Iowa rowing posts program’s best finish at NCAAs

All three Hawkeye boats concluded the NCAA Championships with top-20 finishes.


Michael Guhin

The Iowa varsity 8 crew looks to their supporters on the shore as they row back to the dock at the end of the first session of a women’s rowing meet on Lake MacBride on Saturday April 13, 2019.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

Hawkeye rowing finished its season on June 2 in Indianapolis with an impressive showing at the NCAA Championships.

All three of Iowa’s boats placed in the top 20, and the 1 Varsity 8 boat’s ninth-place finish topped the program’s all-time chart. The Hawkeyes finished 13th as a team with 63 points.

“We are trying to create a habit of being here, and it’s starting to take root,” Iowa head coach Andrew Carter said in a release. “The next step is to start to bring our best game to the championships, and we are starting to create that habit, too. Everything got kicked up a notch. I couldn’t be happier for these kids and be happier for the future of our program.”

The 1 Varsity 8 boat started even with the rest of the heat before falling to the back of the pack. Iowa competed for fourth in the second 1,000 meters but fell again to sixth. But the Hawkeyes fought back late, pulling even with Rutgers, Brown, and Virginia. A late push propelled Iowa to third place in the heat, ninth in the nation.

“It’s becoming a tradition to be here,” junior Eve Stewart said in the release. “All the boats performed well, especially considering the extreme year that we have had. It has been great to be here and performing against the top crews in the nation and the world.”

The 2 Varsity 8 boat competed in a tight race throughout. There was no separation among boats 250 meters in, but the Hawkeyes gained an advantage shortly after that. Iowa then slid into third 1,000 meters in before eventually falling to fourth by the conclusion.

While the Hawkeyes would have preferred a higher finish after competing early, the improvement was noticeable.

“It was a great race,” senior Rachel Canon said in the release. “We were about 11 seconds off of Rutgers at the Big Ten Championships, and today, we were one second. It was great to gain 10 seconds in that race. We showed up ready to race. We started our finish around 400 meters, which was early for a finish, but it was what we needed to get over some of those waves out there.”

The Varsity 4 boat started off in third after Central Florida and Wisconsin shot out of the blocks fast. Iowa and Navy then battled for third 1,000 meters in and by 1,500 meters, Navy had taken a slight advantage. The Hawkeyes persevered down the stretch to pick up third place.

“I thought all three crews did a great job today in some choppy conditions,” Carter said in a release. “I thought our crews handled the conditions well and showed a fair amount of fight. Everybody finished above their seeds coming into the championships, so I am pretty pleased. Our younger rowers learned a lot about themselves this weekend, which is good.”

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