The No. 1 ranked Badgers won the grand final Saturday afternoon on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., finishing the course in six minutes, 40.47 seconds, ahead of Princeton (6:44.01) and Radcliffe (6:45.65).
UW's crew consisted of seniors Eva Payne (Madison, Wis.), Lindsey Rongstad (Eau Claire, Wis.), Katie Sweet (Seattle) and Sarah Liefke (Madison, Wis.), juniors coxswain Erin Specht (Verona, Wis.), Andrea Ryan (Seattle), Anaya Drew (Seattle) and Mary Higgins (Alexandria, Va.) and sophomore Suzie Sagues (Orlando, Fla.). All but Liefke and Sagues competed on the 2004 championship boat.
The UW lightweight eight title capped off a nearly perfect season with the win Saturday. The Badgers won every lightweight race they competed in this year except the Knecht Cup, April 16-17. There, Wisconsin fell to Princeton.
That result temporarily dropped the Badgers from No. 1 to a No. 2 national ranking behind the Tigers, but the Badgers recaptured the top spot after defeating Princeton for the Eastern Sprints title on May 15.
Men's rowing wraps up IRA competition
The second varsity eight placed third Saturday to highlight the UW men's rowing team's showing at the IRA National Championships. The Badgers finished in 5:49.54, behind Cornell (5:45.44) and Washington (5:45.22).
Other UW men's results from the weekend's rowing on the Cooper River:
Varsity eight: 18th place, 5:58.96
Freshman eight: 13th, 6:06.85
Varsity four with coxswain: 10th, 6:48.21
Varsity four without coxswain: 8th, 6:40.77
Open four with coxswain: 8th, 6:55.26; 10th, 6:58.94
Varsity pair: 9th, 7:25.86; 16th, 7:55.67
Freshman four with coxswain: 6th, 6:59.61; 16th, 33:55.43