June 2, 2013
• Complete Results
MADISON, Wis. – A frustrating season never got the best of the Wisconsin women’s lightweight rowing team, as the Badgers captured a third-consecutive national title in the varsity four and turned in a third-palce finish in the varsity eight at the 2013 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships on Sunday in Gold River, Calif.
“I’m really proud of this team, it’s been a challenging first year, with the weather and the team adapting to me,” head coach Lisa Schlenker said. “But now we’re strong, bonded and I can’t be more happy with them and how they performed.”
Wisconsin was forced to train indoors for a longer time than during most years, as the ice on Lake Mendota refused to melt until mid-April. The team hit another road bump when its trip to Boston was canceled due to safety concerns. Having only competed in three regattas before heading into the IRA national championships, the Badgers exceeded everyone’s expectations, except their own, on Sunday.
Just four weeks ago, Wisconsin’s varsity four came in second behind Harvard-Radcliffe by a margin of 10 seconds at the Eastern Sprints. However, they rebounded to take the national title by a five-second margin over the same Harvard-Radcliffe boat, clocking in at 7:35.087 to win its third-straight national title.
The varsity eight also made huge strides since its fourth-place finish at the Eastern Sprints on May 5. Wisconsin finished second, behind heavily favored Harvard-Radcliffe in the qualifying heat on Saturday. However, Stanford would be the one to cross first in the grand final. The Badgers turned in a time of 6:55.095, just 3.5 seconds behind Harvard-Radcliffe, for a third-place finish and spot on the podium.
“It was an amazing performance,” Schlenker said. “They really raised themselves up with the limited rowing time that they had this year. I couldn’t be more proud of them. They are an amazing crew and they fought back today from sixth place to third.”
The third-place finish marks the 14th-straight season the Badgers have finished in the top four and 17th-straight year finishing in the top five at the national championship regatta.
Grand Final – third place – 6:55.095
UW Lineup - Coxswain Brianna Murphy, Abby Knight, Hillary Schmidt, Jennifer Kish, Gillian Lapadat, Sophie Gavell, Lara Tiramani, Meredith Freshley, Erin Wylie
Grand Final – first place – 7:35.087
UW Lineup - Coxswain Kate Moy, Alessandra Ruenger, Emily Bongiorno, MacKenzie Whiteside, Lena Randle