The Athlete Perspective

Hear from our student-athletes on what it's like to be a Hawkeye

Nina Lawrence on the Coaching Staff

“The Iowa Rowing staff are highly dedicated to the success of the program and their athletes. They make a conscious effort to see their athletes as people and care immensely about their development, not only athletically but also academically. They aim to prepare their athletes for the sport’s challenges and any challenges they may face in life outside of athletics. They are friendly, approachable, and create a cohesive and positive environment both in and out of the boathouse.”

Jaecee Hall on A Day in the Life

“Being a rower at the University of Iowa is challenging, yet extremely rewarding. We are a team that trains early in the morning & late in the afternoon all in one day. We wake up around 6:00am (or earlier) each morning Monday through Saturday for either weights or a rowing session. Then we spend the day going to class, studying, or relaxing and hanging with teammates/friends! At 3:45pm we start our second session of either side-by-side racing & competing on the water rowing through campus or pounding the stone with each other on the erg. We treat each day and practice as if it were Big Ten’s. We usually get home around 6:30pm to eat dinner and relax (or study) after a long day’s work! We attack every day both at training and in the classroom with a winning mindset. As a team, the work we put in as student-athletes makes each day more fulfilling than the next. There is no other group of girls I would rather spend every day with. Go Hawks!”

Molly Rygh on Team Culture

“Our team has a culture of belonging and support. As a collegiate athlete, it’s important to feel supported by teammates, coaches, and other athletics staff and the community at Iowa does just that. The work we put in at the boathouse is challenging but knowing that everyone has a mutual respect and understanding of the work is something that leads to our team’s success on and off the water.”

Emma Dabinett on Big Ten Competition

“Racing at the Big Ten Championships is an experience that I wish every rower in the world could be a part of. It’s an intense, yet extremely rewarding competition in which all eight Big Ten rowing schools line up, side by side, and battle it out over the 2000-meter course. The competition is a culmination of months of hard work from every athlete, across every school and getting to perform alongside such dedicated and talented athletes is an honour. There is racing throughout the day: starting with the II novice eights and closing with the I varsity eights. The nature of rowing in the Big Ten allows for first-year rowers with little racing experience to compete alongside their varsity counterparts, creating an environment in which athletes learn and grow from one another, continuing to push forward the future of collegiate rowing. It is a conference championship like no other, where a season of hard work can be made or broken in less than 7 minutes. Racing at the Big Ten Championships is an experience I will truly treasure forever, and I cannot wait to fight it out again with the best athletes in the country in May! Go Hawks!”

Abbey Klostermann on Development

“As a talent transfer, I was extremely nervous about competing in an elite college sport that I knew nothing about. The coaching staff here at Iowa helped me realize you can become a successful rower, even if rowing is brand new to you. If you have a background in competitive sports, they can teach you the technique and positive mindset it takes to become a great rower. I came here knowing how to compete, but not how to row. I have found great success in rowing because of the incredible technical instruction I have received on the water and support I have received off the water. Not only have I learned a lot about the sport, but I have learned a lot about myself. Being a student-athlete at Iowa has taught me how to be disciplined, determined, and committed. However, the biggest thing I have learned is to be courageous and not shy away from fear. It takes courage to show up and push yourself out of your comfort zone. I am extremely thankful for this program because it has shown me, I can accomplish anything I put mind to with a little hard work and courage.”