SARASOTA, Florida -- The University of Iowa rowing team saw all three boats that competed at the NCAA Championships on Friday advance to Saturday’s A/B Semifinals. The Hawkeyes are competing in the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
I Varsity Eight: The I Varsity Eight crew finished second in heat two to automatically earn a spot in Saturday’s A/B Semifinal. The Hawkeyes got off to a hot start, holding level with No. 5 Stanford through the first 500 meters. The Cardinal began to pull away at the 1000-meter mark, but the Hawkeyes established a second place lead they would not relinquish. Iowa crossed the finish line four seconds ahead of No. 12 USC, eight seconds in front of No. 15 Washington State, and 23 seconds ahead of Navy.
“The quick start is really important for us, because when you get out ahead it helps psychologically and you can see what’s going on,” sophomore Hannah Greenlee said. “We clicked and then we had a couple of moves in the middle -- one right before the 500 and one at the 1000 -- I think both were really effective. We all feel really good about it.”
II Varsity Eight: Iowa’s II Varsity Eight boat edged out No. 12 USC, Syracuse, and Northeastern to finish second in heat one and automatically qualify for Saturday’s A/B Semifinal. With No. 1 Washington out to a commanding lead, a neck-and-neck battle began between Iowa, USC and Syracuse. The Hawkeyes held a narrow advantage through the first 1000 meters, before the Trojans took a slight lead at the 1500-meter mark. With a spot in the A/B finals on the line, the Hawkeyes dug deep to cross the finish line just over one and a half seconds ahead of USC.
“Our ambition to stay forward, stay ahead, and keep it all together really payed off,” senior Kasia Gniatczyk said. “It feels really great to get the rest of the day off and have that set spot in the semifinal. We’re going to be ready for tomorrow.”
Varsity Four: The Hawkeyes got off to a fast start in the morning session and led heat three at the 500-meter mark before No. 4 Ohio State, No. 9 Yale, and No. 14 Indiana pulled ahead at 1000 meters. At the finish, it was Ohio State, Yale, and Indiana, respectively, with Iowa ahead of Navy (fourth) in third position.
Iowa advanced to Saturday’s semifinal by virtue of a second place finish in the afternoon’s repechage, finishing 2.034 seconds behind No. 15 Washington State. The Hawkeyes placed ahead of No. 13 Wisconsin, Navy, No. 12 USC, and Central Florida.
QUOTING COACH ANDREW CARTER
“I’m very pleased with the performance of our team today. To have all three of our crews through to the A/B Semifinals is a significant accomplishment so there’s a lot to be proud of there. There are only nine teams here at the Championship that were able to get all three crews through to this level so we find ourselves among some elite company. We now have each of our crews positioned in the top-12 so that makes the next round of racing that much more of a challenge. Our crews are excited for some top-notch racing tomorrow.”
Due to inclement weather expected on Sunday the NCAA Rowing Championships will conclude on Saturday with the semifinals and finals. Iowa’s I Varsity Eight boat kicks off the morning in the A/B Semifinal at 6:30 a.m. (CT), before the II Varsity Eight gets underway at 6:54 a.m. (CT). The Varsity Four will start at 7:02 a.m. (CT).