By James Geerdes
The Iowa rowing team proved yet again that it is destined for improvement. After qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2001 last season and placing 15th as a team, head coach Andrew Carter’s squad went back-to-back and finished 11th this season.
The Hawkeye rowers advanced each of their three boats to the semifinals. The 1st Varsity 8 narrowly missed a place in the Grand Finals after finishing fourth in the semifinals, under 1 second behind Ohio State.
In the Petite Finals, Iowa’s 1st Varsity 8 crew finished fifth, placing them 11th overall in the nation.
Iowa 2nd Varsity 8 finished sixth in its semifinal heat, and the 1st Varsity 4 finished sixth in its heat. Both boats then raced in the Petite Finals. The 2nd Varsity 8 and the 1st Varsity 4 both finished their seasons 12th in the country.
“Each crew attacked the race course,” Carter said in a release. “We got ourselves into some hot water early and ran into some difficulty sustaining it, but I really like the tenacity they had and how aggressive they were.”
The program has steadily improved under Carter’s reign over the last five years. He has taken a team that failed to make the Nationals since 2001 to back-to-back appearances in 2017 and 2018. This year’s performance at the NCAA Championships marked a school-record 69 points.
“Last year, we set a new standard for the program,” Carter said in a release. “We reached the championships for the first time in 16 years, and the level of performance we had last year outpaced that championship in 2001. We’ve taken a giant step forward this year, and I’m really pleased with that. I’m proud of these crews, and these women, and the work they put in to get themselves here. I’m really proud of the enthusiasm they have about the path forward.”