Aug. 29, 2014MADISON, Wis. --
|Kristin Hedstrom (right) at the 2012 Olympics.
The University of Wisconsin boasts a group of five alumni who are competing in the 2014 World Rowing Championships taking place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This list of powerful athletes is made up of Kristin Hedstrom
, Vicky Opitz
, Grace Latz
, Grant James
and Andy Weiland
. The event runs Aug. 24-31.
Friday, Hedstrom finished off her competition with the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls by capturing the B final to finish seventh overall in the event. The 2012 Olympian’s crew clocked a 6:25.820 over 2000 meters to cruise past Mexico (6:37.170) and Czech Republic (6:40.460).
Hedstrom’s path to the B final included a third-place result on Monday in the heats, but with just the top two advancing to the finals, the crew was sent to the repechage. In the rep, the Americans took third behind Great Britain and China, and so fell into the B final.
Latz, who is competing in her first world championships, will race for gold in the women’s quadruple sculls after her crew took second in its Thursday semifinal. The Americans timed a 6:24.500 to place behind China’s time of 6:22.340. The top three boats in each semifinal advanced to Saturday’s final.
The women’s quad, which originally reached the semifinals by winning its heat on Sunday, will take on China, New Zealand, Germany, Australia and Canada for the medals.
The men’s quadruple sculls also reached Saturday’s final, with former Badger and 2012 Olympian James in the boat. Like the women, the men’s quad took second in the semifinal, clocking 5:55.53 to finish behind Great Britain (5:52.62). The two countries compete against Canada, Australia, Greece and The Netherlands for gold.
James’ path to the finals also included a second-place result in Sunday’s heat, placing second to advance to the semifinals in 5:47.670, just .330 seconds behind heat-winner The Netherlands.
In the women’s eight, Opitz will go for her second consecutive world championships gold after her crew won its Wednesday heat to advance directly to Sunday’s final. The boat finished the 2000-meter course in 6:20.960 to put nearly seven seconds on second-place Great Britain (6:27.670). Canada won the other heat with the exact same time as the U.S. crew.
The Americans will race for their ninth consecutive world championship title in the event. The boat, with Opitz in the crew, set the world’s fastest time in 2013 at one of the World Cup events.
The boat will face Canada, China, Russia, Romania and Great Britain in the final.
Finally, Weiland raced in Friday’s final of the lightweight men’s eight and took fifth place in 5:41.640. Germany took home the gold with a time of 5:31.290. Italy (5:33.870) and Turkey (5:34.200) rounded out the medals.
The stage was set for the finals in the five-boat event with a lane-determining race on Tuesday. In that warm-up, the Americans placed fourth in 6:24.65, with Italy crossing the line first in 6:07.21 and Turkey third in 6:14.56.