|Wisconsin's varsity four (top) races in the petite final against Ohio State (left) and Michigan (bottom) among other crews.
June 1, 2014
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INDIANAPOLIS –- Wisconsin women’s rowing ended the season with a 16th-place finish at the three-day 2014 NCAA Rowing Championships that finished on Sunday at Eagle Creek Park. UW earned 45 points to claim its second-consecutive 16th-place finish.
“I think everybody really put out their best efforts today,” head coach Bebe Bryans said. “I think what we had, they showed today and that is all you can ask for. At this point it is icing on the cake. You are not baking anymore, you are just frosting it. I think they can all be really proud of what they did.”
UW matched its team result from the 2013 championships, but the four climbed four spots into 10th place with a fourth-place finish in the petite final. The top four boats in the race all came from the Big Ten, with Ohio State winning the petite final to grab seventh overall. Michigan and Indiana rounded out the top three spots. Princeton and Notre Dame finished behind the Badgers. California took the varsity four overall title.
“The four was great,” Bryans said “They were our highest finishing boat and they threw down early and tried to go and got out muscled in the last few strokes, but that was a great race for them.”
The varsity four has traditionally been the Badgers’ best performing boat at NCAAs, demonstrating the depth of the UW program, and so it occupies a special place.
“Being in a four, it is just five people working together so you can always tell if someone is dropping the ball a little bit,” varsity four coxswain Katherine Condon said. “It has helped me and it has helped all of the other rowers in the eights, because you have to have your ‘A’ game every single day. It always pushes you to work harder. It is the base of the team and pushes everyone else.
“I think the fours group is one of the most special groups we have here and I’m very glad I’ve been a part of for this year and last year. It is a group that is gritty and works really, really hard.”
The second varsity eight matched the result from last year, taking third in the C final, but 16th overall because of an earlier protest in the event that put an extra team into the A/B semifinals. Indiana and Louisville took the top two spots in the race, and San Diego, Oklahoma and Northeastern crossed the 2000-meter finish line after the Badgers. Ohio State won the grand final, and so the top spot in the event.
Racing in the C Final, UW’s varsity eight performance included a late mishap that aided in the boat’s fifth-place finish in the race and 17th-place overall finish. UCLA won the C Final, with San Diego, Washington State and Louisville getting by the Badgers. Northeastern rounded out the race in sixth.
“The varsity was in great position,” Bryans said. “They had a little misfortune. At about 500 meters to go, somebody caught a crab and they just didn’t have the time. They were out on the edge already. It was a great race up to that point. Unfortunately, those things happen. They were in the process of doing exactly what they wanted to do. I think as a championships, it was a good performance for us.”
In the team race, Ohio State won for the second consecutive year after capturing the varsity eight title. The victory gave the Buckeyes 126 points, eight better than runner-up California. Brown was third with 116 points. Wisconsin earned 45 points in placing 16th, one point better than the 2013 trip.
“I love the opportunity to go to NCAAs,” Condon said. “It is incredible to see all these big teams and we hadn’t gotten to race a lot of the other schools in the fours, especially from the western and eastern teams. This is what we work for all year and it is an incredible experience.”
With seven consecutive NCAA appearances and 10 in the last 11 seasons, it is easy to take making NCAAs for granted, but it is not a given each year that a team will make it. The standard has been set, but with the end of yet another NCAA appearance, after reflection, the team turns to thoughts of the next. Such is the promise of the 2014-15 rowing season for the Badgers.
“I think we have two things to look forward to,” Bryans said. “One, it is an extremely young team. We only had one senior in the varsity eight and she was the only person who had been in it before. We have all of that experience coming back. Our lower boats are the same -- I think we have two seniors in the other boats. That is one thing to look forward to. And I think they learned a big lesson here. Last year we learned a big lesson because we didn’t really perform very well. This year we performed well and we are not quite fast enough. They are learning there is more to be done and they can do it.
“The other thing, is that we have a really, really exciting freshman class coming in that I think can make an impact on the varsity boats right away, so we are looking forward to that as well. The future looks very bright.”
2014 NCAA Championships
Eagle Creek Park
June 1, 2014
TEAM STANDINGS – 1. Ohio State, 126 points; 2. California, 118; 3. Brown, 116; 4. Stanford, 110; 5. Virginia, 105; 6. Princeton, 102; 7. Washington, 101; 8. Michigan, 101; 9. Notre Dame, 81; 10. USC, 72; 11. Indiana, 71; 12. UCLA, 68; 13. Harvard, 62; 14. Washington State, 58; 15. San Diego, 48; 16. Wisconsin, 45; 17. Louisville, 44; 18. Northeastern, 28; 19. Oklahoma, 27; 20. Boston University, 17; 21. Massachusetts, 13; 22. Jacksonville, 6
C Final (Places 13-18)
1. UCLA, 6:48.995; 2. San Diego, 6:52.555; 3. Washington State, 6:52.635; 4. Louisville, 6:57.324; 5. Wisconsin, 7:00.830; 6. Northeastern, 7:10.375
UW Lineup – Coxswain Marie Hebert, Gillian Cooper, Monica Whitehouse, Hannah Schwartz, Anne Rauschert, Libby O'Rourke, Kristine Kammers, Margo Grover, Brianna Dahm
Second Varsity Eight
C Final (places 14-19)
1. Indiana, 6:54.735; 2. Louisville, 6:56.304; 3. Wisconsin, 6:59.393; 4. San Diego, 7:04.411; 5. Oklahoma, 7:06.811; 6. Northeastern, 7:16.011
UW Lineup – Coxswain Katherine Moy, Nicole Hettmann, Jena Wilder, Leah Gustafson, Laine Maher, Pamela Schommer, Frances LaBudda, Steph Malchine, Rachel Gendreau
Petite Final (Places 7-12)
1. Ohio State, 7:53.049; 2. Michigan, 7:55.681; 3. Indiana, 7:56.656; 4. Wisconsin, 7:57.298; 5. Princeton, 8:07.045; 6. Notre Dame, 8:07.649
UW Lineup - Coxswain Katherine Condon, Sophie Heywood, Kelsey Kramer, Katie Muench, Anna Knutson