Badgers finish one cup short

Wisconsin men's crew wins two of three races but loses Walsh Cup

Seventh-ranked Wisconsin won the second varsity eight and freshmen eight, but dropped the Walsh Cup for the first time since 1996 with a varsity eight loss to No. 6 Navy, Friday morning on the Severn River in Annapolis, Md.

Racing at 5:30 a.m. EDT, the Badgers could have swept their four cup races for the first time in school history with a win, but fell 3.7 seconds short of the Midshipmen's cup-taking 5:49.6.

Earlier this season, Wisconsin topped No. 2 Washington for the W Cup, No. 10 Dartmouth and M.I.T. for the Cochrane Cup and No. 11 Boston University for the Jablonic Cup. Wisconsin began competing in all four events in 1993.

"Navy took the lead immediately from the first stroke and that was it," Wisconsin head coach Chris Clark said. "Most of their margin was gained in the first 300-400 meters and it sat like that for most of the race. It was basically all decided in the first 30-40 strokes. We were just far too slow off the line."

Wisconsin proved more successful in the second varsity eight, where the Badgers edged Navy. Wisconsin finished the 2,000-meter course in 6:02.03, less than a second faster than Navy, which finished in 6:02.85.

"The second varsity was pretty much like the Eastern Sprints," Clark said. "We took the lead early and had the lead the whole way."

Wisconsin's top performance came in the freshmen eight race. Just five days ago, Navy raced three seconds faster than the Badgers in the petite final of the Eastern Sprints. Wisconsin reversed the result Friday, finishing in 6:05.18 to beat the Midshipmen (6:09.70) by more than four seconds.

The Badgers will next compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships, June 3-5, on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.

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