1973 Season

Randy Jablonic
Randall Jablonic
  Robert ElorantaScott Springman
Robert Eloranta
Scott Springman
 Results | Summary | Photos | W Winners 

Season Results

Midwest 1
Cochrane 1
Eastern Sprints 2
IRA 1, Ten Eyck

Season Summary

Title IX, the gender equality amendment to the Education Act, was passed in Congress on June 23, 1972 . The impact of this legislation will eventually lead to more women's crew programs at many colleges in the U. S. At UW, the women's open weight crew program begins as a club sport (a varsity sport in 1974) in the spring of 1972 , followed by a lightweight crew program in 1996. Significant impacts from this legislation begin to be felt in the UW's athletic programs in the early 1990's.

September 23, two of three shells endowed by Fred L. Emerson ('32) of Old Lyme , CT , were christened. The first was in honor of former coach Norman R. Sonju and the second in honor of current rigger Curt P. Drewes. The third to be delivered next spring will be named in honor of Mr. Emerson's wife Trudy Emerson. Coach Sonju had a brief return to the helm of UW's varsity coaching job while Mr. Jablonic assisted the Olympic team in Munich .

In October 1972, Wisconsin 's varsity crew won the Head of the Charles Regatta, defeating the 1972 Olympic Eight, which had taken the silver medal at the Munich Olympics a month earlier, and the Northeastern Huskies, who had dedicated themselves to winning the race. UW brought home the Boston Globe Trophy for winning the elite eight-oared event. The Wisconsin Crew Corporation had helped underwrite the trip to Boston . UW's boating: Lou Schueller (bow), Loren Bartz, Scott Springman, Bruce Neidermeyer, Ken Nelson, Jim Dyreby, Jerry Phelan, Doug Trosper (stroke) and John Bosio (cox). Time on the 3 mile course was 15:33.1.

Over the winter and spring, a graduate file student, Rick Smith, made a film called Kind of Like that Puddle . The film was about 30 minutes and was a regular feature at recruiting meetings and banquets for a number of years.

The San Diego Crew Classic begins April 7, 1973 with a crowd of 10,000. Washington (6:14.0) won the varsity eight event, followed by Navy (6:15.8), Long Beach State (6:23.6), UCLA, Loyola Marimont ( Los Angeles ) and San Diego State . Other schools attending include Orange Coast , UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara.Washington also won the JV-8 and freshman eight events.

Wisconsin did not attend due to the necessity of organizing and preparing for the first Midwest Championship. Coach Jablonic also said, “Since it was a new regatta, we also wanted to see how it went.” 

Midwest Rowing Championships in Madison , Wisconsin were initiated in 1973 by Coach Jablonic on April 28. In this first Midwest Regatta of 1,900-meters on Lake Wingra, Wisconsin (5:25.5) posted a 6 ¾ length victory over Kansas State (5:52.2), with Purdue (5:54.9) third by a half length behind Kansas State, followed by Notre Dame, Nebraska and St. Thomas. UW's JV-8 (5:42.5) won y six lengths over the second Badger boat (6:08.2) and Kansas State (6:11.5).

Addressing the possibility of the Regatta becoming an annual affair, Coach Jablonic noted, “It can be done. Personally, though, I have some reluctance about it. All the special preparations we made for the day put us backwards in terms of our regular rowing schedule.”

In the Cochrane Cup race May 5 on Lake Mendota (2,000-meters), Wisconsin (6:22.8) beat MIT (6:33.2) and Dartmouth (6:36.6). The eleven second victory was the largest margin to date in this regatta. The race had to be restarted 100 meters into the event when Wisconsin's No. 7 man Lew Schueller broke a boot stretcher. Since the race was not mote than a minute old, the Badgers were allowed to repair the stretcher, and a restart was allowed. “We started the race at 34 ½ (strokes per minute), and at the 1,000 meter mark we made out move, increasing our stroke to 36 and finishing strong at 38,” said Badger Coach Randy Jablonic.

At the 28th Annual ECAC Eastern Sprints on Worcester on May 12, Northeastern (5:54.7) won the varsity eights, followed by Wisconsin (5:57.0), Harvard (5:57.9), Penn, Brown and Cornell. At the Eastern Sprints, New York Times sportswriter William N. Wallace wrote, “'We had a real good start, ‘said (Northeastern coxswain) Leahy, who saw mostly Harvard with a glimpse of Wisconsin throughout the race.' The (northeastern) Huskies won this championship for the second season in a row and they did a great job today battling Harvard and turning aside a late challenge by Wisconsin . Wisconsin finished second almost a length behind then came Harvard about six more feet back.” No. 4 Loren Bartz was suffering from the effects of German measles.

