Gophers rowing finishes in fourth at Big Ten Double Dual amid illness

Minnesota earned one first place finish during the weekend meet in Michigan.

Junior Anna Greene rows during the University's team practice on the Mississippi River on April 18, 2016.

Joe Sulik, Daily File Photo

Junior Anna Greene rows during the University's team practice on the Mississippi River on April 18, 2016.

Jack White

Minnesota finished fourth out of four teams Saturday in the Big Ten Double Dual.

Two Gophers rowers stayed home due to strep throat, and the team couldn’t find a way to fill the void.

“[The] Big Ten is a really fast league,” said head coach Wendy Davis. “Two people from our top boat didn’t even go, and then we had more people who were sick who actually raced.”

Minnesota’s second varsity eight earned the lone first-place finish of Minnesota’s dual. The team finished in 6:43.51 to beat Michigan State and capture the win.

“We were in the second eight, so we started out a little behind,” said junior Allison Sterneman. “The last fourth of the race we had open water … we just kept walking away from them.”

The first varsity eight followed that performance with a second place finish behind the Spartans. The first varsity eight also finished in second during the dual’s morning session.

Minnesota’s second varsity four and third varsity four both finished in third place behind Wisconsin and Michigan.

Wisconsin and Michigan are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the central region, respectively.

Freshman Sarah Von Der Goltz said the team needs to compete its hardest against those teams.

“We knew [their rankings] before,” Von Der Goltz said. “I think it’s good we tried to compete with the best.”

Minnesota’s first varsity four finished in second place behind Michigan.

The novice eight featured Gophers rowers who were in their first dual match.

The group finished in second place in the morning session behind Michigan, and the novice boat was bested by the Spartans in the afternoon session.

Minnesota’s next dual comes in Clemson, South Carolina for the Clemson Invite on April 22.

The Gophers should return the two rowers who were out for this meet and hope to get back on track.

“To get ready for Clemson, if we get healthy, I think we’re going to showcase our speed a whole lot better,” Davis said.