UW Health Sports Medicine 

Lightweight four medals for men at IRA national championships


June 1, 2014

Full Results

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – The Wisconsin men’s rowing team saw its varsity eight place 11th, but also saw the lightweight four claim a bronze medal on the final day of the 2014 Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships. As a team, Wisconsin collected 115 points and placed 10th out of the 24 schools that made the championships. Racing took place on Mercer Lake.

In the headline race, the varsity eight, the Badgers ended the season 11th at the national championships after racing to fifth in the petite final. Wisconsin clocked a 5:49.467 in the final race of the season. Northeastern captured the petite final in 5:41.463, with Cornell (5:43.291), Boston University (5:45.653) and Columbia (5:46.515) reaching the line faster than the Badgers.

Washington won its fourth-consecutive title with a varsity eight victory in the grand final in a time of 5:37.113.

“I thought they rowed well,” head coach Chris Clark said of the eight. “The first heat was not much, then they just keep getting better and better. However at the very end of it all, we had a little puff of a head wind and that was too much for our guys. We are not a very strong boat relative to the field as far as sheer power.  

“I think the rep with Stanford, which was really tough, really depleted our legs. It showed up a bit in the semifinals and it really showed up here. We just did not have, in the last 5-600 meters, what we required to put us up a little higher in the placings. They rowed great, they just didn’t have it in their legs.

“I think we were about 12 seconds out of the win. That was about where we were last year too. That seems like a long way, but it’s really not when you’ve got some pretty good guys coming up, like we have.”

Among the rest of the team, it was the third-place finish by the lightweight four that made it 10 consecutive IRA national championships with at least one Wisconsin boat medaling. The boat did it against an all-Ivy field in the grand finals. Columbia came out on top with a 6:28.935 time over 2000 meters. Harvard was second in 6:30.323, before the Badgers crossed the finish line a hair back in 6:30.374. Cornell, Yale and Princeton rounded out the top six crews in the event.

“We managed to get bronze, a second and a half out of the win,” said head coach Chris Clark. “Watching the race, we looked just a little complacent in the middle of the race. They attacked at the last 250-300 meters to go and really exploded, but a little too late.

“It is always especially gratifying. We don’t have a separate lightweight team, but on our big team we have five or six guys who can fit in the lightweight category and who can be successful in the upper reaches, as well.

“This boat was put together about eight or nine days ago. It has two seniors, Charlie Clapp and Jon Smaglick who were three-time medalists in the event. You have a freshman Tom Hasle and a sophomore Michael Spankowski and they did great. The seniors will be gone, but I’m sure the tradition will stay right here. It was an exciting race.”

Another milestone, of sorts, came in the freshman eight, where the Badgers’ placed fifth, the school’s highest result in the event since the 2009 boat also took fifth. After freshman eight champion Washington, who put just under six seconds on second-place California, the second through sixth-place crews in the grand final finished within just over five seconds of one another.

UW’s third boat in a grand final was the varsity four, which ended up in sixth place. Wisconsin’s second varsity eight was second in the petite final to place eighth overall, while the third varsity eight won the third-level final to take home 13th place in the event.

“We made three of six grand finals which is a little better than last year – we made two of five – so hopefully we are on the upswing,” Clark said.

The progress the program made throughout the season can be shown through the performance of the varsity eight. The Badgers raced California, Stanford and Oregon State to open the season on April 18-19 at the Stanford Invitational. UW’s eight lost by over 22 seconds to California, three seconds to Stanford and seven second to Oregon State. In the final event of the season, UW was eight seconds off the pace of Cal in the heat, beat Stanford by three seconds in the repechage and knocked Oregon State off in the heats by two seconds.

“Based on the standards of where we started it was a fabulous year,” Clark stated. “Obviously, we want to do better as a team. I like to combine the finishes of the 1F, the 2V and the 1V and the entire sum and we were a little better this year than last year, so our trend is heading in the right direction.

“From where we started from, it was a real testament to the guys this year. The coaches, to put it mildly, were at wits end with how poorly we were doing in the first part of the year. I credit the guys for keeping their wits about them and never getting down on themselves, even though we were extremely frustrated as coaches, but the persevered and now we are on the rise. It is exciting to see where this can go over the next couple of years.”

2014 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships
West Windsor, N.J.
Mercer Lake
June 1, 2014
2000 meters

Team Standings (Ten Eyck Trophy) – 1. Washington, 192; 2. California, 188; 3. Brown, 178; 4. Princeton, 165; 5. Northeastern, 147; 6. Boston University, 128; 7. Harvard, 127; 8. Yale, 125; 9. Cornell, 124; 10. Wisconsin, 115; 11. Navy, 107; 12. Columbia, 75; 13. George Washington, 61; 14. Pennsylvania, 58; 15. Syracuse, 54; 16. Dartmouth, 45; 17. Stanford, 39; 18. Oregon State, 38; 19. Drexel, 33; 20. FIT, 20; 21. Holy Cross, 15; 22. Hobart, 6; 23. Gonzaga, 3; 24. San Diego, 0

Varsity Eight
Petite Final (Places 7-12)
1. Northeastern, 5:41.463; 2. Cornell, 5:43.291; 3. Boston University, 5:45.653; 4. Columbia, 5:46.515; 5. Wisconsin, 5:49.467; 6. Navy, 5:51.168

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

Second Varsity Eight
Petite Final (Places 7-12)
1. Boston University, 5:50.291; 2. Wisconsin, 5:52.832; 3. Cornell, 5:53.943; 4. Yale, 6:00.445; 5. Pennsylvania, 6:02.896; 6. Oregon State, 6:03.313

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

Freshman Eight
Grand Final
1. Washington, 5:46.324; 2. California, 5:52.105; 3. Brown, 5:54.086; 4. Harvard, 5:55.150; 5. Wisconsin, 5:56.993; 6. Cornell, 5:57.50

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

Varsity Four
Grand Final
1. Washington, 6:21.322; 2. Brown, 6:24.619; 3. California, 6:27.615; 4. Boston University, 6:29.551; 5. Georgetown, 6:33.241; 6. Wisconsin, 6:41.965

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

Third Varsity Eight
Third-Level Final (Places 13-18)
1. Wisconsin, 6:01.006; 2. Holy Cross, 6:03.871; 3. Oregon State, 6:03.871; 4. Harvard, 6:11.697; 5. Hobart, 6:16.170; 6. Drexel, 6:29.309

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

Lightweight Four
Grand Final
1. Columbia, 6:28.935; 2. Harvard, 6:30.323; 3. Wisconsin, 6:30.374; 4. Cornell, 6:32.699; 5. Yale, 6:38.050; 6. Princeton, 6:44.824

Heat 1
1. Columbia, 6:37.902; 2. Wisconsin, 6:39.275; 3. Yale, 6:41.868; 4. Georgetown, 6:44.972; 5. MIT, 6:58.069; 6. Drexel, 7:14.845

UW Lineup – Coxswain Ben Flaherty, Charlie Clapp, Thomas Hasle, Jonathan Smaglick, Michael Spankowski

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