1990 Season

Randy Jablonic
Randall Jablonic
  Ted Hinrichs
Ted Hinrichs
 Results | Summary | Photos | W Winners 

Season Results

San Diego 4
Midwest 1
Cochrane 1
Eastern Sprints 2

Season Summary

September 16 in Chicago was the Chicago, Oxford, Cambridge Race of 2.2 miles.

September 30 - the Head of the Ohio, Pittsburgh, PA (3 miles).

October 14, at the Head of the Rock, UW’s varsity men ( 10:28) won their featured race, prevailing over Cincinnati R. C ( 10:34), UW “B” ( 10:55), Milwaukee R. C. ( 11:07), UW “C” and Northwestern. UW won the combined men’s and women’s results with 624 points, followed by the Mendota Rowing Club with 399.

October 15 - Rochester Chase and Sprint Regatta, Rochester, NY.

The Milwaukee Rowing Club’s boat house, located in Hubbard Park in Shorewood, had been completely destroyed by fire on October 15, 1989. Boats were lent to the club by UW and others for the competition two weeks later.

October 22, the UW varsity placed 7 th overall at the head of the Charles in Boston and fourth among college crews, in a time of 16:09.98, behind winner Penn at 16:04.48. The men’s four was eighth (18:45.31) behind winner the Charles River Rowing Association.

The 1.8 mile Head of the Milwaukee, on the Milwaukee River at Hubbard Park in Shorewood, WI, was held on October 29. The regatta is being sponsored by the Milwaukee Rowing Club. The visiting Lithuanian National crew, which represented the Soviet Union in the World Championships in Yugoslavia, won in 8:16, followed by UW eights (the first of which came in at 8:23) in the next three places. Northwestern took fourth (excluding the visiting Lithuanians). The 18 Soviet rowers from Lithuanians were part of an exchange program are staying with host families in Madison and Milwaukee.

In the men’s novice eight, UW ( 9:28) prevailed over St. John’s ( 9:30), St. Thomas ( 9:45) and UW “B” ( 9:51). In the mixed (men and women), UW won ( 8:58), followed by Lithuanian Men/UW women ( 9:24), and three UW entries.

In the four-man crew, the Milwaukee Rowing Club pulled off an upset over UW, the favored boats, by winning its race in 9:44. St. Thomas finished second in 9:49. The two UW entries were 3 rd ( 9:58) and 4 th ( 10:02). The regatta for men and women was a 17 event affair included crews from the Universities of Chicago, Iowa and Minnesota and clubs from Des Moines, Iowa, Green Bay, Rockford (IL), Mendota and Milwaukee.

From December 28 to January 9, 1990, the crew of 78 rowers practiced on its winter break on Town Lake in Austin, TX. This was the first time (?) on Austin’s calmer waters, after many winter breaks in Florida.

On January 10, 1990. UW’s colorful former head crew coach Allen “Skip” Walz died in Rancho Mirage, CA at age 81.

On February 4 th, the 8 th Annual Midwinter (indoor) Crew Classic was held in Madison, 300 rowers rowed 2500 meters on Concept II ergometers. The event is a qualifier for the CRASH-B Sprints in Boston.

On Sunday afternoon March 11, the Annual Rowing Banquet was scheduled at the Field House.

April 7, the San Diego Classic was won - before a protest raised by UW coxswain Mark Sniderman that his raised hand at the start, indicating he was not ready (because his shell was pointing 20 degrees off of straight away) went noticed by the starting judge - by Washington (6:1.58), followed by Harvard (6:12.56), Navy (6:17.40), Wisconsin (6:17.62) and Syracuse (6:42.45). But in the re-race an hour and 15 minutes later, “Washington went down the tubes” and the race was won by Harvard (6:11.31), followed by UCLA (6:15.45), Navy (6:16.0), Syracuse (6:18.44), Wisconsin (6:20.77) and Washington (6:21.88). Some argued Wisco should have stayed at the start and allowed the officials to call a restart. Sniderman said his men bolted off the line and he had to make a judgment call whether to try to stop them. The judges sided with UW and called a re-race.

