By James Geerdes
This year’s rowing schedule is no joke. Iowa will race eight of the top 10 teams in the U.S. Rowing Coaches’ rankings.
Iowa’s team sits at No. 17, and it will have a chance at the top teams this weekend at the Pac 12 Invitational in Redwood Shores, California.
No. 10 Stanford will host Iowa, No. 2 Cal, No. 18 Michigan State, and No. 12 USC. The two-day event will see three Iowa boats, the Varsity 8, the Second Varsity 8, and the Varsity 4.
“Cal was second as a team at the NCAA Championships last year,” head coach Andrew Carter said. “Stanford’s first Varsity 8 was second there as well. So we’re expecting ‘wow.’ We face Cal in the first round of racing, it’s all match racing, second round is Stanford, and third round we drew USC. We’re expecting really high speeds.”
Seeing these top teams early was no mistake in the schedule for Carter’s squad. Since his hiring in 2013, the team’s schedule has gotten increasingly more difficult. With that, the team has gotten better each year.
In last year’s team race at the NCAA Rowing Championships, the Hawkeyes wound up the No. 15 team.
“It’s ramped up every year that I’ve been here,” Carter said. “Our schedule has gotten more difficult, and that’s not an accident. The program has improved; our level of speed has improved. We’re at that stage now where, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”
This weekend’s races continue Carter and Company’s quest for the top of college rowing.