Aug 31, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Add the names Kristin Hedstrom and Grant James to the list of Wisconsin rowers who own medals from world rowing championships as both reached the medal stand Saturday in Chungju, South Korea.
Hedstrom (Concord, Mass.), along with partner Kate Bertko, took second and the silver medal in the women's lightweight double sculls to give the Americans their first medal on Saturday.
Opening in a pack, then racing in third for the middle of the race, Hedstrom and Bertko moved past Germany into second place before the final 500 and stayed there for silver. Italy crossed the line in 7:17.31 to take the gold medal. The U.S. clocked a 7:20.73, with Germany third in 7:22.24.
"I wasn't looking a lot," said Hedstrom to USRowing.org. "We knew it was going to be close, that's just the nature of lightweight women's racing. The goal was to be internal. We've been working on a few things all season. Ever since Lucerne, we knew that being internal was going to be a strength of ours.
"You never know what's going to happen," she said. "We got to the middle of the race, and I'm calling that we're in third for a long time, and it just becomes trusting your strength and trusting that you're going to have it in the tank to unleash at some point later on in the race. We've very happy."
In the men's four, James (DeKalb, Ill.) and his crew came in with high expectations, having never trailed this season in competition. That changed in the finals on Saturday as the crew came from behind midway through the race to grab second place behind Australia. However The Netherlands passed both crews and took the gold medal. The winning time of 6:13.95 was less than a second ahead of the pace of Australia's silver-medal performance of 6:14.58. The Americans were third in 6:15.46.
Sunday, former Badger Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wis.), in the women's eight, and Ross James (DeKalb, Ill.), in the men's eight, go for two more medals.
2013 World Rowing Championships
Chungju, South Korea
Aug. 25-Sept. 1
Women's Lightweight Double Sculls Final
1. Italy, 7:17.31; 2. USA, 7:20.73; 3. Germany, 7:22.24; 4. Great Britain, 7:24.64; 5. New Zealand, 7:27.33; 6. The Netherlands, 7:34.36
UW Rowers - Kristin Hedstrom
Men's Four Final
1. The Netherlands, 6:13.95; 2. Australia, 6:14.58; 3. USA, 6:15.46; 4. Italy, 6:16.68; 5. Great Britain, 6:22.71; 6. Czech Republic, 6:2.95
UW Rowers - Grant James