By James Geerdes
Iowa rowing took to the waters competitively for the first time this spring season, as it faced No. 2 Cal, No. 10 Stanford, and No. 12 USC at the Pac-12 Invitational.
Head coach Andrew Carter and his crews were coming off one of the most successful seasons in Iowa rowing history. The 2017 season involved the Hawkeyes climbing as high as No. 11 in the rankings, and they finished No. 14 at the NCAA Championship.
This past weekend’s regatta in Redwood City, California, hosted some of the top teams in the nation. Carter said he hoped to see how his team stands against the best.
In the morning session against Cal, Iowa’s First Varsity 8 crew finished in 6:19.61 while the Second Varsity 8 finished in 6:34.08. The two crews each finished second to Cal by a margin of nine seconds.
The First Varsity 4 crew finished in 7:28.04, while Cal’s clocked in 22 seconds quicker.
In the afternoon session against Stanford, Iowa’s First Varsity 8 crew crossed in 6:22.2, down six seconds to Stanford. The Second Varisity 8 shaved off three seconds from its morning time but lost to Stanford’s Second Varsity 8 boat by two seconds.
Iowa’s Varsity 4 boat finished in 7:29.1, but it lost to Stanford’s by a margin of seven seconds.
“[March 31’s] matches were an incredible test to start our racing season,” Carter said in a release. “Cal and Stanford are certainly fast, and that was confirmed for us [March 31]. That said, I’m very pleased with the performances of our crews. They raced both of those teams very well and finished with very respectable margins.”
Sunday’s races with USC showed the potential Iowa rowing has this season. Hawkeyes boats swept the 12th-ranked Trojans.
Iowa’s First Varsity 8 crew beat USC with a time of 6:19.4, nearly three seconds faster than the Trojans’ 6:22.9. The Hawkeyes won the Second Varsity 8 with a time of 6:35, while the Trojan boat crossed in 6:41.2.
Iowa pulled in its third win on the weekend in the First Varsity 4 race against USC. Iowa finished in 7:29.1 while the Trojans finished in 7:32.2.
The Hawkeye crews will head to Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Saturday to take on Michigan State and Michigan in their next regatta.