1989 Season

Randy Jablonic
Randall Jablonic
  Todd Williams
Todd Williams
 Results | Summary | W Winners 

Season Results

San Diego 6
Midwest 1
Cochrane 1
Eastern Sprints 2

Season Summary

Winter training was on Town Lake in Austin, TX. A Wisconsin Alumni group in Austin, with Patrick Casey of the 1957 crew, put on a western barbecue dinner for the visiting Badgers at the Austin Rowing Club.

March 22, the crew worked out from Indian Ford Dam to near the bridge over I-90 on the Rock River in Edgerton, WI, with the support of wonderful hospitality from R.Y. and Judy Nelson and Kris and John Rothe.

At the April 1 San Diego Classic on Mission Bay, UW (6:18.91) was sixth behind winner Penn (6:04.41), followed by Washington (6:04.67), Navy (6:08.78), Yale (6:12.90) and Princeton (6:17.21).

The annual Rowing Banquet was scheduled for April 8 at the Field House.

April 15 and 16, in the Redwood Shores Regatta, UW’s varsity, in a three race round-robin format, lost 2 of 3. Against Washington (5:56.20), UW came in at 5:53.90. UCLA (5:48.20) defeated the Badgers (5:50.90) and in the third race, Wisconsin (5:53.70) prevailed over Cal (6:00.89). The JV-8 results were Orange Coast ( 6:07,40) over Wisconsin (6:09.00). Wisconsin (5:55.72) defeated Cal (6:00.89). In the third, Wisconsin (6:05.25) out-rowed Northeastern (6:08.16).

April 18, 1989, The Wisconsin State Journal reported morning wind cause three men’s crew shells to start to sink. Two coach’s launches pulled 27 rowers out of the center of Lake Mendota about 8:00 AM after wind caused waves to rollover the boats. Head coach Randy Jablonic said he knew of only two other times since 1954 when a UW shell got swamped. Both Madison Fire Department and Dane County sheriff’s Department lake rescue units responded to the park, but all rowers had already been taken ashore.

About six people ended up in the water for about 30 seconds. Most of the crew members pumped water out of their boats while waiting to be taken ashore and didn’t get wet.

On April 30 at the delayed Midwest Championships, wind kicked up a gusty course for the last three races. The varsity eight final: UW (5:18.4), Purdue (5:30.0), Milwaukee R. C. (5:43.8), Kansas State ( 5:48.5), Northwestern (5:50.5) and Rocky Mountain R. C. In the JV-8 event: UW “A” (5:46.9), Wisconsin “B” (5:58.3), Purdue (6:03.7), Northwestern (6:34.7), Kansas State (6:34.8) and St. Johns (MN). In the freshman eight: UW (5:46.4), Purdue (6:05.6), Kansas, UW “B”, Minnesota and Kansas State. In the Open 4 + event: UW “B” (6:12.20.2), UW “A” ( 6:14.9), St. Thomas (MN), Minnesota, Notre Dame and Michigan State. Nine of the Big Ten universities were represented at this year’s Midwest Regatta.

In the May 5 Cochrane Cup on the Charles River, Badger’s varsity boat, which was ahead by open water at the 750-meter mark, finished in 6:28.2, defeating Dartmouth (6:35.4) and MIT (6:42.5). The varsity boating: Larson, Olson, Donovan, Stevens, Hinrichs, Wolf, Borcherding, Dunne and White. In the JV-8 event, the finish was: UW (6:55.7), Dartmouth (6:57.5) and MIT (7:29.0). The freshman eight finish: Dartmouth (6:52.5) and MIT (7:04.5).

In the Eastern Sprints on May 14, William N. Wallace wrote, “Harvard’s varsity eight crew came from behind with a strong effort over the last 500 meters of the 2,000-meter course to win the championship on Lake Quinsigamond before a crowd of 11,000. Penn held the lead today for three-fourths of the distance. But it was a small margin: two seats, the distance taken up by two oarsmen in the 58-foot shells, was the difference between the first four boats.

Near the end, Penn could not hold off the Crimson sprint and dropped back to third place behind Wisconsin. Then came Syracuse, a surprise finalist that had been seeded 10 th; Northeastern, the only crew to beat Harvard this spring, and Navy. The winning time was 5 minutes 58.3 seconds; UW’s runner-up time 6:00. The margin of victory was about a half a boat length. Penn’s time was 6:01.8. Wisconsin, seeded fourth, among the heavyweight varsities, did a commendable job, moving up to pass Penn in the final 400 meters.

This regatta, an annual springtime rite of rowing that involves 639 athletes in 71 eight-oared crews, dates back to 1946.”

Dianne Williamson’s reporting on the Eastern Sprints in Worcester’s Telegram & Gazette of May 15 wrote, “More than 10,000 people lined the shores of Lake Quinsigamond to cheer rowers.” Elsewhere in Worcester’s same paper, Nick Manzello reported, “Harvard’s Crew Coach Harry Parker’s varsity heavyweights, still suffering from the shock of losing to Northeastern last week on the Charles, gained revenge by winning the (Sprint’s) main event - the heavyweight varsity grand final - with a time of 5:58.3. Northeastern finished fifth in 6:05.8. In defending its title, Harvard made its move about midway through the race. Oddly enough, it wasn’t Northeastern that Parker seemed concerned with. ‘Penn was doing most of the dominating this afternoon,’ said Parker. He continued, ‘It would have been a little easy to get by Penn and get caught by Wisconsin (second, 6:00.0), but we kept the lead down to the finish.’ ” Penn fell back after the 1,000-meter mark and had to settle for third in 6:01.8.

