Gophers succeed in Iowa, every crew picks up a victory

Minnesota raced in a scrimmage instead of an actual regatta over the weekend.

by Dane Mizutani


Minnesota’s women’s rowing team dominated its competition with rival Iowa over the weekend. If only it had actually counted.

The Gophers were scheduled to row in their first conference regatta Saturday, but Iowa didn’t get a permit that allowed the two teams to race.

Instead, they participated in a scrimmage, in which Minnesota thrived.

“This was a good test of how we’re progressing after spring break,” head coach Wendy Davis said. “I think we are absolutely in the hunt to be one of the best teams in the country.”

The Gophers passed the test as every crew picked up a win against Iowa over the weekend.

Minnesota’s first varsity eight won two races, while the second varsity eight also won their races against the Hawkeyes.

Not to be outdone, both the first varsity four and the second varsity four also won their races.

Davis said she was pleased with how her team responded to Rebecca Braak’s illness over the weekend. Braak was a member of the first varsity eight, but Katherine Windsor filled in for her, and the crew did not miss a beat.

“It was good because some years we don’t have that depth,” Davis said. “We are fortunate to have that depth this year.”

Minnesota’s novice boats got into the action as well and competed in their first organized race of the season. That group won three of four races Saturday.

The Gophers’ novice crew will travel to San Diego next weekend to compete in the San Diego Classic.

“They look very ready to go out … based on what we saw Saturday,” Davis said.

Minnesota’s varsity crew will continue its season in two weeks against Indiana and Ohio State.