New lineups show improvement

The Gophers won four of the 12 races they competed in over the weekend.

University of Minnesota rowers Lisa Weeks, Jessica Flakne, Catherine Ahrens, Sara Scarbro, Haley Bagley, Anna Greene, Bee Lovick, and Kortney Luedloff practice on the Mississippi River on Monday afternoon.

Joe Sulik, Daily File Photo

University of Minnesota rowers Lisa Weeks, Jessica Flakne, Catherine Ahrens, Sara Scarbro, Haley Bagley, Anna Greene, Bee Lovick, and Kortney Luedloff practice on the Mississippi River on Monday afternoon.

Mike Hendrickson

Fresh lineups for Minnesota led to its varsity boats improving on Saturday at the Big Ten/Big XII Invite in Baraboo, Wis. 
 
 
The Gophers won four races out of the 12 they participated in, with victories coming from the second varsity eight, the first varsity four and the two novice boats.
 
 
Minnesota switched up the rosters of many of its boats after a disappointing meet against Big Ten opponents No. 14 Indiana and No. 19 Iowa on April 9, and head coach Wendy Davis said she was pleased with the team’s progress.
 
 
“We’re back on track, and it feels a whole lot better,” Davis said. “This bus ride [back to Minneapolis] is going much better than the last one.”
 
 
Minnesota competed against No. 11 Wisconsin and Oklahoma in the morning and raced against Iowa and Oklahoma in the afternoon.
 
 
The Badgers came in first in all six races, with Minnesota placing second in all six and Oklahoma finishing third in the five races they participated in.
 
 
Wisconsin won all six races by at least seven seconds, including a 22-second victory in the second novice eight race.
 
 
The afternoon went better for Minnesota, as it won four out of its six races against Iowa and Oklahoma.
 
 
Minnesota lost five of six races against Iowa two weeks ago but won four of six Saturday.
 
 
“The Big Ten is very strong, and we certainly took care of business against the Big XII opponent,” Davis said.
 
 
The Gophers also only had four victories on April 9 against Iowa and Indiana, but Davis said the boats showed improvement on Saturday.
 
 
The first varsity four boat lost to Iowa by 14 seconds on April 9 but beat the Hawkeyes by five seconds on Saturday.
 
 
The Gophers first novice eight boat lost by five seconds to Iowa on April 9 but beat the Hawkeyes by one second on Saturday.
 
 
The second varsity eight boat lost to Wisconsin by seven seconds with a time of 7:06.6 in the morning but rebounded in the afternoon to beat Iowa by five seconds with a time of 7:03.26.
 
 
“I think we made a lot of improvements that we’ve been trying to work on,” said sophomore Joyce Jollands, the eighth seat on the second varsity eight boat. “We solidified that against Iowa.”
 
 
Junior Lauren Miller, the fifth seat on the second varsity eight boat, said with all the lineup changes over the past two weeks, the team was uncertain about how the races would go on Saturday.
 
 
“We rowed well as a group,” Miller said. “I think we held our ground pretty well as a crew.”
 
 
Davis said she isn’t sure yet if she’ll change the lineups ahead of next Saturday’s race against Wisconsin, as the boats were good in practice, and she liked the times in the meet.
 
 
“We had a much, much better outing [Saturday],” Davis said. “It’s all a great trajectory that we’re on right now.”