Harvard's second varsity heavyweights at the Sprints won (6:12.6) as expected, but only by a deck length, followed by Wisconsin (6:13.2), Northeastern, Brown, Penn and Cornell.

The freshmen eight Sprints result was: Dartmouth (7:22.1), MIT (7:16.2), Navy, Rutgers and Boston University . In the consolation, the order was Brown (7:11.5), BU (7:15.8), Penn, Wisconsin (7:23.7), Navy and Syracuse .


The IRA's:

The University of Washington returned to the IRA's after a 22 year lapse.

In 1973, Wisconsin won all three major IRA races, the varsity, JV and freshman eight events - a sweep!

On the gloomy side of the picture there was the boycott of the IRA by the Western schools who are upset over the arbitrary control of regatta dates exercised by the Eastern schools. The best of the West would probably come up quite short of Wisconsin at this year's pageant but the case still remains, there is an ever widening gap between East Coast and West Coast final exam dates and there is no on date acceptable to everyone.

Over the 2000 meter Syracuse course, Wisconsin 's winning eight times were varsity - 6:21 ; JV - 6:28.5 and Freshman - 6:35.1. Wisconsin 's freshman four was 9 th ; the Varsity four was not in the top 12.

Describing the IRA varsity race, the New York Times headline of June 3, 1973 reads “Wisconsin Scores Sweep in Rowing…Badgers Win 3 Eight-Oared Races in IRA Regatta.” The William N. Wallace article continued “It was ‘On Wisconsin' over and over again at the national intercollegiate rowing championships today. The three Badger eight-oared crews - varsity, second varsity and freshmen - all were victors and thus completed a sweep for Coach Randy Jablonic's athletes. It was the first sweep since Pennsylvania 's three victories in 1968.

The varsity's triumph in this 71st annual event was easy. The Badgers took an early lead, stretched it to the length of a 60-foot shell after 800 meters of the 2,000-meter course and finished with the same margin. The time was 6 minutes 21 seconds, not exceptionally fast for a slightly choppy course, as the crews rowed into a mild headwind. Brown finished second in 6:25.4, then Northeastern, Rutgers , Penn and MIT.

“It was easy,” said Jablonic in reviewing Wisconsin 's first IRA victory since 1966. “I was surprised there wasn't more competition. As the varsity rowed back to the boathouse, the stroke, Jim Dyreby, who stands 6 feet 6 inches and weighs 200 pounds, sat in the steering seat of the coxswain, John Bosio, who is 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds. Bosio was in Dyreby's seat pulling on the big sweep oar. The boat went beautifully.

The crowd was 15,000, the largest for this event in several years, partly because of the lively weather. The Jim Ten Eyck Trophy, which goes to the college whose eight-oared crews do best, of course was won by Wisconsin with a perfect score of 20. Brown was next with 12 and Northeastern and Penn with 11 each.

UW's varsity eight boat was Bob Eloranta, bow; Jim Swanson; Jim Ricksecker; Loren Bartz; Jerry Phalen; Bob Espeseth; Lou Schueller; Jim Dyreby (stroke) and John Bosio, cox.

The Second Varsity boat was Jim Kirsh, bow; Jim McNett; Eric Aserlind; Ted Blodgett; Gary Weyers; Bill Klinger; John Osborn; and Doug Trosper, stroke (the cox in this boat was not listed).

The freshman eight was Ross Graves, bow; Karl Newman; Reinhardt Rose; John Storck; John Mercier; Larry Trotter; Joe Knight; John Bausch, stroke; and Arena Werner, cox.” UW frosh coach Doug Neil, a Washington native, resigned after the season to take the head crew coaching job at Cornell.

The only flaw in the Badger's show of power was their Frosh 4 which failed to make the finals. Rumor has it that they were last seen pushing the Badger bus back to Madison in an effort to build up their legs.

Arnie Burdick's coverage of the event in the Syracuse Herald Standard of June 3, 1973 led with the headline:

Wisconsin scores an IRA sweep

“Wisc … Wisc … Wisc … went the efficient brooms of the Wisconsin Badgers here on Onondaga Lake yesterday afternoon as they swept the 71 st annual IRA. In capturing the championships in the three traditional eight-oared races, Coach Randy Jablonic's powerful oarsmen turned in the first perfect IRA since Penn's sweep here in 1968. Perfect too was the Badger point total of 20 which enabled them to successfully defend the Jim Ten Eyck Trophy, which goes to the school with the best over-all showing.

The Badgers won both the varsity and jayvee races from second place Brown by a little more than a length. However, Jablonic's frosh needed blazing finishing kick to overtake the MIT cubs by about two feet. Then it had to hold its breath and sweat out the photograph which confirmed the victory.

