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Hawkeye rowing team led by senior class

BY RYAN MURPHY | MAY 04, 2011 7:20 AM

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As the Iowa rowing team prepares for its biggest event of the season — the Big Ten championships on May 15 in Indianapolis — the squad looks to one group in particular leadership: the 13-member senior class.

In their time as Hawkeyes, the seniors have experienced the construction of the state-of-the-art Beckwith Boathouse and have individually received accolades such as All-American (Jessica Novack) and National Scholar Athlete (Haylie Miller, Heidie Miller, Anna Kolden, and Allison Robinson). The senior class has been instrumental in the team's success this season, including victories over Duke, Cornell, and Oklahoma, among others.

Assistant coach Carrie Callen, who has been on staff for all four years the seniors have been in Iowa City, said they have been able to use experience to have a positive effect on their more youthful teammates.

"A group as large as our senior class can have a big impact on the people around them," Callen said. "They can be those leaders who know that our training has prepared us, know that we can go beyond our limits, and just have confidence in that."

Despite gaining individual accolades throughout their time at Iowa, the seniors have never finished higher than fifth at the Big Ten championships. The last top-five finish at Big Tens for the rowing team came in 2003. The squad has never won a Big Ten championship in the 11 years the conference has had the sport.

Senior Allison Lofthouse said a big performance at the conference championships would be the perfect cap on their careers.

"It would definitely solidify the whole four years and all the work we've put in," she said. "To able to end on a good note and have that good taste in your mouth after the season would be great."

Nine of the 13 seniors started as members of the novice team as freshmen and have worked their way up to varsity level over the past four years. Their experience has helped them bond, especially on the water.

Callen said the seniors will be very important for the Hawkeyes to compete well at the Big Ten championships. She said their influence will come both before the event and during the races in the boats.

"This is their fourth time doing it, so I think they have gained experience and drawn confidence," she said. "They know what it's like to be in this position, and they know that they have to pull together and have their best race of the year, and nothing about that changes."

Robinson said she has loved her time as a Hawkeye rower but noted that the job of the Class of 2011 is not quite done.

"It's been an intense, but really fun, four years," she said. "And we're really looking forward to going out on a good note and hopefully getting to the medals [at Big Tens]."


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