UW crew seeks first win

first_imgIn Madison for the only home competition of the year, UW men’s rowing head coach Chris Clark actually has more to worry about than a typical race. “In a home race, there’s almost as much worry about just getting things set up and mak[ing] sure the officials are here, et cetera, than it is worrying about your own team,” Clark said at a press conference Monday. “But the only thing that makes that regatta successful is the weather, so I don’t have control over that, but I wish I did.” Forecasts call for temperatures in the 70s and partly cloudy weather Saturday, so that’s one less thing for Clark to worry about when No. 8 Wisconsin hosts No. 18 Michigan and Northern Michigan for the Midwest Rowing Championships at Lake Wingra Saturday. However, adding to Clark’s list of worries is the stiff competition his team has had to face to start off the spring season. Last weekend, Wisconsin’s varsity eight fell to No. 1 Washington, No. 2 Stanford and No. 4 California at the Windermere Classic in Redwood City, Calif. “In football parlance, it’s probably scheduling Michigan and Florida and Notre Dame in the first couple of weeks,” Clark said. “Which can really work well depending on the way it plays out, but it also wipes you out a little bit.” And this weekend won’t be any easier with Big Ten opponent Michigan in town. In recent years, the Badgers and Wolverines have squared off in the season opener. However, schedule conflicts this season pushed the rivalry meet back to this weekend’s regatta. Typically the Midwest Rowing Championships serve as a showcase to the Madison community and campus for the UW crew team, but this year will be different with Michigan lining up on the other side of the water. “There’s been a few years that the competition hasn’t been so stiff, but [Michigan’s] pretty good,” Clark said. “That’s our main competition in this race; there’s no question it’s Michigan. … It’s the real deal when it’s Michigan.” And Clark knows this weekend is the time for his team to start winning. Despite a strong showing in the Windermere Classic, Wisconsin has nothing to show for it. While Clark isn’t upset with the varsity team’s 0-3 start, he is optimistic about being a championship contender come the end of May. “You don’t usually win championships by losing a lot of races,” Clark said. “That’s what I’ve found. You know, you’ve got to. Somehow you have to win at some point. “The reality is we’re just not usually as good as we will be later in the year. That’s a fact,” Clark continued. “So when you can come out and be competitive right away, that’s a good thing. It’s a really good thing. But nonetheless, there’s only so many times you can spend losing.” This year will be the 35th time UW has hosted the Lake Wingra event that dates back to 1973.last_img

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