Progression throughout the fall for rowing


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Temperatures are dropping to around freezing and lower — too cold for rowers to practice on the Iowa River in the early morning hours.

The Iowa rowing team wrapped up its fall season on Sunday afternoon at the Head of the Iowa, and it now begins the transition into off-season training, preparing for the spring season.

Looking back at the short season, it can be classified into new and old. The Hawkeyes competed in a new race at the Head of the Oklahoma, as well as other more familiar races. There were new rowers and freshmen, as well as many upperclassmen who led the Hawkeyes.

At times, they faced injuries and circumstances that did not allow some rowers to compete. Senior captain Allison Lofthouse said the squad did a good job during the fall season of competing with the people who were available. The team’s top rowers may not have always been healthy, but Iowa held its own against the toughest competition, especially at the Oklahoma regatta.

“We’ve really been able to row well with whoever we’ve put in the boat,” Lofthouse said.

In the off-season, the Hawkeyes will continue to work on meshing with whoever they put in the boat. Being able to work well with the other rowers in the boat is a key for a strong and fast boat.

Head coach Mandi Kowal said the Head of the Iowa demonstrated that the Hawkeyes have a few things to work on, including lengthening the front end of the rowers’ strokes. That will help build speed, she said.

Even though the fall races did not yield perfect results, the Hawkeyes’ consensus is that they — players and coaches — are ready to attack their weaknesses.

“As human beings, you kind of think you’re working really tough, and then you’re doing something else, and you move to that next level,” Kowal said. “My job as a coach is what can we do to get them to that next level without them realizing it.”

The Hawks will take a break from intense early morning workouts for a week or so, she said.

However, once Iowa gets into the “nitty-gritty” of the off-season, workouts will vary from using the indoor rowing tank, indoor rowing machines, swimming, weightlifting, and taking advantage of the Campus Wellness & Recreation Center for a new venue. Assistant coach Carrie Callen said the Hawkeyes will also work on improving their fitness level.

“It’s going to be a really intense off-season,” Kowal said. “We’re going to focus on intensity, and [the athletes’] ability to handle pain, probably more than previous years. I want them to be as tough as possible when we get to spring and probably tougher than we’ve been in a while.

“I’ve got that kind of focus and also providing some variety. Anything we do, we do to the best of our ability.”

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