Oct. 10, 2011
ROCKFORD, Ill. -- The University of Iowa women's rowing team competed at the 26th Annual Head of the Rock Regatta Sunday in Rockford, Ill. The Hawkeyes wore pink headbands to raise awareness for breast cancer as they raced down a 2.75 stretch of the Rock River. Iowa competed in the collegiate pairs, 8+ and 4+ and novice 8+ and 4+.
"We came into this event excited to race against some strong competition, including Wisconsin, in multiple events," said head coach Mandi Kowal. "Our crews learned a lot from their races and are excited to improve over the next three weeks leading up to our home race, the Head of the Iowa."
The Hawkeyes started off the competition with the collegiate pairs. The eight Iowa crews competing in the event raced in calm weather conditions. Katy Kroll and Annemaire Bernhard finished the highest for the Hawkeyes in seventh place with a time of 19:14.42. Finishing right behind Kroll and Bernhard were Laura Hallman and Erin Czupil, who posted a time of 19:15.05 for eighth place.
The next event Iowa raced in was the novice 4+. Sarah Bartlett, Ashley Horne, Catherine Hoover, Sarah Kohnke and Melissa Dawkins represented the Hawkeyes in the event. The crew claimed a fifth place finish with a time of 21:46.44. Following the novice 4+, Zoe Lewis, Sarah Radke, Samycia Lewis, Anna Lind and Rachel Crosley competed in the varsity 4+. The boat finished tenth in a time of 19:18.50.
Iowa had three novice 8+ crews compete. The wind picked up during the afternoon at about 7-10 mph with 17 mph gusts. Laurel Johnson, Crosley, Lind, Brianna Achs, Mackenzie Norton, Gabrielle Watson, Noamaleniu Meade, Lauren Gonzalez and Alyssa Armstrong had the highest finish out of all the events for the Hawkeyes. The boat recorded a third place finish with a time of 17:43.51. Bartlett, Killian Laughead, Molly Strieker, Annelise Jacobson, Cierra Gould, Allison Hanson, Paige Rankin, Sarah Jean Rhoads and Anna Bruns finished sixth at 20:14.42.
The Hawkeyes finished the regatta with two boats in the varsity 8+. Kendra Klaczak, Louise Bensz, Kroll, Bernhard, Susie Stralina, Christine Allingham, April Podbregar, Hallman and Czupil ran into some trouble when they had to stop for another crew during the race, which affected their time but the crew finished strong. The boat finished fifth overall with a time of 16:41.81.
"It was unfortunate that Varsity 8 had to stop for another crew mid-race, but that's the nature of head racing," commented Kowal.
Iowa's second varsity 8+ finished sixth overall. Johnson, Radke, Chloe Zwiacher, Erin Sodawasser, Lindsay Pollpeter, Hannah Klotz, Emily Karpinski, Beth Baustian and Achs finished in a time of 16:59.85.
"Overall, it was wonderful to see so many Iowa boats on the water and have the novices finish in the top 3," said Kowal. "We brought the largest travel squad in recent history, and still had over 20 athletes at home training over the weekend."
The Hawkeyes return to the water Oct. 30 when they host the Head of the Iowa. The event is set to begin at approximately 10 a.m.