GVSU Completes First Spring Break Under Bancheri
By Ross Anderson
Last week the Laker Navy headed south to hit the water for Spring Break in beautiful Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the site of the SIRA regatta.
It was coach Bancheri’s first Spring Break with the team. That being said, the team got introduced to his style of running a Spring Break. Most athletes literally got off the bus, rigged up their boats, and went on one of Bancheri’s famous “Darth Vader” rows, a 30-kilometer+ row in which athletes are so tired afterwards that they breathe like Darth Vader. This was used as a way of getting used to the water again.
The “Darth Vader” row was the longest row of the trip for the rowers. On the other days in Tennessee, they practiced 2-3 times a day and did various speed workouts and technical rows.
Even though all the rowing took a lot of energy from the athletes, they still managed to have some fun.
“(What did I do) For fun? I napped!” said Kristin Granroth jokingly.“We went to the University of Tennessee too. We got to see their boathouse, and it was very nice. It had its own locker room, meeting room, kitchen, laundry, etc. And just hanging out with all the other rowers was fun, watching movies and picnicking and such.”
Most athletes also enjoyed team dinners, reading their “Spring Break Training Guide” and going hot tubbing.
On Saturday morning the team left Oak Ridge to go to Murray, KY., for a regatta against the Murray State University Racers on Sunday. Murray State was generous enough to provide GVSU with hotel rooms and a free meal the night before the race.
The Lakers raced mostly fours against the Racers. The Lakers won the varsity men’s four, with the A boat coming in at 5:33.7, the B boat taking second, and the lightweights taking 4th. The women’s A boat in the fours won by over 15 seconds over Murray State, while the lightweight four almost beat the second heavyweight boat, coming in about a second behind. Both the men and women’s varsity eights won.
The novice also had a good day in their first collegiate “sprint” races. The men placed two boats ahead of Murray States’ four, while the women’s A boat won. They also raced in the eight against the varsity. The men, only having to race against the Laker varsity, held close and only finished seven seconds behind them. The women also finished close to their varsity counterparts.
After racing Murray State the team headed home and arrived back in Allendale late on Sunday night. After spending this past week back indoors, the team looks to get out on the water and finish getting ready for the racing season.
Most Athletes will compete in the Grand Rapids Erg Championships on March 18. The Lakers will next race outside when they host the Lubbers Cup Regatta in Grand Rapids at Riverside Park on March 25.