Zack Peters, Team President
Hometown: Royal Oak, MI
Major: Marketing and Finance
This has been a fantastic and productive week in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It is especially significant to me because it will be my last Spring Break training trip with the team. As president and a four year senior I think that this training trip was one of the best I have ever been on. Our hotel was perfect for the team and had many amenities available. There were hearty early morning breakfasts and late night euchre games.
The course was just a short drive from the hotel and the weather was good all week. During practice we stood true to Fairbairn’s old adage that mileage makes champions. We rowed three separate darth vader rows and did some of the most productive technical work I have ever been a part of. The whole team has made great strides as oarsmen and oarswomen on this trip. In addition to the technical improvements we also did a bunch of seat racing. Everyone fought hard and earned their seats as the bell notes rang.
We took advantage of all that Oak Ridge had to offer. We visited The American Museum of Science and Energy where they gave our organization a presentation about the areas nuclear history. Afterward we went to a Chinese buffet where we stuffed ourselves in order to prepare for seat racing the following day. On Wednesday we went to Gatlinburg for an afternoon of good food and tourism. The team enjoyed going to many different shops and attractions along the main drag.
Overall this week was an amazing experience for our organization. A lot of learning, fun, and fitness was had by all. Thank you so much to all of the parents, donors, and supporters that made this week possible. We can’t do what we do without your help.
Faith Platz, Women’s Team Captain
Hometown: Grand Haven, MI
Happy last day of Spring Training! I think the weather was trying to ease us back into Michigan temperatures, because we woke up to some snowfall today. After we gathered up all our belongings and had a quick breakfast at the hotel, we piled into the vans and headed to the course for the last time. It was pretty busy at the venue due to an NCAA women’s regatta, but we were able to get a long steady state row in. The women were in two fours, and we did some battle paddle and worked on our technique even more, implementing the slap-square drill by all four. To finish the week on the water, all crews did a 2k piece on the course during the regatta’s lunch break. It was good to see all our hard work culminate into this last race, and it definitely warmed us up in this chilly weather!
Once we docked, the de-rigging and loading began. It’s definitely much much easier to load everything with our new trailer, so things went pretty smoothly. After everything was all loaded and ready to go, we took our annual team photo, then Coach B commended our efforts for this week. Everyone put in so much work and we made a lot of progress both on and off the water. Spring Break is always a little bit daunting, with all the pressure of seat races, the exhaustion of Darth Vader rows, and the painful amount of blisters that make it almost impossible to flatten your hand, but we all survived! And better yet, we are headed back to Allendale knowing that we improved as a team, and I personally cannot wait until we get to finally put our efforts to the test in San Diego in a few short weeks. For everyone who always keeps up with these blogs, thank you so much for your support! We wouldn’t be near as successful or able to compete at the level we do without you. And, as always, keep pulling for the Laker Navy!
Hometown: Ada, MI
Major: Exercise Science
Today was a great last day of spring break. We checked out of the hotel bright and early for a morning row. We had a quick chalk talk upon arriving to the course and immediately got on to the water for skill and drill and a steady state row. We took out a mix of eight and fours and spent a lot of time focused on the control of the blade and the catch, greatly improving our boat dynamics. We ended our final practice of spring break with a 2000 meter piece at a 28 stroke rate, focusing on propulsion per stroke. After that we quickly loaded the trailer, had a few photo op’s and got on the road. We’re headed home, and not prepared for the cold ahead. Overall, we had a great spring break at Oak Ridge Rowing Association filled with huge gains and massive improvements. I know I can speak for the rest of the team in saying that we can’t wait to keep breaking records and getting faster. See you next year, Oak Ridge!