Tired team fares well

The Gophers had a successful weekend despite a hectic travel schedule.

Nate Gotlieb

The Gophers rowing teams had a successful weekend at the Clemson Invitational in Clemson, S.C., despite a hectic travel schedule.

The team recorded four top-three finishes and won one event — a second varsity eight heat Saturday afternoon.

But the Gophers nearly didn’t make it there.

They were scheduled to fly out of Minneapolis in two shifts Thursday. The first shift got out without problem, but the second group’s flight was canceled.

Assistant coach Teresa Logemann scheduled the second group on four flights Friday — one of the groups didn’t arrive at its hotel in Clemson until about seven hours before the first race. Three rowers on the first varsity four boat missed their race Saturday after they were stuck in Philadelphia.

The first varsity four finished last in its Saturday afternoon race, placing behind Tennessee, whom they had beaten handily last month.

“We’d been traveling for about two days straight,” said sophomore Rachael Rogers, the boat’s coxswain, “so I don’t think we were as prepared as we wanted to be for that race.”

Still, even with the exhausting travel schedule, the Gophers had a solid weekend.

Minnesota’s top varsity eight boat finished second, third and fourth in its three races.

The crew had equipment problems in its first race, and one of the rowers fell off her seat, forcing the crew to stop. The boat finished fourth with a time of 6:40.3 despite the rocky start.

The crew placed second in its Saturday afternoon race (6:26.3) but finished four seconds behind No. 18 Louisville.

Head coach Wendy Davis said the top varsity eight boat was too eager and rowed poorly Saturday afternoon.

Davis said the crew rebounded Sunday morning. The boat finished third (6:52.2), 12 seconds behind No. 4 Ohio State and six seconds behind No. 5 UCLA.

The second varsity eight boat placed fourth in its Saturday morning race (6:46.8). The crew won its Saturday afternoon race (6:31.7) and capped the weekend with a third-place finish Sunday (7:09.0).

“[Saturday morning] was a little bit rough,” junior Sarah Sobek, a rower on the second varsity eight, said Sunday. “But I think we pulled it together pretty well. … I know that everyone is still a little exhausted even now.”

Notes

– Senior captain Ali Haws, a member of the first varsity eight, was injured Saturday and did not race Sunday. Davis said she could be out for a while.

– Davis credited Logemann, the assistant coach, for getting the team to Clemson despite the poor weather. “If there was going to be a Big Ten boat of the week, it should be Teresa,” Davis said.