SARASOTA, Fla. -- The eighth-ranked University of Iowa rowing team scored a school-record 69 points to place 11th Saturday at the 2018 NCAA Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida.
The 11th-place finish is Iowa’s highest in the modern era of the NCAA Championships and is a jump up from its 15th place finish in 2017. California won the NCAA title with 130 points, two points ahead of runner-up Washington.
Iowa advanced all three of its boats to the NCAA Petite Finals following Saturday morning’s semifinals. The I Varsity Eight led the Hawkeyes with a fifth-place finish, netting 36 points toward the team total. The II Varsity Eight and I Varsity Four each placed sixth in their respective finals. The 2V8+ contributed 22 points and the 1V4+ added 11 points to Iowa’s school-record performance.
“Each crew attacked the race course,” said UI head coach Andrew Carter. “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.”
ROAD TO THE FINALS
The I Varsity Eight narrowly missed a spot in the Grand Finals, getting edged by third-place Ohio State by less than one second in the semifinals. The Hawkeyes placed fourth, nearly 10 seconds ahead of Virginia and more than 30 seconds ahead of Indiana.
The II Varsity Eight placed sixth in the semifinals, less than one second behind fifth-place Brown. The I Varsity Four, which entered the championships seeded No. 14, finished sixth in its semifinal to advance to the Petite Finals and guarantee a top 12 finish.
“Last year we set a new standard for the program,” Carter said. “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.”
WRAPPING UP 2018
The Hawkeyes wrapped the 2018 season Saturday with a school-record performance at the NCAA Championships. The appearance marked the third NCAA appearance in school history, and it came on the heels of a school-record performance at the Big Ten Championships.
Iowa placed fourth at the conference championship with a school-record 111 points. The fourth-place finish matches a program best.
Sophomore Contessa Harold was named Co-Athlete of the Year in the conference, a first in program history, and senior Kaelynn Heiberg and sophomore Hunter Koenigsfeld earned second team All-Big Ten honors.
Iowa reached as high as No. 7 in the national rankings, a program best (April 18).
Iowa’s first Varsity Eight earned consecutive Big Ten Boat of the Week honors (April 7-14), a program first.
2018 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
I Varsity Eight: Ashley Duda, Izzy Dolba, Kaelynn Heiberg, Hannah Greenlee, Hunter Koenigsfeld, Contessa Harold, Katie Pearson, Eve Stewart, Logan Jones (coxswain)
II Varsity Eight: Claire Rutherford, Kasia Gniatczyk, Ashlynn Bauer, Megan Sprengeler, Baillie McCunn, Paige Schlapkohl, Zora Marinkovich, Rachel Canon, Faith Wieland (coxswain)
I Varsity Four: Gemma Kerr, Kayla Jensen, Danielle Bender, Amelia Koehn, Laura Justis (coxswain)
1V8 Semifinal Results (heat 1)
Ohio State 6:27.25
2V8 Semifinal Results (heat 2)
Ohio State 6:40.19
1V4 Semifinal Results (heat 1)
Ohio State 7:12.39
1V8 Petite Finals
2V8 Petite Finals
Ohio State 6:36.60
1V4 Petite Finals
Washington St. 7:25.95