UW Health Sports Medicine 

Four Badgers named to U.S national rowing team

Grace Latz at Wisconsin in 2010.

Aug. 6, 2014

MADISON, Wis. -- Two veterans and two rookies will be a part of the Wisconsin contingent at the 2014 World Rowing Championships, set for Aug. 24-Sept. 1, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Former Badger women's rowers Vicky Optiz (Middleton, Wisconsin) and Grace Latz (Jackson, Michigan) will be joined by former UW men's rowers Grant James (DeKalb, Illinois) and Andy Weiland (Upper Arlington, Ohio) on this year's squad.

Opitz makes the team for the second time. She will race with the women's eight, the same boat she won gold at last year's championships with the team in South Korea. The U.S. women's eight boasts eight consecutive world championship titles and with Opitz' help, set the world's fastest time in 2013 at a World Cup event.

Opitz, teammates with Latz at UW, was a 2010 First-Team Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-American and 2010 First-Team All-Big Ten pick for the Badgers. She was also the team's 2010 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner and was a two-time winner of the team's Emily Simonds Award, given to the rower most exemplifying toughness and 100 percent commitment.

Andrew Weiland

Latz makes her first national team appearance and will race as a member of the women's quadruple sculls. A member of Wisconsin's 2010 Big Ten Championship team, Latz was a second-team All-Big Ten selection that season as a member of the varsity eight that took second in the event. She also helped the team finish seventh at the NCAA championships that season, UW's best finish to date at the national championships.

James, who finished fourth at the 2012 Olympics in the men's eight, will take part in the men's four at this year's world championships. Part of Wisconsin's 2008 national championship and Eastern Sprints-winning varsity eight, James will represent the U.S. for the sixth time in his career at an Olympic Games, world championships or world under 23 championships.

Weiland makes his second U.S. national team, but his first on the senior team. Expected to stroke the men's lightweight eight this time around, he finished seventh in the lightweight men's four at the 2012 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. At Wisconsin, he was a 2012 and 2013 Academic All-Big Ten rower, capturing a 2012 Eastern Sprints title in the second varsity eight and a 2011 Head of the Charles title in the championship four. He also won the third varsity eight at the 2011 Eastern Sprints.

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