The three-time national champion Ohio State Buckeyes will come to Bloomington this Saturday for a date with IU, Rutgers and Iowa in the Big Ten double dual.
This will be the second race in as many weeks for IU after the Hoosiers placed second last weekend in a double dual.
After three consecutive national championships from 2013 to 2015, Ohio State was also the national runner-up last season after falling just short of a fourth consecutive championship. Junior rower Emily Wasz said she knows the importance of this opportunity against one of the best teams in the nation.
“Ohio State is a big team to beat as they have been ranked nationally for a large amount of time,” Wasz said. “But this season we have been training with the mentality that we can beat any crew, even on our worst day.”
This confidence stems from all of the preparation IU has done in the offseason. Wasz said the team has been training since September for moments like this.
Senior rower Hanna Henry also added how the weekly routine practice schedule has aided the team’s overall performance on the water.
“The beginning of the week is pretty intense workouts just trying to get us to race pace,” Henry said. “Then we will have more relaxed workouts at the end of the week to prepare for the two races on Saturday.”
Henry said the practices have helped the younger rowers on the team because more than half of the rowers on the top boat, the first varsity eight, are underclassmen. The 1V8 boat is the team’s best boat, comprising some of the best rowers on the team.
Because the best boat is made up of underclassmen, Henry said this poises the team for the future.
“Its really exciting to have a lot of new perspectives brought to the team and see what they can bring to the table to improve Indiana rowing,” Henry said.
The underclassmen in the 1V8 boat will be relied upon to step up this weekend after one of their first collegiate experiences last Saturday. As the season finally gets back into full swing, the team, as a whole, has many opportunities to improve on that second place finish last weekend.
“We have a really great chance to improve our racing from last weekend,” Henry said. “It’ll be really exciting to race against Ohio State as they will be really tough to beat. But racing against them this early in the season will prepare us for conference.”
IU will welcome Iowa this weekend as partners and will not be racing against the Hawkeyes. IU will solely race against Ohio State and Rutgers this Saturday morning and afternoon.
The races will follow the same format as last weekend’s double dual. Each boat will race once during the morning and once in the afternoon. The only difference from last weekend is there will only be four teams instead of five.
The featured races of the day come from the 1V8, second varsity eight and first varsity four boats because those are the only boats that can qualify for the NCAA Championship. Henry and Wasz will both be competing on the 1V8 boat, and they will attempt to take down Ohio State.
“We are going to go out there and put it all out on the water because we have absolutely nothing to lose,” Wasz said. “It’s gonna be exciting to see how we match up and what we need to do to be Big Ten champions.”
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