|Results | Summary | W Winners|
At the Head of the Charles, the Badgers were off to a powerful start closing in on Princeton and Vesper Boat Club, but after the first mile they began to fall back a their effort to overtake those two crews wore them down. Still rowing a spirited, if a somewhat ragged race, the Badger 8, with 4 sophomores, finished fifth in a time of 15:35.1 They were behind Vesper Boat Club (15:21.5), Princeton, College Boat Club and Harvard. Once again, the Vesper Boat was made up of members of the 1976 Olympic team, including former Badger oarsman, Bob Espeseth. The other Badger boat in that event placed 14 th in a tough field.
In December 1976, Paul Klein, No. 6 oar in Wisconsin 's first (and, to date, only) Eastern Sprints winner in 1946, died in a traffic accident. He was scheduled to officiate in the 1977 Rose Bowl.
On April 3 at the 2,000-meter San Diego Invitational, the varsity eight results were: Harvard (6:01.8), Penn (6:03.6), Cal (6:03.7), Wisconsin (6:07.2), Navy (6:11.1) and Washington . The JV-8 results were: Penn (6:21.5) and the freshman eight winner was Washington (6:31.7).
The Midwest Rowing Regatta was held on April 30, 1977 , with occasionally choppy water. UW's varsity (5:37.9), after a head-to-head battle, pulled away in the final 300 meters and defeated Marietta (5:46.5), Washington State, Purdue, Wichita State and the Mendota Rowing Club. In the JV-8 final. Wisconsin “A” (5:39.7) out-raced Wisconsin “B” (5:57.8), Duluth Boat Club (6:00.1) and Wichita State (6:15.3). The freshmen eight event saw Wisconsin “A” (5:55.7) win over Wichita State (5:58.6), Purdue (6:00.6), Wisconsin “B” (6:05.9), Kansas State (6:30.9) and Michigan State (6:35.7). The Open varsity four + was won by Wisconsin (6:30.8), followed by Minnesota (6:38.1) and Wayne State (7:13.0).
In the freshmen four +, Kansas State won (6:45.8), followed by Wichita State (6:48.8) and Washburn (7:09.2). Wisconsin (6:39.9) was disqualified. The highlight of the afternoon came in the open single final, as Neil Halleen edged teammate Jim Ricksecker by three inches to capture the title in 6:56.3.
May 7, the Cochrane Cup was held in Cambridge . Wisconsin took the lead about 100 meters into the race. “The water was very bumpy and choppy off the start,” said Badger Coach Jablonic, adding that there was a quartering headwind off the Cambridge shore. “I was surprised to see Wisconsin start so smoothly.” The Badgers increased their lead to nearly a full length by the 750-meter mark.
“I thought Wisconsin might make a rout of it, but MIT stayed with us,” Jablonic said. At 1,000 meters we had only about a seat lead. As we approached 600 meters to go, in front of the MIT boathouse, they had a big crowd and you could just see MIT start to move. But we out sprinted them to the finish line.”
The finish was Wisconsin (6:24.2), MIT ( 6:28 ) and Dartmouth (6:35.6). UW's boating: Ky Ryder (bow), Al Teter, Mark Rasmussen, Bill Olsen, Mike Gasper, Ed Jackson, Paul Schroeter, Tom Schuchardt (stroke) and Greg Atkins (cox).
In the afternoon, both Wisconsin and Boston U. got off to good starts. The Terriers took a slight lead but lost it when they “took a crab” (hit the water on the backstroke). They recovered, only to take another crab, which helped the Badgers stay even with them.
“The second crab seemed to demoralize them a little and we started to pull away,” Jablonic explained. With 800 meters left, the Badgers had a deck of open water on BU, and with less than 500 meters to go the Terriers got caught in the wash of a motorboat and couldn't recover. The crews had agreed before the race that there would be a restart only if there was a wash in the first 1,000 meters.
“This afternoon's race was actually better for us than the morning's,” said Jablonic. “We didn't row as well in the morning. There's that concern about just how strong the Eastern crews are and a little apprehension. They (the Badgers) were a little uneasy this morning. This afternoon the pressure began to wear off a little.
Wisconsin 's next competition is at the Eastern Sprints Sunday at Lake Carnegie in Princeton , N. J. (the 3 ½ mile lake and practice course for the Princeton Tigers was created out of farmland following a campus visit many years ago by Princeton benefactor Andrew Carnegie. He asked the school what he could so for them and was told ‘we could really use a course on which our crews could practice.)
Jablonic tabbed Penn and Harvard as th favorites and said he expects Wisconsin or Syracuse to be seeded third. “We have to pick up about eight seconds to catch up with Penn and Harvard,” he said. Penn edged the Crimson by one tenth of a second in a race held on the Charles about 40 minutes before the Cochrane Cup Saturday. The winning time was 6:14 , but Jablonic said that the conditions were not as bad as they were for Wisconsin 's races.
May 15 at the Eastern Sprints on Lake Carnegie at Princeton , NJ , Wisconsin (6:17.2) ended up 6 th in the varsity eight finals, behind winning Harvard (6:03.7), Penn (6:06.0), Cornell (6:09.8), Syracuse (6:10.8) and Yale (6:13.6). The Badger's JV-8 (6:38.7) was also 6 th behind Penn (6:18.7), Yale (6:23.3), Harvard (6:27.8), Navy (6:31.5) and Syracuse (6:35.5). UW's freshmen eight was 11 th in an event won by Penn, followed by Princeton , Yale, Syracuse , Harvard and Northeastern.
On May 21 at the annual spring picnic, the “Pickle Boat Captain” award was given to Jay Starr.
At the IRA's :
The teams were housed in Brewster-Boland Hall, Syracuse University's newest residence hall (completed in 1968).
Cornell (6:32.4) won the varsity eights, ahead of Penn, Cal , Yale , Oregon State and Wisconsin (6:48.4). The seven seniors in the Cornell boat were the same as had won the IRA's as freshmen 4 years before.
Wisconsin placed 6th in the second varsity eights; 3 rd in the Pairs +; 6 th in the Varsity 4 -; 8th in the Varsity 4 +; 5th in the freshman eights; and 8th in the freshman fours +.
The Ten Eyck went to Penn (348.9), with Yale (178.5) second, Syracuse (177.2) third and Wisconsin (156.1) fourth.
Paul G. Askins
Mark C. Boyle
Clayton Ryder III
Tom S. Schuchardt