MINNEAPOLIS – The Gopher Rowing program wrapped up the fall portion of its season on Sunday hosting Big Ten rival Wisconsin in an exhibition dual on the Mississippi River.
The Minnesota varsity and novice teams each competed in the friendly competition with their neighbors to the East. For many of these Gophers, it marked the first time they saw competition in the Fall as the Maroon & Gold sent one boat to the Head of the Charles in Boston and had the team’s biggest meet of the fall, the Head of the Mississippi, cancelled earlier this month.
“You know, you say it was our ‘last chance’ to get out on the water, but [for a lot of the team] it was also our first opportunity,” said head coach Wendy Davis after the race. “We finally were able to: A. get all of our boats out and rowing, and B. allow the people that were out in Boston to have nothing untoward happen so they could row. I was really pleased with what I saw. It was great to be right there with Wisconsin. It was great to be out on our river.”
The event also served as a chance to gather with parents and families, with several Gopher fans finding their way to the shoreline along the route. “They’re the best,” said Davis. “Some of them did make their way down on shore in areas where I have no idea how they got down from the cliffs. So, they should fill me in with how they did that.”
The next time the team sees action will be another exhibition on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 2-3 at San Diego State. In the meantime, Davis knows what the team has to do. “We are missing a full boatload worth of people to injury and illness. So, we have to get healthy. Then, as we move indoors – train, train train. And study.”
Official times and results were not maintained due to the exhibition nature of the event.
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