April 20 & 21 at the Potomac International Regatta in Washington D. C. on the Potomac River, the varsity eight finals were won by Harvard (5:35.44), followed by UCLA (5:39.68), Wisconsin (5:40.72) and Princeton (5:46.51). The JV-8 from UW (5:58.70) won their final against Georgetown (6:00.7). The freshmen eight from Wisconsin (5:55.69) won, followed by UCLA (5:56.41), Georgetown and George Washington.

On April 27 on 1650-meter Lake Wingra, the Midwest Rowing Championships were held on a windy course. The wind was often the heaviest on the final 1,000 meters of the course. Wisconsin (5:20.2) won the varsity eight, defeating Northwestern (5:38.3), Notre Dame, Kansas State, La Bale Verte, St. John’s and the University of Chicago. UW also won the other five heavyweight finals in the JV-8, the Open 4, th freshman eight the pairs and the freshman four.

May 5, in a steady rain for the Cochrane Cup raced on a course just over 2,000 meters in Hanover, N.H., Wisconsin’s varsity eight (5:28.6) defeated Dartmouth (5:30.9) by half a length and MIT (5:47.6). UW’s boating: Donovan (bow), Stevens, Olson, Dahl, Hinricks, Wolf, Almquist, Dunn (stroke) and Sniderman (cox).

In the junior varsity race, the Badgers (5:38.5) also won, defeating Dartmouth (5:46.7) and MIT (5:54.6). Wisco’s JV8 boating: Meissner, Henry, Astell, Caan, Shenkenberg, Roberts, Hatton, Savell (stroke) and Fisher (cox).

Against Boston University on May 6 th, once again both men’s varsity eights were victorious. Times on the 2,000-meter course on the Charles River, in the varsity eights were UW at 6:10.3 and BU 6:11.6 and in the JV-8’s were UW with 6:28 and BU at 6:38.

May 20 - William N. Wallace’s brief Eastern Sprints race description read, “In today’s heavyweight eight final, over a rain-swept 2,000-meter course, Harvard took charge in the second 500 meters and then cruised to the finish. At the end the Crimson (5:49.9) had an open-water margin of more than boat length over Wisconsin (5:54.0), which nipped Penn (5:54.7) for second place as the Red and Blue’s sprint fell short. The winning time was 5 minutes 49.9 seconds.”

In the JV-8’s, Harvard (5:55.2) also won, trailed by Penn (5:56.1), Navy (5:57.4), Wisconsin (6:04.9), Northeastern (6:05.2), Yale (6:06.2) and Princeton (6:06.3). The freshman eight event was won by Harvard (6:01.5), followed by Princeton (6:06.8), Navy (6:08.9), Dartmouth (6:10.1), Northeastern (6:14.5) and Wisconsin (6:18.9).

On May 26 at Annapolis, Navy won the Walsh Cup for the first time in six years. Navy’s varsity (5:43.9) nipped UW (5:44.0) by a tenth of a second. The midshipmen’s JV8 (5:54.4) also defeated Wisco( 5:56.59), while their Frosh (6:06.24) also whipped Wisco’s boat (6:13.5).Wisconsin won the V4-, Pair-, V4+ and Open 4+ but lost the Frosh 4+.

In the May/June 1990 issue of Inside Badger Sports, a publication of the University of Wisconsin Foundation/Big Red Club, a significant contribution to the Howard H. and Helen Rogers Endowment Fund, a newly created endowment fund for men’s and women’s crews, was announced. The Rogers had contributed two boats ten years earlier. The fund was established by Tom Rogers to honor his parents. Howard Rogers (’12) was the No. 2 seat in the 1911 varsity crew that placed fourth at the Poughkeepsie Regatta.


In the IRA’s:

Varsity eight and varsity 4+win at IRA’s; the times were 5:55.5 and 7:02.0, respectively. The Freshman 4+ was won by Northeastern, followed by Princeton, Wisconsin, Brown and California-Santa Barbara. (Complete coverage of the event was not in the New York Times.)

The ( Syracuse) Herald-American on June 3, 1990 read,

Randall Jablonic got his first look at Onondaga Lake in 1957. He was a rower on Wisconsin’s varsity eight, thrilled to be competing in the IRA Regatta. Thrilled, that is, until he took a look into the murky depths of a very, very dirty lake.

