Day 9 – March 10th
Posted on Saturday, March 10th, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Team picture Spring Training 2018

Athlete: Audrey Boersen
Class: Sophomore
Major: B.S. Behavioral Neuroscience
GPA: 3.6
Height: 5’ 4”
2k: 7:12.7
Academic Goal: Attend Medical School after GVSU
Rowing Goal: To compete on a national team

Spring break for the Laker Navy brings about many challenges, both in and outside of the boat. But the crews have pushed through all of the trials, and for that we’ve come out stronger, better, and faster.

We began the week by starting at square one, beginning with the basics of the stoke. We picked apart the release, the recovery, the catch and the drive. Each day had a different discussion topic, and in the following two practices we would try to perfect what we had just been taught. The changes that came about were evident. Each person took something away from these experiences this week. Whether the athlete was a four year senior, or a one semester freshman each person is able to walk away from this training with their head held high, knowing that they improved through the work that they put in this week.

The past few days have been a culmination of the basics, and the work has shown. Our current women’s varsity eight is made up of two seniors, three juniors, two sophomores, and two freshman. One freshman, in particular, showed herself to be a valuable asset to the team, after just one semester of rowing. After a few “early retirements” a few of the novices stepped up, and for them this week has been about making leaps and bounds of improvement, enough to show that they deserve to be considered for the crew that heads out to the San Diego Crew Classic in a few short weeks. While the veteran rowers were skeptical of these new faces and their rowing experience, the freshmen proved it to the team, and to themselves that they deserve a spot in the boat, by making us a faster team than previous years.

Through their hard work and perseverance the novices have shown the veterans that they are a necessary member of the team, and all of us agree that they should be in the boat because each one has made the boat go faster. Our races against the men’s varsity fours have proven this. At the beginning of the week we struggled to keep up with the men, but after our training, and our perfecting of the stroke, we are able to keep up with this group of men, and even surpass them in some pieces. Today the women proved themselves racing against our men’s fours, but also taking on University of North Carolina’s men’s fours. In each piece the women put up a fight, not wanting to be the losing boat, and, while we didn’t win every race, we showed that we are a boat that will battle until the end, no matter what the odds are.

The Laker Navy is gearing up for a competitive spring season. Our training this week was to reacquaint ourselves with the mechanics of rowing as they happen in the boat. Moving from the basics to the fast pace of racing, this week has been in preparation for the Triple Crown races. Every person has poured blood, sweat, and tears into the spring season so far, and each crew has come away faster, ready to face the challenges of the racing season ahead of us. This week has taught us a lot, but there are some very important points that came out of this week. We learned that no matter your size, or your experience, if you are willing to conquer the challenges presented to you, you will come out stronger than ever before. But a more important lesson is that no one person makes a team, the team is the combined effort of every person in the boat to endure through the pain, and to work together to make the bow ball come out in front.

Rowing Womens Team

Jessie Hasenau, Women’s Team Captain
Hometown: Livonia MI
Major: Clinical Exercise Science

13 practices later, we made it. The day began to blur into one big fartlek for me until this morning when we woke up bright and early for our last row of spring break at the Smoky Mountain Rowing Club. Thank you Coach Allen Eubanks for hosting us this week!

Coach Bancheri being good friends with the University of North Carolina’s coach, Micah Boyd, organized a scrimmage with the men’s crews in fours and our women’s varsity 8+ in the mix. Did the women hold their own? Of course. Did we take a small lead? Perhaps. Still there were some very fast boats, great energy, and improvements made by novice as well as varsity. We worked on our high carry over the waves and the wakes that 2 speedboats generously delivered to us during races. It’s fine, GV can row through anything. Not to mention we had 3 novices in the women’s varsity eight! With this long week of technical rows, seat races, and scrimmages it was exciting for us to measure our current speed going into the spring season.

After a quick lunch with UNC we jumped in the vans to change at the hotel and check out. With the vans packed tight and full tanks of gas we set off at 12:30pm in a 5 car caravan behind the trailer where I am blogging to you live right now. With plenty of van ride games and rtc playlists the drive should go by fast and get home to our cozy beds late tonight. Although we do lose an hour…Don’t forget to set your clocks an hour forward!

Go Lakers!

Jake Jones Pair

Jake Jones
Criminal Justice
Onondaga, MI

Today was our last day of spring training in Louisville/Alcoa, Tennessee before heading back to Michigan to start our spring racing season. As per usual the last day practice was spent doing pieces and seat racing, this is always exciting because everyone is ready to go fast after a long week of technical work. This year we were joined by the University of North Carolina Rowing Club men’s team, this added another level of excitement and energy to the morning. We had been doing a lot of inner-squad racing over the past week and were excited to have new opponents to test our speed against. We started the morning as usual with leaving the hotel at 8am and heading to the course, shortly after we arrived at the course UNC arrived and joined us in the boathouse.

After brief introductions we launched and headed out to start the practice for the day. All of the varsity men were in fours, novice men in eights, and GV varsity women in their eight. All crews warmed up then came together and lined up to start the racing, we did five races that were each five minutes long. After the racing was done we headed back to the dock and had lunch with the UNC men. After lunch we parted ways with UNC and packed up and hit the road to head home. I thought this was a productive spring break, we got a lot of miles in and some technical work as well. I look forward to the spring racing season and seeing how the team does at the triple crown regattas.

Novice Men's Pair

Chris Markules
Grand Rapids, MI
Exercise Science

The last day of spring break, words no college kid wants to hear, but sadly for our group, today was the day. The morning started with a quick breakfast and a rushed packing. Next, we were off to the course to meet North Carolina for racing. They were great competition, really made us focus on our technique and power. The Novice Men team really came together as a group during this race, we rallied together to motivate ourselves to rip as hard as we could. Being a novice in my first semester in rowing I learned so much such as what must be done by each rower consistently to make the boat go its fastest. After the race, we mingled with all of the UNC kids talking about what their spring training has been like. All in all, it was a great week where the team really bonded and got a lot faster, but now we are headed back to the cold of Michigan in the vans.

Coach John with mega phone

Coach John Bancheri (14th year)
Hometown: Atlantic City, NJ
Major: History Area Studies and Social Science
Minor: Coaching
Masters in Liberal Arts

Last day of spring training 2018 at the East Tennessee Rowing Organizations Smoky Mountain Rowing Club. Coach Allen Eubanks has been a great host and very supportive of our endeavor.

Today coach Micah Boyd and his North Carolina Tar Heels came up to scrimmage our crews in 1500 pieces. The North Carolina men’s four won the Head of the Charles in the fall. Therefore they were a great benchmark to measure our development and current speed.

I was pleased with the direction of the outcomes. With a few changes, I believe we have found correct combinations as we move forward into the racing season.

I was especially pleased with our Varsity Women’s 8 who hung with and beat some of the men’s fours. After getting a good whipping from the Michigan State Varsity women, our Ladies continued improving. Today in relation to our fours they were are markedly faster. Not bad with two novice sitting 3 and 4 seat.

It has been a great week for everyone and we all learned a lot. I’ve been coaching now for almost 40 years and this Camp was as productive as any I remember. The top level athletes we have will make a fast 8. They will represent the Laker Navy this spring to the best of their ability.

Go Lakers!

The Grand Valley State University Rowing Club challenges its student-athletes to reach the highest level to which they aspire both academically and athletically, while continuing to build and sustain a nationally competitive intercollegiate rowing program.

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