UW Health Sports Medicine 

Wisconsin advances three boats to semifinals on first day of IRAs


eight

May 30, 2014

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- If Head Coach Chris Clark had his way, this year's rowing season might continue on all summer before the 2014 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships took place. Instead, Wisconsin began competition at the IRAs on Friday and showed continued improvement as the Mercer Lake event got underway.

"We keep marveling that it was six weeks ago on Tuesday that we put our docks in," Clark said. "We are never going to make up that lost time this year, but having said that, we are at least finally starting to hit our stride. That hopefully leads us to hit whatever our top-speed potential we had this year with this group. We are moving there."

The Badgers took the long way, but advanced their top two boats to the A/B semifinals with victories in afternoon repechages. Both boats finished outside the top-two advancing spots from the morning heats, but both recovered.

The second varsity eight finished fourth in its morning heat behind California, Boston University and Oregon State.

"The second varsity really had an awful first heat this morning, but in the repechage, which with 24 boats in the event you have to win to advance to the A/B semi, they won comfortably by lengths and looked great," Clark explained. "If they can repeat that performance again tomorrow, they could be in the thick of it to make the grand final.

"There are six seniors in that boat and they've really been up and down results this year. So it was the first time they really looked comfortable and rowed with the poise and composure that you would expect from seniors."

The varsity eight took third in its morning heat, behind California and Boston University again, but also won its afternoon heat and earned some confidence with the performance while advancing.

"We had by far the toughest repechage in the varsity," said Clark. "We got Stanford, who had beaten us earlier in the year, stroked by probably the best American rower in the United States, Austin Hack, who has already medaled at the world championships.

"Stanford took the lead by about a half length, but our guys maintained their composure and stayed with it. Just rowed a lot more comfortable race than they did in the early morning, then motored on through and won by about a length.

"Kind of a fun fact, as I liked to tell these guys, we actually had the fastest time rowed today on this course at 5:35 with not a lot of wind. I'm under no illusion that it is as simple as that here, but at least it means we've got some speed. Hopefully we can sneak into the grand final."

UW's varsity eight semifinal will include Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Boston University and Cornell on Saturday, with the top three advancing to Sunday's grand final.

Like the other two eights, the third varsity eight finished outside the top two qualifying spots in the morning heat for a semifinal position, but unlike the others, they finished outside the final qualifying spots in the repechage.

"Our only blip of the day was in the third varsity eight," Clark analyzed. "We got a tough rep in the third eight, and with the top three advancing, only a couple of seconds separated one through four. Unfortunately we were fourth, less than a tenth of a second back to qualify for the A/B semi."

That result puts UW's third varsity eight into Sunday's third-level final to determine places 13-18.

"There was three freshmen from the second freshman boat who were stroking the third eight and I thought they did a great job," Clark stated. "They just weren't quite racing enough when they needed to be and understanding what was happening around them and realizing that they needed a final super-aggressive push in the last 30-45 seconds of the race, but they will learn that. They were pretty devastated, but they will recover."

UW's varsity four was its only boat to advance directly to the semifinals when it placed second in its morning heat behind Georgetown. UW will look to advance to the grand final in the first men's event on Saturday morning.

Finally the UW freshman eight performed well, but since it is a 12-school event, the heat winners advanced directly to Sunday's grand final, while the remaining crews race again in Saturday repechages with the top two boast from each of the two reps advancing.

"We were second behind Cal by a second and a half or so," said Clark. "It was a good race. The freshman edged out Brown, who had won Eastern Sprints. I'm not sure if Brown had a great race, but our guys are definitely on the rise. With all those novices in there, you can see the development. That is pretty exciting to see."

Yet to race is UW's lightweight four, which holds both heats and finals on Sunday.

"Tomorrow is a big day," Clark concluded. "We have a number of chances for us to make a grand final."

2014 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships
West Windsor, N.J.
Mercer Lake
May 30, 2014

2000 meters

Varsity Eight
Repechage 3 (Winner to Saturday A/B semifinals, rest to C/D semifinals)

1. Wisconsin, 5:35.623; 2. Stanford, 5:38.599; 3. Hobart, 5:38.736; 4. Dartmouth, 6:02.263

Heat 3 (Top two to Saturday A/B semifinals, rest to Friday repechage)
1. California, 5:40.679; 2. Boston University, 5:43.945; 3. Wisconsin, 5:49.261; 4. Oregon State, 5:51.224; 5. Cornell, 6:20.644; 6. Drexel, 6:22.081

UW Lineup - Coxswain Leonard Manning, Patrick Muto, Peter Ginouves, Kyle Anderson, Michael Lindberg, Kevin Ripley, George Perrett, Matt Sobotka, Garret Voorhees

Second Varsity Eight
Repechage 4 (Winner to Saturday A/B semifinals, rest to C/D semifinals)
1. Wisconsin, 5:44.681; 2. Drexel, 5:49.939; 3. Stanford, 5:50.406; 4. Holy Cross, 5:59.811

Heat 1 (Top two to Saturday A/B semifinals, rest to Friday repechage)
1. California, 5:45.691; 2. Boston University, 5:49.729; 3. Oregon State, 5:52.725; 4. Wisconsin, 5:54.404; 5. George Washington, 6:04.815; 6. FIT, 6:15.635

UW Lineup - Coxswain James Roen, William Bleifuss, Ross McCaig, Travis Breunig, Vince Bertram, Michael Knippen, John Rush, William Horvat, Logan Hietpas

Freshman Eight
Heat 1 (Winner to Sunday grand final, rest to Saturday repechage)
1. California, 5:47.597; 2. Wisconsin, 5:49.170; 3. Brown, 5:51.106; 4. George Washington, 6:12.038; 5. Cornell, 6:20.644; 6. Drexel, 6:22.081

UW Lineup - Coxswain Luke Sidoti, James Lueken, Laing Wise, Bryce Lackey, Joseph Benthein, Steven Thom, Sam Helle, Sam Weeks, Alex Idarraga

Third Varsity Eight
Repechage 1 (Top three to Saturday A/B semifinals, rest to Sunday third-level final)
1. Cornell, 5:46.997; 2. Navy, 5:48.978; 3. Pennsylvania, 5:49.678; 4. Wisconsin, 5:49.771; 5. Oregon State, 5:53.360; 6. Hobart, 6:15.212

Heat 1 (Top two to Saturday A/B semifinals, rest to Friday repechage)
1. California, 5:50.003; 2. Northeastern, 5:56.533; 3. Wisconsin, 6:02.465; 4. Yale, 6:02.727; 5. Oregon State, 6:05.883; 6. Holy Cross, 6:10

UW Lineup - Coxswain Michael Callahan, Peter Burrus, Jack Spencer, Mark Nitka, Woodrow Stensland, Will Knight, Alex Horvath, Beau Batty, Mitchell King

Varsity Four
Heat 2 (Top two to Saturday semifinals, rest to Friday repechage)
1. Georgetown, 6:37.472; 2. Wisconsin, 6:39.710; 3. Northeastern, 6:42.475; 4. Loyola (Md.), 6:48.667; 5. Pennsylvania, 6:55.579; 6. George Washington, 7:07.299

UW Lineup - Coxswain Oliver Buchino, Kyle Smith, John Goodman, Josiah Kaiser, Steve Berg Jr.

Lightweight Four
Racing on Sunday

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