‘It looked like pea soup,’ he said Saturday evening. ‘Literally, I wondered how it could ever be clean.’ Thirty-three years later, Jablonic, now the Wisconsin coach, was thrown into the lake. The current edition of Wisconsin’s varsity eight, jubilant after a convincing victory, tossed their coach into a still rather murky lake.

‘Hey, we won., he said. ‘And believe me, the water is much cleaner than it was in ’57. You can see the bottom of the lake in 20 feet of water! I never would have believed thaw was possible. I don’t think Syracusans realize how far this lake has come.’

Syracuse briefly took first place, but by the 1,000-meter mark, Wisconsin had rowed to a slight lead over them. And the Badgers never let go. Wisconsin beat Penn by half a boat, reversing the order of the 1989 championship, when Penn nipped Wisconsin.

Wisconsin (5:55.5), won the varsity eight race, which closed the 88 th edition of the IRA Regatta. The Badgers defeated Penn (5:57.6) by half a boat length; Syracuse (5:57.6), Navy (6:00.1), Cornell (6:02.1) and Brown (6:02.9).

Wisco won first in the V8 and the V4 + - by the most decisive victory of the day, 4.3 seconds, then placed - seconds in Pairs -, V4 – and the Open 4 +, fourth in the Frosh 4 +, sixth in the 2V8 and 9 th in the Frosh 8.

The Ten Eyck was won by Navy (310.7), followed by Penn (279.45) and Wisconsin (279.25).

In a separate account of the race, Scott Conroe wrote,

Thursday, the day of preliminary heats, was sunny and breezy. Too breezy. By 9:00 a.m., after only two heats of freshman races, the IRA officials decided the lake was too rough for racing. They postponed racing until 5 p.m. By the time the varsity eight heats began, it was almost 7 p.m. The first heat brought disappointment for Syracuse, as Brown won by four-tenths of a second. Now the Orange would have to qualify for the final through repechage (a second round of qualifying heats among the non-winners from the first round of qualifying heats, which gives a second chance for getting into the championship finals).

Penn easily outdistanced Boston University and Navy in the second heat. Wisconsin cruised to a six-second victory over Rutgers in the final heat. Cornell’s varsity eight not only lost, but was swamped in the process.

Friday was a day of relaxing and practicing for Penn, Brown and Wisconsin. It was a day of anxiety for the other varsity eights, who faced must-win situations that morning. Syracuse coach Bill Sanford joked about the pressure, saying, ‘We have a heck of a hometown advantage - one title in 70 years.’

Penn senior stroke Chris Boland knew all too well the pressures of the IRA. After winning IRA championships as a freshman and junior, he wanted to be a champion one last time. That evening’s Syracuse Herald Journal raised the Wisconsin rower’s hackles, for it contained Boland’s comments about a new rivalry between Wisco and Penn. The reporter, Jeff Alessio, had asked Boland, among others, about the rivalry Thursday. Boland’s quote said Penn knew it was the fastest boat, and its rivals could ‘bring it on’ and try to beat the Quakers. D’Alessio was astonished by the blunt words. Boland later said he’d been quoted out of context, that he was referring to racing in any water conditions. He also admitted he was tired from that afternoon’s race and wasn’t thinking clearly. But the damage was done. The Wisco rowers were angry. The Wisco rowers, some of them already feeling they weren’t respected in the East - a feeling encouraged by their coach, Randy Jablonic - used the quotes to feed their will to win.

Saturday’s weather was typical for the Syracuse region - it changed a little every few minutes. Midway through the regatta, a feeling of impending thunderstorms filled the air over Onondaga Lake, the varsity eight championship was postponed for an hour. Cornell’s boat, in another casualty, had collided with a buoy and broken three riggers. The Syracuse varsity eight fled its boathouse and the hubbub that swirled around it. The rowers gathered at six-man Chris Ludden’s house nearby and watched a movie. Their choice was unfortunate: “Casualties of War,” a Vietnam film.

The delay calmed Wisco No. 5 seat Jim Almquist’s jitters but irritated some of his fellow Badgers until Jablonic reached into his store of tricks. ‘We were upset to come back, but Coach made us laugh,’ said senior Fitz Dunn (stroke). ‘He put tons and tons of tape on our boat, which we thought was funny.’

