Iowa rowing performs well despite lineup changes at Saturday’s home regatta

Rowing counted one win and four other top-three finishes Saturday on Lake MacBride.


Jeff Sigmund

Iowa rowing moves their boat to the dock on Saturday, April 24, 2021 during The Iowa Rowing Regatta at Lake MacBride. Iowa competed against Minnesota, Wisconsin, Drake, and Kansas during the one-day event.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

The No. 18 Iowa rowing team hosted its first home regatta in more than two years on Saturday morning at Lake MacBride in Solon. The Hawkeyes welcomed Drake, Kansas, No. 16 Minnesota, and No. 19 Wisconsin for their only home event of the season.

As the home team, Iowa head coach Andrew Carter was thankful to staffers who ran Saturday’s festivities, including Iowa athletics’ facilities and media departments, HawkVision, and event management.

“Not only do you have that home-field advantage, and not having to travel but I will tell you this, an on-campus regatta, an institutional-hosted regatta, I’ve not seen it done better,” Carter said after the races. “We really raised the bar as a school on how to host a rowing regatta — everybody else has got to chase us in that department.”

Carter said he had never been at a regatta where the student-athletes were given so many amenities. Each team had tents and TVs to watch the BTN+ livestream when their teammates were racing. Carter called the efforts by the staff “extraordinary.”

On the water, the Hawkeyes won just one of the six races on the clear, calm day.

Iowa came out on top in the first event of the morning, the II novice 8+, with a time of 7:14.50 — more than 10 seconds faster than second-place Wisconsin.

The home team finished in the top three in four of the other five races. The Hawkeyes captured runner-up in the I novice 8+, I varsity 4+, and I varsity 8+, and third place in the II varsity 8+ — the day’s final race.

Carter was pleased with his team’s performance, especially because the Hawkeye roster looked a lot different on Saturday than it did when Iowa raced in the Big Ten Invitational in Bethel, Ohio, a week ago.

“We had some personnel changes,” Carter said. “We lost some people for some medical reasons. We had some newer people jump in. Those new crew members did a tremendous job to swing in there.”

Carter said that many of Iowa’s crews got off to good starts and finished strong, but the team needs to work on maintaining speed throughout the middle sections of the events.

Senior Izzy Bowman, a member of the II varsity 8 on Saturday, echoed Carter’s assessment.

“As a crew, we were able to pull off a hard-fought race,” Bowman said. “We kept up with Wisconsin and Minnesota in the first 1,000 [meters]. We can work on finishing the race off stronger and getting that sprint in to stay competitive.”

Bowman’s boat finished the 2,000-meter race in 6:50.29, roughly eight ticks behind the victorious Golden Gophers and six seconds slower than the second-place Badgers.

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Bowman said she believed the home crowd, which included hundreds of Hawkeye fans, pushed the team to perform well.

“Having the opportunity to have the sun shining, we were able to wear our full uniform, show our Black and Gold,” Bowman said. “Having the environment here that the athletic department created for us really brought a lot of enthusiasm and motivation into performing well for today’s race.”

The Hawkeyes will race against No. 6 Michigan and Louisville in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Sunday to wrap up the regular season, before heading to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championships in mid-May.