Latz takes fifth in Olympic rowing


MADISON, Wis. —  The 15th Wisconsin women’s rower in program history to compete in the Olympics, and its first openweight to compete in the games since 2000, Grace Latz completed her run at the 2016 Olympics for Team USA with a fifth-place result Thursday morning in the women’s quadruple sculls.

Racing on Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas on Thursday in the final, one day after weather postponed the originally scheduled final, Latz and her crew crossed the 2000-meter finish line in 6:57.670.

Poland, like it has done in each race this Olympics, stormed out to an early lead over the field. Holding first through 1500 meters, it couldn’t hold off the Germans, whose sprint over the final 500 meters grabbed the gold medal. The Germans timed a 6:49.390.

The Netherlands also kicked past Poland at the line for the silver medal in 6:50.330, while Poland ended up winning the bronze in 6:50.860.

Finishing fourth was Ukraine in 6:56.090, which battled Latz and the United States for fourth all the way down the course.

At Wisconsin, second-team All-Big Ten Conference and academic all-Big Ten rower Latz helped the Badgers to the 2010 Big Ten Rowing Championship, the school’s first and only Big Ten team title in the sport. That year, Latz also helped the Badgers place seventh as a team at the NCAA championships, also the school’s best finish to date.

Latz is part of a group of four former Badger rowers at the Olympics as part of USA’s rowing contingent, with former teammate Vicky Opitz there as an alternate, and Kendall Schmidt and Matt Imes serving the 2016 U.S. Olympic Rowing Team as part of the staff.