The race finally began at 6 p.m. The water conditions were the best of the day. Syracuse jumped into the lead, surging to almost a length ahead of the other five boats. The Orange was in Lane Five. Wisco was in Lane four. The Quakers, to their dismay, were in Lane Six for the second straight year. ‘No Man’s Land,’ said Boland. Penn had come to the starting line feeling sluggish from the delay. And the Quaker’s start was slower than normal.

Syracuse led by three seats at the 500-meter mark. They waited for Wisco and Penn to make their moves. They didn’t have to wait long. At about 750 meters, the Badgers and Quakers turned up the power for their famous row-through moves. By now the rowers were pouring everything into their bodies, focusing on the commands of their coxswains, but still managed to sneak looks out to the side.

‘Give me everything! Now!’ John Parella, junior cox, shouted to the Orange. ‘Don’t let’em walk!’

He could see Wisco and Penn gather steam, their backs shining with water and straining against their oars. Syracuse held them off at first. Wisco No. 3 Dean Olson knew at the 1,000-meter mark that Wisco was moving but Syracuse was too. They were all past rational thought. Their long shells looked like eight-legged insects skimming across the water.

Finally, there were only the last 500 meters, when the mind tries to stifle the body’s cries for rest. Now it was between Penn and Wisco. On the rocky shore next to the trophy dock, about 30 Penn rowers gathered to wait for the finish. But this was one time when the Quakers wouldn’t be able to come back from their slower start to win. Wisco rowers were thinking too much their narrow loss to Penn in the year before. And Wisco cox Mark Sniderman, looking for words to drive his rowers, knew it.

‘No way, not again!’ shouted Sniderman with 30 strokes to go. “we’re not going to let it happen again!’

‘That really got us going,’ said Olson. Wisco edged Penn by three quarters of a length, 5:55 to 5:57.6. Syracuse followed in 5:59.1. Navy was fourth. Cornell was fifth and Brown last.’

Floating on the murky water, the oarsmen gasped and felt the burning ache of their muscles. Penn stroke Chris Boland looked over at Wisco stroke Fitz Dunn, who mockingly called out, ‘Bring it on, Penn. Bring it to us!’

After the trophy presentation and delivery of shirts, the Badgers were left with their parents and each other. ‘Thank you,’ a Wisco senior’s mother said to Jablonic.

‘Thank you for your son for four years,’ answered Jablonic, eyes twinkling behind his wire-rimmed glasses. His white wide-brimmed hat stood out in the glowing dusk. Even two weeks later, when Wisconsin easily out-distanced Harvard for the national title in Cincinnati, “Jabo” wouldn’t be quite this happy.”

In an article dated June 15, sportswriter Rob Hernandez wrote of the return of ‘the Rude Red Creep’ as a warning to upcoming opponents at the Cincinnati Invitational.

In East Fork Lake near Cincinnati, Ohio on June 16, “Wisconsin Is No. 1” was the William N. Wallace’s headline in his Rowing column the next day (June 17, 1990, Sports Section, p.6) in the New York Times. The article read: “The Wisconsin crew caught up with Harvard at last today at the Cincinnati Regatta and beat the Crimson eight in a 2,000-meter race to decide the nation’s best college heavyweight crew. The Badgers from Madison held off the expected Harvard sprint in the final 400 meters to win by 4.3 seconds, or a full boat length.

The Wisconsin eight had been behind Harvard on two finish lines this season, by 5 seconds at the San Diego Classic on April 7 and by 4.1 seconds at the Eastern Sprints on May 20. Harvard won the latter event and seemed invincible. So Coach Randy Jablonic’s Badgers, in less than a month’s time, improved themselves by almost two boat lengths relative to Harvard, the benchmark crew in college rowing.

On a day with temperatures close to 90 degrees, and over a smooth course, Wisconsin’s time was a swift 5 minutes 52.5 seconds. The came Harvard just ahead of UCLA, 5:58.84 to 5:56.87; Syracuse, 6:00.09 and Washington, 6:03.9.

