By Ross Anderson
The Lakers have already outdid themselves this year, taking second overall at regattas such as Head of the Elk and MACRA regattas while also taking home the Lubbers Cup team points trophy. However, the Lakers still had more in them. To top the year off, GVSU claimed fifth place in the overall team standings at the biggest regatta of the year, the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.
St. Joseph’s won the regatta with 47 points and was followed by Purdue at 25. Temple was next with 21, Florida Institute of Technology was fourth with 19 and GVSU had 18, tying them with University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Seven boats from GVSU competed at the regatta, with an impressive five that made it to the grand final in their event. It was a major accomplishment for the Lakers, especially since last year only one of five boats entered made it to the finals.
The highlight for the regatta for the Lakers was the varsity women’s eight, who took second overall in the Division II/III eight race. They were less than two seconds behind Barry University, who had won the SIRA regatta by three seconds over the Lakers.
The varsity men’s four also had a strong performance. Out of the 53 boats that entered, and 50 that actually raced, the Lakers came in fifth, but were less than four seconds away from first place. The top five were all in the mid-to-low 6:30s.
The novice had extraordinary performances. Both men and women’s eight boats won their semifinal and came in fourth overall by slim margins. This was a major improvement over last year, where both novice eights also finished fourth……in their heats, that is, and got eliminated on the first day of racing. The novice men’s four also put up a fight, coming in third in their heat.
The men’s pair came in fifth in the finals. The JV women’s eight came in fifth in their semifinal, having to race against crews from much bigger Division I schools.
This was the last race of the season for Grand Valley. It was also the last race as Lakers for seniors Rachel Truelove, Ross Anderson, Damaris Lanjopoulos, Tyler Biggins, Rachel Boss, and Stephanie Ricker.