This sunny day, with only a slight headwind, was just made to order for Jablonic's crew. They were here determined for revenge on unbeaten Northeastern, which nipped them a fortnight back for the Eastern Sprint crown. It was no contest, as the Badgers fought their way past Penn, the early leader, after only about 400 meters. They got open water at 850 meters, on Northeastern and Penn, too. And the Badgers managed to row within themselves the rest of the way, even easing it up a trifle as they paddled comfortably home in front of the cheering mob.

‘We're No. 1,' their adherents echoed and re-echoed as their heroes came to the victory platform to accept the hardware. And then, just to make it official, they serenaded them with their favorite “On Wisconsin,” one of the more colorful collegiate fight songs in the land. ‘Yes, we rowed our race here,' smiled a happy Jablonic afterwards. ‘We did Thursday, too, during the heats. We're just coming on, you know. We're peaking.'

The Badger jayvees had an even easier time of it (than the freshman) as they rowed to a length and a quarter victory over the Browns, with Penn third only inches back of the Bruins. Penn jumped out to a fast start, but before the crews had hit the 500-meter mark, the Badgers, stroked by Doug Trosper, had inched their way into the lead. Penn held second most of the way down the course. With about 500 meters left, Brown kicked their way into a tie for second, and that's the way the two Ivy Leaguers rowed the last quarter mile - together as one. With a powerful last ‘ten,' Brown managed to just poke its deck out front of the Quakers to gain the second place spot.

The crack MIT freshman eight led almost the entire way in the championship finale before wilting slightly in the last two strokes and succumbing to Wisconsin's powerfully driving finish. Dartmouth , on the inside, was a solid third, less than a length behind. It took a photograph to decide that the Badgers had won by a matter of only two or three feet. The time differential was just four-tenths of a second - Wisconsin being clocked in 6:35.1 to MIT's 6:35.5.

For the Badgers it was a repeat of their frosh triumph here a year ago. The young Badgers (will be heard from in the next few seasons), who got out of the starting gate slowly as MIT and Dartmouth battled for the lead. But halfway through the body of the race, Wisconsin moved into third, and then wrested second from the Green ( Dartmouth ). As they came within range of the finish line, the Badgers were cutting into fading Tech's (MIT) lead with every stroke, and they just managed to get up before the pair hit the wire almost simultaneously. Stroke of the young Badgers is John Bauch.

Wisconsin , in 1973, became only the fourth school to sweep the eights since the IRA moved to Onondaga Lake in 1952. The others were Navy (1952 and 1965), Cornell (1955 and 1958) and Penn (1968).

  1973 UW Varsity Class Age Height Weight
Bow Bob Eloranta ‘73 22 6'2” 183
2 Jim Swanson ‘74 20 6' 177
3 Jim Ricksecker ‘75 20 6'2 ¾” 182
4 Loren Bartz ‘74 20 6'3” 185
5 Jerry Phelan ‘73 20 6'3” 185
6 Bob Espeseth ‘75 19 6'4 ¾” 185
7 Lou Schueller ‘75 19 6'4” 185
Stroke Jim Dyreby ‘75 20 6'6” 195
Cox John Bosio ‘74 20 5' 100
    Average   6'3 ¼” 184 5/8


  1973 UW JV Class Age Height Weight
Bow Jim Kirsh ‘75 20 6'1” 180
2 Jim McNett ‘73 22 6'3 ½” 185
3 Eric Aserlind ‘75 20 6' 3 ¾” 159
4 Ted Blodgett ‘75 19 6'3” 190
5 Gary Weyers ‘73 20 6'2” 181
6 Bill Klinger ‘74 20 6'3” 185
7 John Osborne        
Stroke Doug Trosper ‘75 19 6'1 ½” 185
Cox Mike Malak ‘74 21 5'5” 120
    Average   6'2 ½” 181


  1973 UW Frosh Class Age Height Weight
Bow Ross Graves ‘76 18 6'3” 193
2 John Storck ‘76 18 6'2” 187
3 Reinhardt Rose ‘76 19 6'2” 183
4 Karl Newman ‘76 18 6'5” 185
5 John Mercier ‘76 19 6'5 ½” 180
6 Larry Trotter ‘76 19 6'4” 185
7 Joe Knight ‘76 18 6'1” 180
Stroke John Bauch ‘76 19 6'2” 185
Cox Arno Werner ‘76 19 5'2 ½” 108
    Average   6'3” 185


Bob Snyder's by-line in the Syracuse Herald American of June 3, 1973 reported:

All the talk around Ten Eyck Boat House following Wisconsin's sweep of the 71 st IRA Regatta's eight-oared competition, centered around the possibility of Randy Jablonic's Badgers competing in next month's Henley Regatta.