There was little room for strategy in 2,000-meter sprint races, and Wisconsin essentially had none. ‘We wanted to be ahead at 750 meters and then give it all we had,’ said Todd Hinrichs, the captain and 7 oar. It worked out almost that way. Wisconsin had its lead at 1,000 meters and went on. ‘Everything felt good, ‘ said Hinrichs. ‘A great row.’

Travis Metz, the Harvard coxswain, said, “We just couldn’t catch them. They rowed a great race and we were a little flat.’ Crimson crews had won this regatta, and thus a claim to the national championship, every year since 1983 except 1986. ‘We did well,’ said Coach Harry Parker of Harvard. ‘It’s tough to win them all.’ ”

Wisconsin was awarded the Herschede Cup for winning the eights competition at the Men’s National Collegiate Championship in Cincinnati.


Michael Jaffe of Sports Illustrated also covered the Cincinnati Regatta and wrote:

Traditionally a slow-starting crew, Wisconsin came of the line quickly this time, and at the 1,000 mark, halfway through the race, the Badgers weren’t just near the action, they were ahead of it.

At the 600 meters all the crews were together, so I called for a Rude Red 20 (20 all-out power strokes).’ Said UW coxswain Mark Sniderman. ‘After that, we caught the lead and kept moving.’

The Badgers finished 4.3 seconds ahead of second-place Harvard, which in crewspeak is like being in another zip code. But what was even more remarkable than Harvard’s losing was Wisconsin’s winning - in fact, Wisconsin having the gall to be competitive at all. People expect the Badgers to be good in hockey (they are national champs this year), cross-country skiing and the cheddar cheese toss. But crew? How do you row on ice?

‘We don’t get nearly the amount of water time that the East and West Coast schools get,’ says freshman coach Dan Gehn. ‘We’re usually off the water for five months. This year, the ice broke early’ Early in Madison is the last week in March. ‘I don’t know how they do it,’ says University of Washington No. 5 seat senior Gordon Gruendell. ‘We’re only off the water for about three weeks, during Christmas break.’

Wisconsin pounds through the long winter training schedule devised by Coach Jablonic. ‘I like to change the program around so that it’s interesting,’ says Jabo. ‘Every year I pull something new.’ Jabo knows winter training. His ‘something new’ has included: rope runs, with the entire team (about 50 people) hanging onto a rope and trudging across frozen Lake Mendota, often in waist-high snow; the Hour of Power, 60 minutes of running up and down the steep steps of Camp Randall Stadium while Jabo plays polkas on his boom box; deer tails, where as part of a weight training circuit, a sock attached to a rope hangs from the boathouse ceiling, nine feet off the floor, and for one to three minutes at a stretch the oarsmen have to jump high enough to touch it.

‘We go out and run when its 40 degrees below zero,’ says captain Todd (Moose) Hinrichs, whose nickname comes from Moose in the Archie comics - not that someone who’s 6’8” and 220 pounds needs another reason to be nicknamed moose. ‘The first time we were pretty apprehensive. But Jabo just told us that as long as we dressed for it, we’d be O.K.’ ‘He also said that if we were worried about frostbite on a certain part of our anatomy, we should stuff newspaper down our pants,’ says stroke Fitz Dunn.

Sometimes training gets interesting for spectators as well. A few weeks ago, just before the team left Madison for the IRA’s in Syracuse, the Badgers celebrated with a ceremony they call the Grand Row. In it the crews, (in a range of dress and undress), row past the boathouse while Jabo stands on the bow of his launch, a John Philip Sousa march rumbling from the boom box, and a man playing bagpipes stands on the dock as fireworks go off overhead.

‘In his Wisconsin country-boy style, he’ll get you to dream about things,’ says former Badger oarsman Earl Anderson. ‘He can get you to do things you didn’t think you could do. It builds a relaxed confidence.’

It is Jablonic’s intention to let that relaxed attitude carry over into other aspects of his athlete’s lives. Last week, when Hindrich’s suffered an upset stomach after eating at a Mexican restaurant in Cincinnati, he received some Jabo Medicine: a box of toasted oats, a bag of puffed rice, several apples and a bottle of Kaopectate. Jabo knows his first aid.

