No. 20 Indiana rowing competed in the OSU Regatta in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, winning six of the 12 races it competed in. Indiana performed well despite the poor weather conditions of intermittent rain and sub-40 degree temperatures at Griggs Reservoir.
In the morning session, Indiana raced against the University of Oklahoma and Big Ten opponent Michigan State, and it also raced against Michigan State in the afternoon session. The only exception was the Second Novice Eight races, which also featured host No. 9 Ohio State in both the morning and afternoon. The University of Notre Dame also competed on Saturday, but it did not race against Indiana.
Entering the weekend, Indiana head coach Scott Peterson said he was hoping to use Saturday to finalize adjustments to the lineups. In the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational on March 19-20, Indiana mixed up its race lineups between sessions, but on Saturday, the lineups stayed the same in both the morning and afternoon.
Prior to Saturday, Peterson said the team was also planning to determine its best race strategies for its boats this weekend.
“What this weekend is really about for us is walking away and going, ‘That is how we need to race’, so that when we go down to Florida next weekend for a race, we know we're going into it with the best possible plan that we can put forth,” Peterson said before the regatta.
The adjustments seemed to pay off, as the Hoosiers won their First Varsity Four, First Varsity Eight and Second Varsity Eight races in both the morning and afternoon sessions. The highlight of the day came in the Second Varsity Eight morning race, when the Hoosiers beat the Spartans by a nearly 17-second margin.
In both First Varsity Eight races, Indiana jumped out to an early lead at the start and never gave it up, cruising to winning margins on multiple boat-lengths.
“Being able to have a lead from the very start allowed us an opportunity to test ourselves and see how much open water we could create between our boats,” junior Piper Maaka said. “Having a head start can be challenging as you keep trying to go faster, but we were able to ignore that and continue to test our speed without crews beside us.”
Despite the wins, Peterson said he thinks the team can perform better in the future.
“As far as trying to execute race plans and the way that we want to row, the style we need to row, I think we can do a better job,” Peterson said. “I think they raced hard, and the results were good, but I think we can go faster. Looking at the Big Ten Invitational next weekend, we're going to have to bring our A game.”
In the Second Varsity Four and First Varsity Eight races of the morning session, Indiana placed second behind Michigan State but finished ahead of Oklahoma. In the afternoon session against Michigan State, Indiana came second in both races.
Indiana’s next competition will be next weekend at the Big Ten Invitational in Sarasota, Florida. The races will take place on Friday and Saturday and will feature 15 schools — all eight Big Ten teams and seven other teams from around the country.