June 2017

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Page 144 of 152

145 T he University of Iowa women's rowing team reached its third, and most rewarding, milestone of the 2017 season May 16 when it was selected to the NCAA Championships for the second time in program history, ending a 16-season postseason drought. "is selection moved the posts for the team," said Iowa head coach Andrew Carter. "Each year, the expectations they have and the standards they set for themselves have shied. is was another part of that process. e intent from this point forward is that it be less of a milestone and more of an expectation — that this level of performance is a sustainable thing." is milestone was achieved by a team that broke its national poll record four times throughout the season, peaking at No. 11 in the country in the April 25 CRCA/USRowing Poll. e Hawkeyes also broke the team point record at the Big Ten Championships on May 14, scoring 116 to tie for fourth place. e Hawkeyes have spent nearly four years working toward earning an NCAA Championships opportunity, and they were excited to show the nation what they could do. "e chance to compete at the NCAA Championships meant the world to them," said Carter. "e reaction to the announcement said it all. ey managed the pent-up emotion they had over this well, but it has been building for long enough. ey certainly let it out." e selection show marked a highlight for Carter as well. "One of the toughest things that I have to do in my job is to help people manage the emotion of coming up short of what they wanted to do," said Carter. "One of the best things I get to do is stand by and not have to manage their emotions when they achieve what they want to do. Selection day was a good day for me as a coach." e NCAA Championships offered the best competition in the country and the Hawkeyes were used to the challenge. ey were battle- tested by stiff competition all year, considering four other Big Ten teams — Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana — were selected to the NCAA Championships, making the Big Ten the most-represented conference at championships. Iowa's preparation for the national competition was similar to the Big Ten Championships, but with even more focus. Only three boats — I Eight, II Eight, and I Four — competed at the NCAA Championship, compared to the seven that traveled to the Big Ten Championships. "e mental approach was staying true to who we are and the path that enabled us to get to that point," said Carter. "We didn't want to change a lot. We didn't want to be too distracted by achievements. We celebrated, but then we got right back to what we were doing so we could finish strong. "We were excited about being selected and about the opportunity to compete at the NCAA Championships, but being selected wasn't the only goal. It's good to be excited about getting your acceptance letter to your top-choice university, but you still have work ahead of you to be able to get that degree. e victory is not just in being accepted. e victory is in finishing the job. at's what we tried to remember." e Hawkeyes concluded the 20117 season at the NCAA Championships from May 26-28 in West Windsor, New Jersey. e Varsity 4 crew finished 12th overall, while the Varsity I Eight crew finished 14th, and the Varsity II Eight crew finished 15th.

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