Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By BREANNA KELLOGG
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The No. 12 University of Iowa rowing team is having a record season, securing the highest national ranking in program history to give itself a good chance at a bid to the NCAA Championships.
This season is a byproduct of years of hard work and dedication leading up to it.
“This season is just another step,” said head coach Andrew Carter. “I’ve been here for almost four years and each year the team has put in incredible work and a lot of positive energy. It all seems to be feeding off itself. It was only a matter of time before they took that step beyond where they have ever been before. It’s a natural evolution.”
The success of the season so far channels this year’s postseason, next season, and years to come.
“We have one more regular season race and it’s a doozy with No. 6 ranked Princeton, No. 15 Syracuse, and Penn, who’s receiving votes (in the rankings),” said Carter. “That will provide a big springboard into the Big Ten Championships.
“If our crews can keep the momentum and continue building on the speed that they have demonstrated so far, there are many possibilities and an NCAA bid is a realistic possibility. It is a hard thing to get and we’re not there yet, but it is a realistic possibility. They’re doing everything they can to position themselves for that.”
The Hawkeyes are in their second bye weekend in as many weeks. At a critical time of year, with only one more regular season race before postseason, a break like this can be nerve-wracking. However, Iowa’s last race before the break solidified their national standing.
The two weeks without competition have allowed time for the team to refocus. The coaches have emphasized the process that has enabled the historic season and the student-athletes understand the importance of keeping their attention on the details. They are excited to get on the water and do what they need to do to continue to be successful.
“They’ve raced hard during the first few weeks of the season and they needed this opportunity to get back to what got them here. It has been a good opportunity to refocus on their preparations and not allow themselves to get too sidetracked by the recognition they’ve been getting,” said Carter. “It’s easy to get distracted by the attention, and they have done a good job of managing it so far, but getting back to regular training has been helpful.”
The past four years has seen a steady ramp-up in the team’s training and technical intensity and the results have followed just as steadily. With more racing success, the Hawkeyes have gained more confidence in their abilities and their standards have shifted.
“A lot is what goes on in the top six inches,” said Carter. “What do they think they can do versus what they thought they could do two years ago? Those are two completely different things now.”
The Hawkeyes compete in the regular season finale April 29 in Princeton, New Jersey.