Minnesota has bittersweet weekend in Indiana

The Gophers won every race against Indiana, but lost all but one against OSU.

Dane Mizutani

 

Minnesota opened its Big Ten rowing season with a double dual against Indiana and Ohio State over the weekend and now has a better idea of where it stands in the conference.

There was no middle ground for the Gophers at the regatta Saturday — it was all or nothing for the squad. The team beat Indiana but lost all but one race later in the day to Ohio State.

Minnesota shot out of the gate in the morning session with an impressive showing, in which the team swept Indiana in every race en route to a 46-23 victory.

But a couple hours later, Minnesota found itself on the flip side of the spectrum.

Ohio State dictated the tempo in the afternoon session and won all but one race, finishing with a 44-25 win.

“I feel good where we’re at now,” head coach Wendy Davis said. “I thought everyone did a really nice job in the morning session, but in the afternoon Ohio State had our number in pretty much every way. Honestly, I feel like they are a top-five team in the country, and we’re not.”

Davis said she sees her team ranked in the range of No. 12 to No. 15 in the nation.

Minnesota’s first varsity eight boat, which Davis mentioned had injury concerns in preparation for the regatta, competed fully healthy.

That crew defeated Indiana by six seconds in the morning, but lost by 11 seconds to Ohio State in the afternoon. Davis said its time was slower than expected and ideally she wanted the crew to be within 10 seconds of the Buckeyes.

“We fell a little bit short of what my expectations were for the regatta but only a little bit, so that’s pretty good,” Davis said.

The Gophers’ lone win against Ohio State came from the second varsity four.

Even with the disappointing session, the team had a clear idea of caliber of the Buckeyes entering the regatta, Davis said.

“I think they have a realistic understanding of that program versus our program, so I don’t think anyone is happy, but no one is ready to saw off their right arm either,” she added. “I think everyone has a pretty good understanding of where we are as a team.”

As for Davis, she said the team is still continuing to grow in the water, but she is content with the level of progression.

“I think we’re right where we belong and … we’re close to being where I want us to be moving forward.”

Minnesota will continue its rowing season next weekend in Charlottesville, Va., at the Virginia Invitational.