Minnesota beats Indiana, loses to No. 12 Southern California in Columbus

The Gophers rowers said they could have done better against the Trojans.

Emily Wickstrom

Several days after being nationally ranked for the first time in school history, Minnesota’s rowing team began to show its inexperience.

The Gophers’ First Varsity Eight boat defeated Indiana by a time of 7:12.6 to 7:23.0 in the Gophers’ first race Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. Minnesota later fell to No. 12 Southern California, losing 6:56.2 to 7:01.0.

“We want to race our best race and, if they beat us, know that they were legitimately a better crew,” junior Cheryl Wick said. “We did that for the most part. We need to learn to row in the really high-pressure races.”

Minnesota rowers said that although it was nice to beat Indiana, they felt they could have come closer to defeating the Trojans.

“It’s definitely a missed opportunity, but it’s one of those situations that you take and learn from it,” junior Jillian Casey said. “We’re learning we can compete with these people. It’s disappointing to come so close, but we know we can beat the No. 12 team in the country.”

Minnesota’s other varsity boats also struggled to win their races.

The Second Varsity Eight lost both races, falling to Indiana 7:26.17 to 7:33.9 and Southern California 7:17.1 to 7:26.17.

The First Varsity Four started off well, easily beating the Hoosiers 8:16.6 to 8:39.2. But the Gophers lost to the Trojans 8:07.2 to 8:21.5

The Gophers’ Second Varsity Four raced Ohio State twice and lost both races.

Minnesota rowers said they hope to learn from their race against the Trojans, because their competition will continue to be strong for the rest of the season. The Gophers race No. 13 UCLA next weekend.

“I think this race is definitely a stepping stone,” senior Lida Storch said. “It prepares us to be able to go out there and potentially win a race like that – a race that we have the potential to win.”

Casey said Minnesota team members are still learning how to deal with being ranked and feeling as if they can compete with the top teams in the country.

“We’ve never been this good; we’ve never been at this level,” she said. “So it’s kind of new to everybody. But at the same time, it’s very exciting.”