May 2016

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Page 136 of 160

137 T he University of Iowa rowing team has made great strides in three seasons under Andrew Carter, the program's third head coach. e Hawkeyes are striving to take the next leap with an NCAA Championship appearance in 2016. Twenty-two of the 88 Di- vision I rowing programs in the country compete at the NCAA Champion- ship each year. Eleven receive automatic bids by winning their respective conference crowns, while the remaining 11 earn at-large bids based on their body of work through- out the season. According to Carter, the selec- tion committee's at-large bids oen align closely with the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA)/USRowing Poll. e Hawkeyes, who have been ranked as high as 16th this season, are currently slotted at No. 19. It is the program's first national ranking in six seasons. e team has shown that it is capable of toeing the line against the country's elite programs, challenging itself week-in and week-out against No. 1 California, No. 2 Brown, No. 5 Stanford, No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 15 Gonzaga, and No. 17 Notre Dame, in addition to Louisville and Minnesota — teams receiving votes in the national poll. "I front-loaded the season with top competition," Carter said. "It has shown them that they're capa- ble of racing with the best. When you row within 3 ½ seconds of the No. 1 ranked team in the country that says you can race with elite crews. ey are realizing what they can do, they seem excited, and they are coming to terms with how fast they are." Being included in the NCAA Championships would be a massive ac- complishment for Iowa, a program that has made its only appearance in 2001. With racing against un- ranked crews remaining in its regular season, Iowa must record victories by large margins to strength- en its case for an at-large bid. e Hawkeyes must also crack the top-four in team standings at the Big Ten Championships. It is a strong field that saw four teams qualify for the 2015 NCAA Championship and boasts three-time defending national champion Ohio State. "All we have at our disposal is to ensure that we win in each of the match races we have by the largest margins we possibly can against anyone we face," Carter said. "e top four teams in the Big Ten right now are predictable, and we have to beat one of them in the top three boat classes. "We've shown the ability to compete with some of them this season. I think we've been able to out- pace them in terms of our improvement, and we can give them a run." MAY SCHEDULE May 1 vs. Tennessee, Clemson, UCF (Knoxville, Tenn.) May 14-15 at Big Ten Championship (Indianapolis)

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