Princeton, N.J. — The No. 11 University of Iowa women’s rowing team concluded regular season competition by edging No. 15 Syracuse in the critical NCAA event scoring on Saturday. No. 7 Princeton swept the varsity racing that also included Penn (RV).
The north-south running Carnegie Lake course offered up warm temperatures and light winds from the WSW throughout racing. The first half of the 2000m stretch produced calm conditions with the crews feeling a bit more of the crossing breeze coming out of Lane 1 as they raced the closing 750m.
In the 1V8+ race, Princeton launched into a terrific start that yielded a 3/4 length lead over the Hawkeyes by the 250m mark. Syracuse staged an aggressive chase and also held an advantage over Iowa with a 1/2 length lead at the 250.
“The starts from both Princeton and Syracuse were really good,” said head coach Andrew Carter. “At first I thought it might simply be us shaking off some rust after two weekends off in a row but when I reviewed our speed in the first 250m, we were pretty quick. Those early leads were because they were very quick.”
The Hawkeyes launched several attacks throughout the middle 1000m. On two occasions they drew level with Syracuse, but strong counter moves enabled the Orange to re-establish their advantage. In the same time, Princeton was able to solidify their lead on the field. The finish had the Hawkeyes close the gap on Princeton slightly but the sprint from Syracuse allowed them to pull ahead in the final 250m for a 2.5 second advantage over Iowa at the line. Princeton crossed another 2.5 ahead of Syracuse for a five second win over Iowa.
“I think our crew did really good work in the middle section of the race and did a lot to make up for the deficit they had in the first 500m. We gave up several strokes to Princeton and Syracuse in that section and I think that had a significant effect. Princeton came off the line at 44 strokes per minute and Syracuse at 43. Our 40 simply gave away too many strokes in the first minute. Spending 2000m battling back is tough. I’m proud of the tenacity they showed in the effort to do so but there’s no doubt it’s tough, especially when you’re racing against top-end crews.”
The 2V8+ start unfolded in similar fashion and the Hawkeyes crossed the first 500m mark down a deck length to Syracuse and boat length to Princeton. At 1000m Princeton’s lead remained one length but Iowa crossed with a one-foot lead over the Orange and a length on Penn. The Hawkeyes stretched that lead to solidify their second place position. At the finish, Princeton was 3.5 second in front of the Hawkeyes with Syracuse and Penn in third and fourth, respectively.
The 1V4+ event again saw Princeton with a one length lead on the field at the 500m mark, but this time it was Penn who challenged the Hawkeyes as they crossed the quarter line dead even. Neither crew was able to gain an advantage on one another over the next 500m but their battle caused them to eat into the Princeton lead so that the leaders only had a 2/3 length advantage at the mid-way point. The Hawkeyes asserted themselves in the third 500m and as they crossed into the last quarter, they had established a full length on Penn and Syracuse and were chasing Princeton. At the finish, Princeton’s advantage was less than two seconds with the Hawkeyes in the runner-up position.
The 2V4+ crew fell to Princeton in a close race that had only 1.2 seconds separating the Tigers and Iowa at the finish. The Tigers again got out to an early lead but the Hawkeyes were able to establish their second-place position fairly early and gave chase over the full 2000m. A hard-charging Syracuse crew made challenges throughout but Iowa stayed calm, composed, and steady in their pursuit of Princeton and they were able to fend off the attacks.
The 1N8+ crew, racing against the 3V8+ crews from Syracuse and Princeton, fell to the Orange and Tigers. Syracuse showed impressive team depth in the event as they charged to a commanding lead that they stretched over the entire race. The Hawkeyes stayed in the race with the Tigers in the first half of the course but Princeton’s experience ultimately took over and they pulled away from Iowa.
“It was clear from each of the races that Princeton and Syracuse in particular were prepared get off the line in a hurry,” said Carter. “Our starts were pretty good but we’ll continue to sharpen that up as we prepare for the Big Ten Championships in two weeks. I really like what I saw out of our crews in many parts of the race. They rowed with a great deal of composure and, for the most part, under-rated the field today. That gives a hint that we have room to improve a bit. We’ll be putting in a good two weeks of preparation for the Conference regatta. The field at the Big Ten Championships is incredibly deep and talented so that preparation will be key. They showed again today that the foundation is there. Sharpening a few things up will give us the best shot at being in the mix in Indy.”
The Hawkeyes travel to Indianapolis to compete at the Big Ten Championships on May 14.
Eve Stewart, Kaelynn Heiberg, Izzy Dolba, Victoria Bricker, Morgan Grastorf, Kat Tillman, Ashley Duda, Cristy Hartman, Georgia Sanderson (coxswain)
Baillie McCunn, Danielle 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)
Allison Blevins, Bianca DiBellonia, Zora Marinkovich, Paige Schlapkohl, Elizabeth Pritchard (coxswain)
Hannah Bluder, Skye Sperry, Kathryn Kuennen, Kennedy Voss, Alysson Wittmeyer, Brittany Moore, Jordan McKeag, Paige Przybylski, Laura Justis (coxswain)