Badger crew hoping Lake Mendota experience pays off

first_imgTalk about home court advantage.The men’s crew team is at home for their fourth-straight regatta, and this time around, the Badgers will host the Cochrane Cup, which will feature eastern schools Dartmouth and MIT on Saturday, and the Jablonic Cup against Boston University Sunday. Both regattas will be held on Lake Mendota.Dartmouth, MIT, and Wisconsin have all been competing for the Cochrane Cup since 1961. It’s an annual tradition that has seen Wisconsin take home the accolade 27 times.Last year, Dartmouth claimed the cup after Wisconsin fell second.The Jablonic Cup, another UW custom regatta, was started against Boston in 1989. Wisconsin has only lost the Jablonic Cup twice, one of which was last year to Boston. The win marked the first time since 1995 that Boston had garnered the honor.This year, things look a little different for the Badgers, as they appear to be in prime position to reclaim both Cups. UW has already accomplished the majority of its target goals since it has been keeping track of targets.”[The team] is a better group than we’ve had,” said UW head coach Chris Clark. “Already, all of our performances are better … we aren’t quite all the way there yet, but we are getting there.”This weekend marks the last round of regattas for the Badgers before a three-week break leading up to their conference regatta, the EARC Championships.”We never get three weeks between our last race and the [EARC Championships],” says Clark. “If the weather is good, it is going to help us a lot during that time.”For now, the Badgers are hoping to use this last weekend of competition not as a means of redemption from last year’s double defeat, but as a way to get stronger for the EARC Championships.”We have a very empty cupboard right now,” Clark said at Monday’s press conference. “We need to, we would like to, I shouldn’t say increase our collection, but fill the void.”With graduated rowers, Dartmouth has yet to win a regatta this year and is not nationally ranked. In Dartmouth’s last competition, they fell to No. 4 Brown.MIT, meanwhile, has been led by its freshmen crew. The team is 10-1 on the year and last posted victories against Boston and Cincinnati in a home regatta.Wisconsin last competed in its homecoming celebration, the Midwest Rowing Championships, and nearly swept every race entered. The victory gave the Badgers a No. 7 national ranking this week and sets the stage for some prime competition on Lake Mendota.Despite a rainy forecast for Saturday and Sunday, both races are scheduled as normal. Only wind can hinder the weekend event.Since the season is winding down, the Badgers are hoping for smooth waters as this weekend is a significant regatta for all teams competing.”It is an important weekend for all teams coming out to race this weekend, especially when you have a three-week gap between this and your championships,” Clark said. “We want to do well and race hard.”last_img