May 27, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- Former Wisconsin women's lightweight rower Kristen Hedstrom will represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, becoming the first member of UW's lightweight team to row in the Olympics.
Hedstrom, a former Badger captain, qualified with partner Julie Nichols in the lightweight women's double sculls event at the World Rowing Cup on Sunday in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The crew earned a fourth-place finish at the event, just what they needed to qualify to be a part of Team USA.
"It's really fantastic to have a former Badger lightweight going to the Olympics," Wisconsin women's lightweight head coach Erik Miller said. "Kristin is a tremendously hard worker, and has really helped out our team a lot, training with us in Madison until this past winter.
"Congrats to her and Julie for making it, I look forward to seeing some exciting racing from them this summer and good luck to them."
Sunday's fourth-place finish was slim, as Hedstrom and Nichols edged Great Britain by just .09 seconds for fourth. China won the race in 7:04.14
After failing to qualify at the first of three world cup stops in Belgrade three weeks ago, Hedstrom needed a fourth-place finish in Lucerne or she would go to trials in West Windsor, N.J. in June.
The duo advanced to the finals Sunday after a third-place finish in their heat and a second-place finish in the repechage.
Hedstrom joins former Badger men's rowers Ross James and Grant James as Olympians in 2012.