March 17, 2012
CLEMSON, S.C. -- The University of Iowa women's rowing team opened up the spring season Saturday morning against Clemson, Indiana, Syracuse, Boston University, Purdue and Marist. The Hawkeyes had crews in the Varsity 8, 2nd Varsity 8, Varsity 4, Novice 8 and 2nd Novice 8 events. Iowa collected victories in the 2nd varsity 8 and 2nd novice 8.
The Hawkeyes raced down a 2000-meter course on Lake Hartwell on the campus of Clemson University. The water was flat with a slight headwind.
Iowa's varsity 8 boat, consisting of Zoe Lewis, Annemarie Bernhard, Molly Pollpeter, Louise Bensz, Katy Kroll, Christine Allingham, Susie Stralina, Laura Hallman and April Podbregar, started off the competition with a fourth place finish in the event. The crew posted a time of 6:52.78. Iowa finished behind Clemson and Indiana who tied for first place with a time of 6:46.21. Syracuse finished just ahead of Iowa at 6:51.57.
The Hawkeyes first victory on the day came in the 2nd varsity 8. Laurel Johnson, Chloe Zwiacher, Beth Baustian, Brianna Achs, Sarah Radke, Emily Karpinski, Hannah Klotz, Rachel Crosley and Erin Czupil put together a solid race and crossed the finish line first with a time of 6:52.81. Iowa was behind Clemson, who finished 13th in the country last season, during the race (6:53.31) but Iowa stayed strong throughout the entire race and was able to pull ahead and win the event.
"The 2V8's race was very exciting," said Head Coach Mandi Kowal. "We were down to Clemson and held our composure during the high-pressured sprint. It was good to see the crew continue to utilize their strengths and get pushed to a different level at the end of their race."
Following the varsity 8's, the Hawkeyes had one crew in the varsity 4 event. The crew of Kendra Klaczak, Anne Lind, Sally Risk, Emily Abbot and Alexa Meins recorded a time of 8:16.23 to place fourth overall in the event. Iowa came in behind Clemson (7:51.46), Syracuse (8:02.89) and Indiana (8:04.58).
Iowa concluded the competition with the novice 8's. The novice 8 consisting of Clare Simms, Mackenzie Norton, Mandy Ethen, Noamaleniu Meade, Gabby Watson, Annelise Jacobson, Lauren Gonzalez, Alyssa Armstrong and Leah Campbell finished fifth in the event with a time of 7:24.40. Clemson won the event at 7:11.30.
The 2nd novice 8 boat claimed Iowa's second victory of the day. Destinee Gwee, Sarah Kohnke, Natalie Nease, Jenny Schwickerath, Paige Rankin, Sarah Rhoads, Melissa Dawkins, Sydney Skuodas and Anna Bruns handled the field with a winning time of 7:31.10. Clemson was the closest competition to the Hawkeyes and finished just over seven seconds behind Iowa at 7:38.29. Big Ten opponent, Indiana placed third in the event (7:43.14).
"We were happy with the victories posted by the 2V8 and the 2N8," added Kowal. "Each crew showed the same look they displayed all week while preparing for the race. They rowed the boats well and it showed today. It became clear what needs to be addressed in the coming week and we plan to make the appropriate adjustments to come out stronger for our next competition."
Iowa returns to the water on March 24 when it hosts Minnesota at Lake MacBride.