Champs Again! Badgers claim second-straight varsity four national titleJune 3, 2012
CAMDEN, N.J. -- For the second-straight season, the Wisconsin women’s lightweight rowing team raced to a national title at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships, winning the varsity four event Saturday in Camden, N.J.
In the varsity eight national championship race, Wisconsin finished fourth behind Stanford, Bucknell and Harvard-Radcliffe.
With a heavy tail wind on the Cooper River, Wisconsin’s varsity four won its second-consecutive national title. Last year, the Badgers recorded a 12-second win over Stanford in the grand final.
The varsity four crew got off to a great start and gained a lead within the first 100 meters. It was a lead the Badgers would never relinquish, as they extended it to open water shortly after the halfway point and cruised to a 4.830-second victory over Stanford. UW finished in 7:14.633, nearly one minute, 40 seconds faster than its time in the heats on Saturday.
“They were lights out, really did a fantastic job,” head coach Erik Miller
said. “Assistant coach Heidi Hunsburger did a really nice job of putting the boat together and getting them ready to race, and they came out really strong and had the strength and speed to stay in the lead the entire way.”
In the varsity eight race, an even start among all six crews quickly turned into a lead for Stanford that Wisconsin couldn’t overcome. The Badgers finished in fourth with a time of 6:36.636 after battling Bucknell and Harvard-Radcliffe for the second and third-place spots. The Cardinal finished five seconds ahead of the Badgers, while the Bison, Crimson and UW were separated by less than three seconds in the fight for second place.
“We didn’t come out with our best race today,” Miller said. “We needed to have a better race then we did to stay with Stanford, Bucknell and Radcliffe, and unfortunately that didn’t happen.”
Wisconsin’s fourth-place finish is the 13th-straight season the Badgers have finished in the top four, and 16th-straight year UW has finished in the top five at the national championship regatta.