Minnesota returns for first home regatta in two years

The Gophers will host Wisconsin at Lake Phalen in St. Paul.

by Dane Mizutani


It’s been more than two years, but a rowing competition will finally return to the Twin Cities on Sunday at Lake Phalen in St. Paul.

Minnesota will host its first regatta since April 24, 2010 this weekend against rival Wisconsin.

While it’s technically a home meet, the Gophers lack one of the main advantages of competing at home — familiarity with the course.

“It’s considered a home meet, but we haven’t been at home for two years,” head coach Wendy Davis said. “I’m really excited about getting back there.”

The Gophers will enter this weekend after having a successful season against other Big Ten schools to date.

But there’s nothing like a border battle with the Badgers.

“We’re really excited to race Wisconsin because they’re one of our biggest rivals,” senior Leah Rogotzke said.

Davis said she is excited for the tradition this regatta could start for the future.

“This is only the second year that we’ve been able to have a meet with Wisconsin,” Davis said. “We’re just excited to have the tradition and carry it forward. It’s a great rivalry, and I’m so glad we’re doing it.”

Although the Badgers’ program is 27 years older than Minnesota’s, Davis said her expectations for the team are the same as with any meet.

“I want to see our first varsity eight race to their ability,” she said. “We haven’t seen that yet this season.”

In its last competition, the first varsity eight lost by nearly 20 seconds to then-No. 1 Virginia.

The Badgers enter this weekend ranked No. 9 in the national poll. Minnesota is unranked.

“We’re going up against a really powerful team, and I want us to perform the way I know we can perform,” Davis said.

Rogotzke said this weekend will be especially nice because the team won’t have to get on a plane to travel.

“We’re excited to have fans come out to support and not have to travel really long hours to compete,” she said. “It’s always a really nice atmosphere when you have a home regatta.”