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50 Iowa moments since Title IX: Major investment in rowing precedes new program records in 2010s
Moment No. 49: Iowa’s ‘state-of-the-art’ facility opens, rowing finds renewed success in decade-plus since
Editor’s note: This is second in a series counting down the top 50 moments in Iowa Hawkeyes women’s athletics history in the 50 days leading up to the 50th anniversary of Title IX in June.
Jane Meyer took some athletes from the Hawkeye rowing team to the P. Sue Beckwith Boathouse in the summer before the facility along the Iowa River opened.
As they saw their new rowing home, they cried tears of joy.
"Just to see that excitement (makes it) worthwhile," said Meyer, Iowa’s senior associate athletics director at the time, in 2009.
It was the $7.33 million investment in the rowing program via the construction of a 22,501-square-foot facility.
The facility included a “16-station moving water rowing tank” that allows the team to practice their technique with conditions similar to what the athletes would experience outside.
“There aren’t many in the world that can compare to this one,” a rowing athlete said in a team-released video in 2014.
The speed of the water can reach about 20 feet per second, which is more than 13 miles per hour.
It also was the first building on campus to receive LEED certification for its energy efficiency.
Since Beckwith Boathouse opened in 2009, rowing has experienced some of its best seasons in program history.
In 2010, Jessica Novak became the program’s first athlete to earn All-America honors. Iowa finished fourth in the Big Ten in 2017 and 2018, marking the first time the Hawkeyes finished fourth or better in consecutive years.
“It was another step forward for us this year as a team,” then-head coach Andrew Carter said in a 2018 news release. “It’s been five years of steady improvement and you can really feel the excitement from everyone to have it continue.”
The 2019 season was the first time the Hawkeyes had multiple All-America honorees, let alone three. It was also the third consecutive year with an NCAA Championships appearance after only reaching that stage once before the 2010s.
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