Coach Jablonic recalled that Wisconsin finished only 1.7 seconds behind the winner, and that UW’s coxswain, Steve White, watched the winning Harvard crew so hard, the shell drifted off a straight course into Navy’s lane (though Navy, finishing 6 th, was too for behind to claim any interference). There is room for some speculation whether a straighter course might have led to a UW victory. In any case, the Badgers rowed right through the finish line without slowing the beat. Stroking hard to the far shore, Kurt Borcherding jumped from the shell and dove into the back seat of the waiting car driven by coach Jablonic. In the back seat, Borcherding stripped from his crew uniform and pulled on his civilian clothes. He had to catch the last flight to Madison 60 minutes later in order to attend a test at the university that a professor would not agree to re-schedule.

Back at the awards pier, the judges handing out the second place medals wondered how Wisconsin had managed to place so well with only 7 oarsmen in the boat.

May 24, Rep. David Travis, D-Madison and chair of the Joint Finance Committee’s education subcommittee, suggested non-income sports, such as crew and swimming, could be in for $1 million more in general taxpayer support in the 1989-91 budget. “I’m saying they should be treated more like other activities of the university. They’re part of the university experience, ambiance. ‘The non-income sports are “totally dependent” on the income sports, a bad situation when the main money-maker, the football program, is down,’ Travis said.”

May 27, Navy hosted its lone home regatta of the year, the Cochrane (sic, Walsh) Cup competition with Wisconsin. UW won four of the six events for which results were posted in the July 1989 Wisconsin Rowing Association Newsletter (pgs. 1 and 4), including the varsity and JV eights and the pairs and varsity fours, both without coxswains. Navy prevailed in the varsity 4 + and the open 4 +.


In the IRA’s:

Under the headline “Sprint Past Wisconsin Gives Penn IRA Title,” William Wallace wrote,

The varsity race, the final event of a regatta in which almost 700 oarsmen from 27 colleges competed in eight different classes, was a tight one. Wisconsin was just two-tenths of a second behind Penn, and then came Northeastern, UCLA, Cornell and Navy. The Penn time under ideal conditions was a fast 5 minutes and 56 seconds At the 1,000 meters in the varsity race - th halfway point - all six finalists were within a boat length, about 60 feet, of one another, with Penn slightly ahead. Then Wisconsin moved into the lead, and with 200 meters to go, the Badgers had a substantial margin of almost one boat length. The contest seemed theirs, but two lanes away, Penn sprinted right through to win by about two feet.

A Penn crew also won the race for second varsities and the Ten Eyck Trophy went to the Quakers for compiling the most points in all the events. Penn had 372.55 points to 350.6 for Wisconsin and 295.5 for Navy.

Wisconsin coach Jablonic said the videotapes of the finishes of the of the varsity and JV-8 losses to Penn; the tapes showed the varsity lost by 14 inches and the JV-8 by 20 inches. Those two margins cost Wisconsin its fourth straight Ten Eyck .

UW’s freshman 4 + (Kirk Everett (bow), Eric Peterson (No. 3), Jim Howery (No. 2), Jason Long (S)) won at IRA’s in time of 7:21.8. UW’s varsity pair (7:40.1) was second behind Princeton (7:39.8); the varsity 4+ (7:02.4) was third after Navy (6:56.0) and UCLA (7:00.6); the varsity 4- (6:50.1) was second following Penn (6:46.7) and the open 4+ (7:09.2) was fifth, trailing Navy (6:53.3), Columbia (6:59.2), Temple (7:00.6) and Penn (7:01.8).

In the Cincinnati Regatta for the Herschede Cup on June 17, the varsity eight finish on the 2,000-meter course was: Harvard (5:36.5), Washington (5:38.93), Northeastern ( 5:39.61), Penn (5:39.81), Wisconsin (5:42.47) and UCLA (5:43.35). In the varsity 4+, the results were: Harvard (6:21.00), UW (6:28.47), Cornell (6:29.93), Cincinnati (7:13.85), Atlanta University (7:19.50) and Ohio State (did not finish).

Donations to the WRA in 1988 were $26,306.60 (vs. $47,672.36 in 1987. Because money is so important to the annual success of the men’s and women’s rowing programs, an endowment fund will be established at the July 1989 meeting.


Luke Astell
Andy Berns
Kurt Borcherding
Geoffry Caan
George Cadwalader
Michael Check
Matthew Dahl
Edward ("Fitz") Dunne
Kirk Everett
John Feller
Michael Fisher
Jeff Freitag
Brandon Foss
Timothy Greger
Dave Guhl
Steve Hatton
David Hautanen
Jonathan Henry
Todd Hinrichs
Jim Howery
Matt Imes
Jason Macek
Hayes Miliani
Rick Mollgaard
Greg Myhr
Daniel O'Shea
Robert Palmer
Aari Roberts
Paul Savell
Bill Shenkenberg
Mark Sniderman
Paul Stevens
Brett Welhouse
Gregory Werner
Todd Williams
Timothy Wike
Stephen White
Patrick Wolf


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