Oct. 23, 2011
• Full Results | Men's Recap | Lightweight Women's Recap | Women's Recap
MADISON, Wis. -- Sending all three teams to the Head of the Charles for the first time since 2002, the Badgers made the most out of their Boston trip, winning three races and placing in the top 10 in all seven events they competed in.
With nearly 9,000 rowers and 2,000 boats competing in 61 races, some of the best rowers in the world competed on Boston’s Charles River and the Badgers were among the competition.
The lightweight women’s eight, men’s four and 2008 Wisconsin alum Kristen Hedstrom all won their races on Sunday.
When men’s head coach Chris Clark previewed the men’s chances at the Head of the Charles, he admitted “it won’t be pretty and maybe not even that fast, but the oars will be punished.” Clark added the team would stick to their race plan, which was simply, “go like heck.”
That race plan worked well, as Wisconsin won the championship men’s four race. After only practicing together once as a four, the Badgers finished the three-mile race in 16:12.69, 15 seconds ahead of second-place California. They reclaimed their title after winning it in 2009 and not racing in the event last year.
“How exactly it happened, I don't know, but it was impressive," Clark said. "This was the most surprising of any of the successes we have ad here in the past several years, it was fun to see.”
In the men’s eight, the Badgers finished tenth in a strong field of 34 boats. Harvard had the best time through all three checkpoints and won in 14:17.68. Wisconsin was in fifth after the first split and seventh after the second and third splits. They ended with a time of 14:48.25.
Wisconsin Lightweight Women
Wisconsin won the women’s lightweight eight race for the third-straight year and fifth time in the 21-year history of the race. After setting a record time last year, their newest win looked easy as the Badgers won by more than 23 seconds. Stanford and Radcliffe finished one second apart in second and third places. Having also won in 2000 and 2001, UW remains the only college team to ever win the race.
“It was a rough week of preparation because of all the wind we had at practice,” lightweight head coach Erik Miller said. “They went out and were aggressive and looked strong. I was pleased with how they performed on a challenging course.”
Current Badger lightweight rower Taylor Fries came in eighth of 22 in the championship women's double. Fries was racing unaffiliated with Oregon State's Tina Vernazza. The duo finished in 19:40.87, but received a 10-second penalty for missing a buoy.
Former Badger rower and world cup champion Kristin Hedstrom dominated the women’s lightweight single race, winning by nearly 40 seconds over Abelyn Broughton. UW alum Claire Wallace finished 18th.
“Kristin had an amazing race and it really was fun to see,” said Miller, who watched her catch the five boats that started ahead of her.
Wisconsin Openweight Women
The openweight women finished fifth in a tough race of 37 boats. Traveling to Boston for the first time since 2003, the Badgers made sure to enjoy the experience. “They really did a great job and had a great time doing it,” women’s head coach Bebe Bryans said.
An especially tough race for coxswains, Kendall Schmidt had a great race. “It was a good race and very well coxed by Schmidt,” Bryans said. “She had a couple of dicey situations that she had to make some really quick decisions in and steered a flawless course and coxed a great race. It will set us up really well for the springtime.”
UW also had a boat in the women’s alumni eight, comprised of rowers from several different eras. Coxed by former Badger coxswain and current lightweight assistant coach Heidi Hunsberger, Wisconsin finished ninth out of 30 in a respectable 18:49.69.
Former Badger rowers Vicky Opitz and Grace Latz came in first in the women's championship four race, defeating the University of Virginia by more than 12 seconds. Opitz and Latz were competing with the Vesper Boat Club from Philadelphia.
All three crews will continue their fall season next Sunday at the Head of the Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.
Head of the Charles
October 22-23, 2011
Charles River (Boston)
Women’s Alumni Eight
1. Friends of Brown Women’s Crew: 17:15.01; 2. University of Virginia Alumni: 17:25.56; 3. Ithaca College: 18:05.13; 9. University of Wisconsin Alumni: 18:49.69
Championship Women’s Double
1. Goldsack/Daley: 18:40.29; 2. O’Leary/Garnier: 18:43.91; 3. Robinson/Hochman: 18:45.29; 8. Vernazza(Oregon State)/Taylor Fries(Wisconsin): 19:50.87
Women’s Lightweight Single
1. Kristin Hedstrom: 19:54.77; 2. Abelyn Broughton: 20:34.21; 3. Alexis Sneff: 20:46.81; 18. Claire Wallace: 21:43.21
Championship Men’s Four
1. University of Wisconsin Men: 16:12.69; 2. University of California-Berkeley: 16:27.89; 3. U.S. Naval Academy: 16:28.85; 4. Harvard University: 16:31.36; 5. USRowing: 16:32.36
Championship Men’s Eight
1. Harvard University: 14:17.68; 2. USRowing: 14:23.31; 3. University of Washington: 14:26.18; 10. University of Wisconsin Men: 14:48.25
Championship Women’s Eight
1. University of Virginia: 16:11.52; 2. Radcliffe Crew: 16:19.63; 3. University of Michigan: 16:22.01; 4, Yale University Crew: 16:24.04; 5. University of Wisconsin Women: 16:28.31
Women’s Lightweight Eight
1. University of Wisconsin Lightweight Women: 16:53.08; 2. Stanford University: 17:16.14; 3. Radcliffe Crew: 17:17.19