A year ago, when the Badgers captured the Ten Eyck Trophy for over-all supremacy in the eights, the athletic department offered one scholarship for crew. ‘But coach turned it down,' said JV No. 2 Jim McNett, one of just three seniors in the Badgers first two boats. ‘We get no aid…But we're proud of that,' McNett added, moments before the ‘Wisc' varsity completed the sweep.

‘Going to Henley?' Jablonic was asked by Northeastern coach Ernie Arlett, whose third place crew is going to England , along with a massive number of American shells from across the country. The armada includes Western Sprints' king Washington, who by-passed the IRA, leaving this event without a Western varsity eight for the first time since 1920. Olympic camp coach Steve Gladstone, whose California crew battled Washington to the wire, said ‘ Wisconsin would beat Washington by 10-11 seconds.'

‘If someone gives us the money, we'd love to go,' Jablonic answered Arlett. ‘But how do you raise funds in such a short time?…Talk isn't going to send us…the athletic department just doesn't have the money. But I hope it can be found somewhere.'

Jablonic was interrupted to sip beer from the Kennedy Cup (awarded to the JV winners). The mild-mannered Jablonic was more interested in finding out why his varsity was not more severely challenged. ‘Why didn't anyone come along with us? We left the pack - and then there was nobody there…(Runner up) Brown waited too long.' ‘ Wisconsin would beat most national teams,' said Columbia coach Ted Nash, “might have trouble with the top 1-2 in the world…If they choose to go to Henley , I believe they'll win it.'

All the ‘Wisc' sweeps expressed hope the money could be found to send them to Henley . So did Northeastern's Bill Backman, captain of the Eastern Sprints winners. ‘ Wisconsin was a superior crew. I hope they have a chance to go to England . I'd love to row against them in one-on-one competition on a good course…We had a poor start. No excuse. But we got a little flustered. They got too far out on us. Making that up going into a headwind is hard to do. We just didn't give it 150 per cent after that.'

‘We planned on moving in our settle (after the start). And we did,' said ‘Wisc' sophomore stroke Jim Dyreby, a 6'6” 200 pounder from Waupaca , Wisconsin . ‘We wanted to shoot it all the first 1,000 and hold it. That plan worked well…Actually, we rowed 36 the first 1,000 and 37, I think, the last 1,000. But I wasn't thinking about that, because Brown was right there and we were trying to get open water on them…I thought we'd be even with Northeastern at the 1,000. They had us there at the Sprints.'

Coxie John Bosio, who used a stroke-meter for the first time in the IRA, mentioned ‘this shell (a Schoenbrod) is the lightest one Helmut Schoenbrod ever built. It weighs 228 pounds - and the normal ones go between 240 and 260.'

‘It handles both rough water (such as the Badgers faced Thursday) and smooth water (it was very rowable yesterday),' said Jablonic.

Nicknamed Jabo, the Badgers' coach calmly described his delight over the sweep this way: ‘It's something I dreamed about…It used to be Cornell, the Big Red winning, sweeping. Occasionally, it was Navy and California I wondered when I rowed (he was the No. 3 oar on the winning '59 varsity eight) if Wisconsin would ever do it. We won the Ten Eyck last year in basically a building year…The sweep was our goal this year.'

They did it with a group averaging 6'3” and 189 pounds. A trio from the varsity, another threesome in the JV shell copped freshman honors here a year ago. With only one senior in the varsity shell, does anyone want to bet against a repeat varsity winner here in 1974!”

Walking up to Coach Jablonic, Dartmouth Coach Pete Gardner said, “I'd like to see you go and I'm starting a fund.” He pressed a quarter into Jablonic's hand. And people wonder why this winner (Jablonic) never smiles. The Appleton Post Crescent (June 1973) later reported “the fund to send UW crews to England for the Royal Henley Regatta reached $23,000, enough to send the varsity eight to England. They would be joined by the junior varsity if $28,000 was raised and by the freshmen crew if the fund reaches $35,000.” Among the UW crew's fans and supporters helping to raise money for the teams' trip to Henley was Jim Dyreby's father, also James Dyreby, who, “excited by the prospects, spent a lot of his time that summer raising funds from acquaintances in the Neenah-Waupaca areas of Wisconsin .

Wisconsin eventually did take three boats to the 1973 Henley . All three boats qualified for the semi-finals before losing close races.



