Iowa rowing back in the boathouse

After their season was canceled in March, members of the team have come back to campus to start training together again.


Michael Guhin

Iowa’s second varsity crew rows back after losing to Wisconsin by 6.07 seconds in the first session of a women’s rowing meet on Lake MacBride on Saturday April 13, 2019. Iowa won 3 out of 12 races with the varsity 8 crew winning both races for the day.

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

When Iowa rowing had its season canceled in March, its rowers were spread out all over the world.

The rowers had voluntary workouts, and received suggestions from head coach Andrew Carter.

“I’m sure if I had to guess that there is a wide spectrum of how much people did,” Carter said. “And I think there are probably a variety of reasons behind that, access, concerns over exposure, and things like that.”

Some of the rowers checked out rowing machines from the athletics department. Izzy Bowman, a senior from Leesburg, Virginia, didn’t get a rowing machine. She said the coaching staff gave them cycling, running, or body circuits to maintain their strength in a way that could be done at home, such as lifting buckets or cases of water.

The team has stayed in contact through a Facebook group and Zoom. Bowman said the rowers would post updates on the Facebook group to keep each other accountable and to motivate and support one another. The coaches joined them for those meetings but weren’t there for the entire time.

“The coaches have left and we kind of hang out and talk,” senior Katherine Becker said. “We’ve also been trying to reach out to each other and see how everyone’s doing and keep in contact that way.”

Even when the fall semester started, the remote workout situation stayed the same. Carter said the team had dry-land training on Sept. 19, with some rowers requesting to go in the water under supervision.

RELATED:  Iowa rowing team makes two additions to coaching staff

For today’s practice, Carter said he can assign his team to go into the water.

“I think they’re going to be so excited,” Becker said. “Especially for the rowers that don’t go home [to] club teams where they could practice. [It’s the] first since March that they’re going to be on the water, and I think they’re all just so excited to finally get back to be back on the water and doing the thing that they love.”

The entire team isn’t back in Iowa City, however. Some international rowers have decided to stay home until January.

“I think it’s been going pretty well,” Carter said. “I think that there’s some good things that actually came of that. Several of them are involved at their programs at home. So, for example, Eve Stewart, she was rowing with the Dutch National Team. She just competed a couple weeks ago in the European Championship because they ran that regatta and others are at their home close with their home coaches.

“And those places, those programs are in a little better situation than here at Iowa and they’ve been able to train with a little more regularity,” Carter said.

There are high expectations for the rowers coming into next spring. At the 2019 Big Ten Championships, the Hawkeye I Varsity Eight finished third. In the NCAA Championships, that same crew finished ninth, good for a program best.

Overall, the Hawkeyes finished 13th at NCAAs. Carter said the top-end speed from that crew needs to trickle down to the other crews, which are the II Varsity Eight and Varsity Four so they can finish higher at NCAAs.

“I’m really excited,” Bowman said. “It’s going to be one of our strongest lineups we’ve ever had.”