‘It worked,’ says Hindrichs, ‘although I’m not sure which part did the trick.’


Suzy Roush in the Cincinnati Inquirer, wrote:

Wisconsin went out to an early lead in the 2,000-meter race and was never headed. ‘We expected to be down half a length at the thousand meter mark, then take our big push at the 800, which we usually do,’ said Wisco senior Pat Wolf. ‘We were set for a dogfight in the last 500. We weren’t expecting to be out like we were. We got into some good rhythm off the start. With 700 meters to go, I felt that nobody was going to catch us.’

‘You can get me wet any day of the week with a championship like this,’ said Coach Jablonic after taking an escorted dip into Harsha Lake.”

Temperatures were in the low 90’s with humidity to match. 


  1990 UW Varsity Class Height
Bow Nick Donovan ‘91 6’3”
2 Paul Stevens ‘90 6’5”
3 Dean Olson ‘91 6’1”
4 Matt Dahl ‘90  
5 James Almquist ‘91 6’5”
6 Pat Wolf ‘90 6’3”
7 Todd Hinrichs ‘90 6’8”
Stroke Fitz Dunn ‘90 6’2”
Cox Mark Sniderman ‘92 5’8”


In Cincinnati the same day, the Wisconsin (6:53.70) Varsity Four + won its championship race, beating Washington (7:05.79), Cal (7:20.21), Toulon (7:21.17) and Cincinnati (7:47.30).

  1990 Varsity 4 + (IRA) Class
Bow Geoffrey Cann ‘92
2 William Shenkenberg ‘90
3 Aari Roberts ‘91
Stroke Steve Hatton ‘92
Cox Dennis Schrag ‘92


  1990 Varsity 4 + (Cincinnati ) Class Height Weight
Bow Jim Howery ‘91 6’3” 190
2 Brian Folz ‘91 6’5” 200
3 Matt Imes ‘91 6’2” 180
Stroke Tom Gregor ?    
Cox Dennis Schrag ‘92 5’7” 123

Coach Randy Jablonic, in his 23 rd year as UW’s coach, was voted as the 1990 Coach of the Year by the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges. Wisconsin’s varsity eight was also awarded the Russel S. Callow Memorial Award, recognizing teams “that characterize spirit, courage and unity.”

To go to Henley, Wisco’s rowers needed $26,000. The Navy Olympic Eight Fund will pay $8,100 – airfare for Jablonic, his oarsman and coxswain – after UW won the Cincinnati Regatta. The balance will come out of next year’s crew budget unless it is raised from outside sources.”

Wisconsin made its 4 th appearance at the Royal Henley Regatta’s Ladies’ Challenge Plate, a mile and 5/16ths race. The Badgers ( 6:57) drew a bye in the opening round and defeated Reading University ( 6:48) in the second round. Although having defeated Harvard for the college title, the Crimson ( 6:40) out-dueled Wisconsin ( 6:48) in the semi-finals at Henley, with Harvard eventually winning the “Ladies Plate” race over a club from London. Coach Jablonic offered no excuses saying. “We were flopping all over the place. We did a terrible job of handling the water.”

Harvard defeated University of London by 3 2/3 boat lengths to win the final.



Varsity 8 after IRA win

Varsity 8 after IRA win


Varsity 8 after Cincinatti win

Varsity 8 after Cincinatti win


Varsity 8 with Coach Jablonic with IRA trophy

Varsity 8 with Coach Jablonic with IRA trophy


Derigging after IRAs

Derigging after IRAs


Boat at Foundation

Boat at Foundation


Pictures of Coach Jabo and Varsity 8 before IRA race

Pictures of Coach Jabo and Varsity 8 before IRA race

Pictures of Coach Jabo and Varsity 8 before IRA race

Pictures of Coach Jabo and Varsity 8 before IRA race


Coach Jabo after IRA win

Coach Jabo after IRA win


1990 Photos & Clips Source: UW Althletic Department



Luke Astell
Andy Berns
Geoffry Caan
George Cadwalader
Michael Check
Matthew Dahl
Edward ("Fitz") Dunne
Kirk Everett
John Feller
Michael Fisher
Jeff Freitag
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
Patrick Wolf


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