hawkeye crews competed against Kansas in the morning round. The 2V4+ boat finished 15 seconds ahead of the Jayhawks while the 3V4+ built on their boat length lead at the halfway mark to defeat Kansas by over 10 seconds.
The first and second novice eight crews both fell to Michigan State.
“I was really pleased with how our crews raced this morning,” said head coach Andrew Carter. “There was a great deal of composure in our varsity ranks. A few of our crews were able to get themselves solid leads, which can sometimes allow some complacency, but I thought they maintained a steady effort in those circumstances. I was impressed with our First Eight against Michigan State. Their Varsity is a good crew and it was a tough fight the whole way down. MSU clearly did not even think about going away. It is easy to allow the stress of the moment to get the better of you but our women held their ground. That showed the sort of maturity that’s needed to win at this level.”
Iowa won the afternoon session over Louisville with a final score of 65-50. Again, the I Eight, II Eight, and I Four led the way with quality wins over the Cardinals.
The First Varsity Eight got off to a cleaner start in their race and got their bow in front early. They continued to power their way away from the Cardinals throughout the 2000m and finished their race with a 15-second advantage at the finish.
The II Eight and I Four races unfolded in the same fashion. Each crew established early leads and continued to push away throughout. The 2V8+ crossed over 10 seconds ahead of Louisville while the 1V4+ finished over 12 seconds before the Cardinals.
The Third Varsity Four continued the winning ways for the Hawks and had an open water lead at the halfway mark. When they crossed the finish, they had stretched that advantage to a 14-second margin.
The Second Varsity Four stumbled in the afternoon, dropping their race to Louisville. The First and Second Novice Eights also fell to Louisville and Michigan State respectively.
“The Louisville races went really well for us as well,” said Carter. “We found ourselves with early and solid leads in some of the key match-ups. That may have a been a little unexpected, given how good Louisville is, but our crews stayed on task and continued to press themselves. I was impressed with their pacing. Their splits were very consistent, which I think reflects good focus and disciplined racing. We’re going to need those skills as we continue through the season.”
The Hawkeyes travel to Bloomington, Indiana, to compete in the Big Ten Double Dual against No. 2 Ohio State and Rutgers on April 8.
Eve Stewart, Kaelynn Heiberg, Izzy Dolba, Victoria Bricker, Morgan Grastorf, Kat Tillman, Ashley Duda, Cristy Hartman, Georgia Sanderson (coxswain)
Baillie McCunn, Dani Bender, Hannah Greenlee, Gemma Kerr, Contessa Harold, Megan Sprengeler, Sarah Powell, Rachel Canon, Faith Wieland (coxswain)
Ashlynn Bauer, Claire Rutherford, Hannah Bristowe, Katie Pearson, Logan Jones (coxswain)
Megan Shook, Rachel Valentine, Amelia Koehn, Trisha Huerta, Lisa Morales (coxswain)
Maya Litchfield, Skye Sperry, Taylor Williams, Kathryn Kuennen, Kennedy Voss, Brittany Moore, Paige Przybylski, Hannah Bluder, Gina Galaszewski (coxswain)
Claire O’Connell, Kristina Wainwright, Faith Meyer, Brigid Martin, Alysson Wittmeyer, McKenna Wolf, Jordan McKeag, Alexis Chamness, Libby Adams (coxswain)