Over June 27-30 on the 2,000-meter course at the Nottinghamshire International Regatta, in Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire , England , Wisconsin outrowed Washington in two 1,000-meter qualifying races to become the U.S. entry in the Guiness Cup competition at Nottingham .

The Badgers margins were 2.7 and 3.1 seconds, respectively. In the Guiness Cup final race, Wisconsin (6:43.96) was third behind Hungary (6:38.4) and Russia (6:38.7). UW's JV-8 (6:48.4) placed second in the Elite event behind Northeastern (6:40.9) and ahead of Washington (6:49.1). In the Elite 11 competition won by the Harvard JV, Wisconsin was fourth with Washington second and the UW freshman third. 

Over July 4-7 on the one mile 550 yard course on the Thames River in Henley , England , Wisconsin 's varsity was eliminated in the Grand Challenge Cup race semi-finals in a one-length loss to Northeastern. UW's JV-8 ( 6:41 ) defeated Trinity College by three-fourths of a length, then lost the semi-finals to the Harvard JV by one-half length. Harvard's JV later won the Ladies' Plate Competition.

UW's frosh ( 6:55 ) opened the Thames Cup competition by outrowing Columbus Day Cruising Regatta Club of Miami, Florida by one-half length. They then rallied in the final quarter mile to oust Belgium 's Antwerpe Roeiverniging student boat by two-thirds of a length in 6:40 . Wisconsin won the quarter-final race by defeating England 's Quintin Boat Club by three-quarters of a length in 6:33 . The frosh – who allowed their opponent to take a length lead before the mile post, started a long spurt toward the line and with 200 yards left were only about three feet down, could not get its bow in front - lost to England's Thames Tradesmen (6:39) in the semi-finals.

In the course of their Henley competition, UW's varsity crew set a record ( 6:32 ) for the Ladies Challenge Cup (initiated 1845, records at this distance kept since 1922) race and the freshmen set a record ( 6:33 , which time Princeton tied on another race date) for the Thames Challenge Cup (initiated 1868, records kept since 1922). Both records, according to the approximately 10 minute film made after the season 1973 - The Most Victorious Year of Wisconsin Rowing , were listed in the Guinness Book of Records (date unclear in film).


Cochrane Cup - May 1973

Cochrane Cup - May 1973


Drewes Shell Dedicationn,
October WClubNews, 1972

Drewes Shell Dedicationn,


Jim Dyreby

Jim Dyreby


Lou Schueller

Lou Schueller


Rob Espeseth

Rob Espeseth


Randy Jablonic, Tim Mickelson, Norm Sonju, Scott Springman, Curt Drewes,
W Club News 1972

Randy Jablonic, Tim Mickelson, Norm Sonju, Scott Springman, Curt Drewes,


Bob Eloranta

Bob Eloranta


1973 Varsity Crew, IRA Gold

1973 Varsity Crew, IRA Gold


1973 JV Crew, IRA Gold

1973 JV Crew, IRA Gold


1973 Freshman Crew, IRA Gold

1973 Freshman Crew, IRA Gold


Cover of The Oarsman, Jul 1973

Cover of The Oarsman, Jul 1973


IRA Sweep and Ten Eyck, 1973

IRA Sweep and Ten Eyke, 1973


Jim Dyreby and Lou Schueller
Wisconsin State Jornal, 6-17-73

Jim Dyreby and Lou Schueller


Jim Dyreby and Bob Eloranta

Jim Dyreby and Bob Eloranta, 6-15-73


Wisco loss to Harvard at Henley,
New York Times 7-8-73

Wisco loss to Harvard at Henley,


USOC Newsletter, Aug 1973

USOC Newsletter, Aug 1973


Frosh welcoming the Varsity 8 after IRA win
June 2, 1973

Left to right:
Left-most in white shirt and curly hair – Ross Graves (frosh bow-seat)
Under Graves’ elbow – Joe Knight (frosh 7-seat)
7th from left in white shirt, no hat, right hand raised – John Osborne (2V8 7-seat)
Red “W” hat 4th or 5th from right – Doug Neil (Frosh Coach)
Far right with checkered hat – Eric Aserlind (2V8 3-seat)

Frosh welcoming the Varsity 8 after IRA win



Eric L. Aserlind
Theodore C. Blodgett
John Bosio
Loren P. Bartz
James R. Dyreby, Jr.
Robert Eloranta
Robert D. Espeseth, Jr.
Charles R. Herdeman
James T. Kirsh, Jr.
William J. Klinger
James R. McNett
John C. Osborn, Jr.
Gerard C. Phelan
James F. Ricksecker
Louis S. Schueller, Jr.
John R. Storck
James C. Swanson
Douglas B. Trosper
Gary Weyers


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