Hawkeyes Visit New Braunfels for Spring Debut

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The No. 11 University of Iowa women’s rowing team is set to compete against Old Dominion University and Southern Methodist University in a scrimmage in New Braunsfels, Texas. The two-day competition takes place from Feb.14-15 and lasts all day. 

Iowa returns two Collegiate Rowers Coaches Association All-American – Contessa Harold (first team) and Hunter Koenigsfeld (second team). The two rowers competed in all 11 races in 2018, guiding Iowa to a fourth place finish and school record 111 points at the Big Ten Championships. At the NCAA Championships, Iowa placed 11th overall, its highest finish in modern history.

The Hawkeyes have prepared all winter for this debut, their last event being the Head of the Charles on Oct. 20. Iowa also competed in the JayHawk Jamboree, hosted by Kansas, and faced Indiana and Wisconsin in scrimmage during the fall. 

The Hawkeyes have made three NCAA appearances in school history, two of which came in the past two seasons. Iowa first advanced to nationals in 2001, placing ninth overall. In 2017, the Hawkeyes ended a 16-year postseason drought, earning an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships and placing 15th overall (54 points). They one-upped that performance with a school record 69 points in the 2018 NCAA Championships after advancing all three of its boats to the NCAA Petite Finals. This effort combined with finishes from the II Varsity Eight, I Varsity Four, 2V8 and 1V4 earned the team 11th place, its highest in program history.

The team returns several starters from last year’s crew, including Hannah Greenlee, Hunter Koenigsfeld, Contessa Harold, Katie Pearson, Eve Stewart, and Logan Jones. This crew saw action in the I Varsity Eight boat. The Hawkeyes also return four athletes from the II Varsity Eight boat, including Claire Rutherford, Paige Schlapkohl, Rachel Canon, and Faith Wieland. The team also returns Kayla Jensen, the sole returner from the I Varsity Four boat. 

The University of Iowa women’s rowing team is currently ranked No. 11 in the May 30 USRowing/CRCA Coaches’ Poll. Their upcoming scrimmage will not play a factor into the rankings, but the PAC-12 Invitational will start off the rankings on March 30. The invitational is a two day meet, and will feature teams from all across the country in Redwood Shores, California. 

The Hawkeyes will also travel to face Harvard and Brown in Providence, RI., and attend the Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas, before attending the Big Ten Championships on May 19. 

Iowa will host Minnesota and Wisconsin on April 18 for their sole home event of the season. 

Iowa set a school record with 111 points and matched its best finish in program history with a fourth-place finish at the 2018 Big Ten Championships on May 13. The Hawkeyes have improved one spot in the conference standings the past five seasons under Andrew Carter. In his first season as Iowa’s head coach, Carter and the Hawkeyes placed seventh with 39 points. In 2015, Iowa moved up one spot to sixth with 79 points, continuing the trend to 2016 after placing fifth with 95 points. In 2017, the team set a then-school record with 106 points, tying for fourth place. The Hawkeyes’ 2017 Big Ten Conference Championships performance led to the second NCAA Championships berth in school history. The team would qualify again in 2018. 

Then sophomore Contessa Harold was named Big Ten Conference Co-Athlete of the Year on May 17, 2018. Harold is the first Hawkeye in program history to earn the conference honor and shared the award with Michigan’s Kendall Brewer. Harold earned first team All-Big Ten honors following Iowa’s record-breaking performance at the 2018 Big Ten Championships and led the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year.

Last season, the I Varsity Eight boat earned consecutive Big Ten Boat of the Week honors following four straight wins against Michigan, Michigan State, Princeton, and Yale. Iowa swept No. 18 Michigan State and No. 6 Michigan on April 7, and swept No. 4 Princeton and No. 6 Yale on April 14. All four boats were nationally ranked. This marked the first time in program history that Iowa had earned back-to-back conference honors, and are the 10th and 11th overall honors.

The Hawkeyes will head to the PAC 12 Invitational on March 30-31. This event will take place in Redwood Shores, California.