In one of the most prestigious regattas in the nation, the Clemson Invitational, IU finished in eighth place out of 21. The Hoosiers only finished behind teams ranked among the top 20 in the country.
However, IU did outlast No. 18 Louisville who finished in 11th place.
The regatta spanned two days, with Saturday’s morning and afternoon results determining the field Sunday. IU had two of its top three crews compete in the A final Sunday morning. Senior Hanna Henry said she loved the way her crew, the first varsity eight, 1V8, competed to position themselves to win Sunday.
“We had the third fastest time on Saturday,” Henry said. “It gave us the confidence to be able to go out there and do it again on Sunday.”
The 1V8 and 2V8 crews both competed in the A final Sunday morning, with the 1V8 placing sixth and the 2V8 placing seventh. Although IU was hoping for a better finish, they were just off the mark as three seconds separated the 1V8 from third place. Senior Spencer Manton said she still believes the team is pleased with their showing.
“It’s hard to gauge our speed until we get to a bigger regatta like this one,” Manton said. “It’s nice to see the speed of those teams and know that it’s doable to catch up with them in the next couple weeks.”
The team is getting toward its most meaningful part of the season. The Big Ten Championships are just a couple of weeks away and the NCAA Championships commence in nearly a month.
“Having the younger rowers see competition like this is really good in preparation for Big Tens and NCAAs,” Manton said. “I remember from my freshman year that it’s really nerve-racking if you haven’t seen these big powerhouse teams.”
Although the team didn’t get the result they wanted this weekend, the experience is something to build on for the rest of the season. Manton is a part of the 2V8 crew, which is only comprised of three seniors, making the rest of the crew rather inexperienced when dealing with the national powerhouses during NCAAs.
Manton said that inexperience has been shrinking as the season progresses and the team gets more competitive experience on the water. The team’s maturity shows them they can compete with some of the best teams in the conference.
“We were up on Ohio State for some of the race, who were back-to-back national champions a couple years ago,” Manton said. “Its nice to see that our speed is comparable to theirs, especially seeing as we’re so close to Big Tens and know that we can catch them in the next couple weeks.”
Big Ten Championships will take place in Indianapolis on May 13-14 and the NCAA Championships will occur in West Windsor, New Jersey, from May 26 to 28. However, before IU gets there it still has one last tune-up this weekend in Bloomington.
The Dale England Cup will take place in Bloomington at 9 a.m. Saturday. IU will play host to Duke, Notre Dame and San Diego State.
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