The University of Minnesota rowing team earned a clean sweep over Big Ten Conference rival Iowa and Creighton, today in Iowa City, Iowa. The Golden Gophers won all five races contested.
Minnesota started the day with a win in the First Varsity Eight competition, its third-straight competition with a win. Minnesota, who is ranked 10th in the nation, of Megan Flannery as coxswain, Berit Tomten at stroke, Cheryl Wick, Jenny Barnes, Sally Olson, Vilma Stragyte, Erika Bartkute, Laura Jatautaite and Jenna Buskohl won the event in a convincing time of 6:35.98. Iowa came in second with a time of 6:48.56, while Creighton was third in 7:26.03. The Gophers had strong weather to compete with as well as they faced tailwind and nearly whitecap conditions.
The Gophers' next win came in the Second Varsity Eight when they chipped in a time of 6:47.70. The Hawkeyes placed second (7:06.28) followed by Creighton in third (7:37.12). In Minnesota’s winning boat was coxswain Kaja Tally, Mary Ann Weinzerl, Katie Johnson, Ashley Vilmo, Kit Casey, Becky Brzozowski, Sarah Graham, Heidi Bechtel and Christine O’Donnell. As the racing day continued the conditions improved to a 7-10 mile per hour tailwind.
The Gophers took the top two spots in the First Varsity Four event in times of 7:36.17 and 7:46.52. Coxswain Erica Niemiec led the Gophers’ A boat of Lauren Van Proosdy, Emily Baxter, Rachel Hotkowski and Katie Simpson for the win. Minnesota’s 2V4 of Alanna Hjortland, Tracey Tallman, Liz Ponder and Lisa Pugh placed second in the event with a time of 7:46.52. Iowa also competed in the event and placed third in a time of 8:37.13.
Along with the varsity action, the Gophers won both of the novice races as well. Minnesota earned a win in the Second Novice Eight action with a time of 7:12.40. Competing in the winning boat was coxswain Renee Schirmer, Megan Lenarz, Meredith Lee, Katelyn Nichols, Kate Lindgren, Katie Jones, Megan McClanahan, Amanda Schutte and Monika Folker.
Minnesota’s final event of the day came in the First Novice Eight action when the Gophers won the race over Iowa and Creighton. The Maroon and Gold’s team of coxswain Jayme Lehman, Michele Peterson at stroke, Jessica Norman, Abby Tomasek, Jenna Schuder, Christine Cira, Brenna Galvin, Taylor Kimbel and Michelle Murphy clocked a time of 7:03.5. The Hawkeyes earned a time of 7:06.14 followed by Creighton in 7:40.5.
Minnesota will face tough competition next weekend as they compete on the East Coast against No. 5 Yale, Dartmouth (who is receiving votes in the polls) and Boston University. The event is held on April 7 in Boston, Mass.