No. 18 Indiana rowing defeated the University of Notre Dame, Clemson University and Michigan State on Saturday in the 13th annual Dale England Cup. The Hoosiers finished with the maximum possible score, 72 points, to get their fifth straight win in the Lake Lemon competition.
Only the First Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight and First Varsity Four races were scored to determine the winner. Each race was weighted differently, with results from the First Varsity Eight race earning twice as many points as the Second Varsity Eight race and three times as many points as the First Varsity Four race.
Indiana won all three of the scored races to earn all 72 possible points. Clemson came in second with 51 points, Notre Dame finished third with 33 points and Michigan State came last with 24 points.
After the regatta, Indiana head coach Steve Peterson said he was proud of how his team raced on their home course and defended the cup.
“To win it each year just makes me feel a little bit good,” Peterson said. “It's just great to keep it in the family and keep it in the house.”
The most dominant performance of the day came from Indiana’s First Varsity Eight boat, which won its race by over 11 seconds and set a new course record with a time of 6:27.6 in the process.
“Getting straight through everyone in the first 250 (meters) was great,” McCartin said. “We didn't have to worry too much. We raced our own race and focused on ourselves and beating our own time.”
This idea was echoed by Peterson, who said the Hoosiers preach the concept of “staying in your boat” to all their teams for every race. When the rowers get too concerned with what the other boats are doing, Peterson said, it can cause them to get distracted, push too hard early on and mess up the race plan.
Outside of the scored races, the Hoosiers won two of the three other races on Saturday.
Indiana started well, beating Michigan State to win the Second Novice Eight race. The race was the first of the day and only one to not feature all four teams. Indiana also won the First Novice Eight race and came in second behind Notre Dame in the Second Varsity Four race, losing by 1.7 seconds.
The cup was Indiana’s only home competition of the season, and as a result, many fans showed up for their only chance to support the team in person.
“It just makes a huge difference,” Peterson said. “Not that they don't always try, but you go to that extra level when they have the support there, so it means a lot.”
Next up for Indiana rowing is the Big Ten Championships on May 15 in Indianapolis. The team’s performance in the conference championships will determine if it qualifies for the NCAA Championships on May 27-29.
“We just want to row our own race and go as fast as we can,” McCartin said. “We want to show the Big Ten what Indiana is made of.”