Badger All-American womens openweight rower Theresa Shields (Grosse Ile, Mich.) rowed to a sixth place finish in the womens four on Sunday to highlight the 2009 World Rowing Under-23 Championships for four Badgers taking part. The event ran July 23-26 in Racice, Czech Republic.
The four-day event was marred by a spectacular storm early on in the event that overturned boat trailers and broke racing shells, but the world helped each other in repairing the damage and racing continued.
Fortunately for the Badgers racing in the event, the championships did continue, and the Shields-led American womens four reached the final. The crew got off the line
in fourth position but was unable to make a push for a spot on the
medal stand during the second half of the race. Sitting in fifth at the
midway point, Belarus came from behind to win the gold medal in a
6:48.77. Italy finished second in a 6:49.90, followed by New Zealand in
a 6:52.76. The U.S. crossed the finish line with a time of 6:57.21.
On Saturday, the mens eight, featuring UW coxswain Dan Connolly (Rockville Center, N.Y.) and Badger Max Goff (Sun Prairie, Wis.) won the placement race a finished the event in seventh. The American boat took control of the B final in the second quarter of the race and cruised to a six-second victory over Italy. Russia took a slight advantage as the three crews passed the 500-meter mark, but the U.S. made a strong move to pull ahead by more than four seconds at the midway point of the race. Italy cut the Americans advantage slightly during the third 500, but the boat responded immediately and rowed away for the 6.03-second victory. The U.S. finished with a time of 5:37.11, with Italy finishing in a 5:43.14. Russia finished third.
In the C final of the lightweight womens single sculls also on Saturday, Dani Dewitt (Parkersburg, W.Va.) crossed the line in fourth place to finish 16th overall. Dewitt held second position behind Slovakias Barbora Sagova during the first half of the race before dropping back. Sagova won the C final with a time of 8:01.30, while Dewitt crossed in an 8:13.03.
*** This story is a correction from a previous version ***