UW Health Sports Medicine 

Two Wisconsin men's boats reach grand finals at IRAs


May 31, 2014


WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -– Control what you can control. That is coach-speak, and it rang true for the Wisconsin men’s rowing program on day two of the 2014 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships on Mercer Lake. 

You can control your training and how well-prepared you are for a particular race, but you can’t control the weather. In particular, you can’t control the wind.

“The only disappointment today was the conditions,” said head coach Chris Clark. “Rowing being a big outdoor sport can have lane issues for fairness. Today was one of those days. The lanes are seeded – the better you’ve done, the better the lane you get if it’s an unfair condition. In the two semifinals, except for one break, the best lane finished first and then so on down the line based on the wind.

“I’m not under an illusion that we are at the very top level yet because we are not, but we are certainly getting better. It would have been fun to test ourselves in a flat condition. Even in the middle of the race we had very close to the same base speed as the fastest crews in our race. At the very end of the race, in particular, the cross wind really showed up. We were in lane 5, so we finished fifth and they take three to qualify.”

Wisconsin’s varsity eight relived its Eastern Sprints from two weeks ago with an all-eastern semifinal. The result showed improvement as the fifth-place Badgers got the better of Cornell, who placed one spot higher than Wisconsin at Sprints. Harvard (6:03.898), Princeton (6:05.925) and Yale (6:07.845) were the top three finishers and grabbed one half of the grand final spots. UW (6:13.795), Cornell and fourth-place Boston University will meet again in Sunday’s petite final for places 7-12. Columbia, Navy and Northeastern will also take part in the race, which is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT.

“Another lesson for the guys -- you earn those favored lanes,” Clark said. “The better you do and the more directly you qualify for that next round, if there are unfavorable conditions, the people who suffer the consequences are teams like us who came in the back door. The better you are, the less likely you are to be victimized by that and we are not really at that stage yet.

“Tomorrow should be a lot fairer and at least we will be able to lay down our best race of the year. They were upset just by the conditions, but they felt the row was good, and so did I.”

The second varsity eight faced similar conditions and also placed fifth in its semifinal, with California taking first in 5:56.044. Princeton (5:58.087) and Brown (5:59.331) will join Cal in Sunday’s grand final.

Cornell got the better of the Badgers in the second varsity eight with a 6:05.210 to place fourth, though UW’s time of 6:06.731 beat out Yale (6:08.509).

The Badgers will see Cornell and Yale again in Sunday’s petite final, along with BU, Pennsylvania and Oregon State. That second varsity eight race will begin at 10:20 a.m. CT.

The Badgers’ freshman eight placed second in a tight repechage to earn its place in Sunday’s grand final. Cornell took the repechage in 5:57.333, edging UW and its time of 5:59.020, but both crews advanced to the title race. George Washington was a close third, clocking 6:01.005, but missing out on the grand final.

In addition to Cornell, UW will race Harvard, Brown, California and Washington in Sunday’s championship race. The race is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. CT.

“The freshman eight really didn’t have as good of a row as they did the day before, but they still made the final,” Clark stated. “That’s our first freshman eight in the IRA final since 2009. The last one before that was 2006. Sadly an uncommon occurrence. Hopefully this is start of a new era for us. They have a good shot to be right in the thick of the hunt for the medals.”

The varsity four also reached its title race with a third-place finish in one of the two semifinals. With the top three advancing, Washington cruised to the race victory in 6:36.804, with Boston University second in 6:45.304 and Wisconsin qualifying with a 6:52.319 over the 2000-meter course. MIT missed out in fourth with a time of 6:58.235, while Temple (7:00.193) and Princeton (7:11.049) rounded out the six crews.

UW will meet Georgetown, California, Washington, Brown and Boston University in the final on Sunday at 8:20 a.m. CT.

On Sunday, the Badgers will also race in the one-day lightweight four event. UW hits the water for racing at 7:20 a.m. CT in its heat against Georgetown, MIT, Columbia, Yale and Drexel. The top three crews will race in the grand final at 9:10 a.m. CT.

UW’s third varsity eight will also compete on Sunday in the third-level final against Drexel, Oregon State, Holy Cross, Harvard and Hobart at 8:40 a.m. CT.

“Tomorrow should be a beautiful day, with good conditions,” finished Clark. “The objective every year is to peak on this day. In many ways, the last two days are far more pressure-packed. These final days are the fun part.

“I liken it to All-Star Game weekend that you see in the NBA. It is the fun part. The final day is the rowing equivalent of the slam-dunk contest. Stay loose, have a good time and you’ll perform at your very top level.”

Watch free stream of championship Sunday at the IRAs

2014 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships
West Windsor, N.J.
Mercer Lake
May 31, 2014
2000 meters

Varsity Eight
Semifinal 2 (Top three to Sunday grand final, rest to petite final)
1. Harvard, 6:03.898; 2. Princeton, 6:05.925; 3. Yale, 6:07.845; 4. Boston University, 6:11.533; 5. Wisconsin, 6:13.795; 6. Cornell, 6:16.729

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

Second Varsity Eight
Semifinal 1 (Top three to Sunday grand final, rest to petite final)
1. California, 5:56.044; 2. Princeton, 5:58.087; 3. Brown, 5:58.331; 4. Cornell, 6:05.210; 5. Wisconsin, 6:06.731; 6. Yale, 6:08.509

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

Freshman Eight
Repechage 1 (Top two to Sunday grand final, rest to petite final)
1. Cornell, 5:57.333; 2. Wisconsin, 5:59.020; 3. George Washington, 6:01.005; 4. Navy, 6:16.027; 5. Drexel, 6:31.692

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

Varsity Four
Semifinal 1 (Top three to Sunday grand final, rest to petite final)
1. Washington, 6:36.804; 2. Boston University, 6:45.304; 3. Wisconsin, 6:52.319; 4. MIT, 6:58.235; 5. Temple, 7:00.193; 6. Princeton, 7:11.049

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

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago