With over 300,000 spectators in attendance and 8,000+ competitors, the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston is the largest in the world. And that is where selected crews raced this past weekend, making a name for themselves as all three Grand Valley boats brought home top ten finishes in their events.
Both the men’s and women’s 8+ earned themselves medals after identical fourth place finishes in the collegiate events. The men’s 8+, consisting of Lisa Malloure (cox), Geoff Sadek (stroke), Blake Donovan (7), Dan Vainner (6), Cody Copus (5), Jeff Slater (4), Breck Davis (3), Tripp Fay (2) and Tim Vallier (bow), fought their way back from an oar-clashing pass to claim the fourth fastest (15:24.365). The Lakers beat out 38 teams on their way, including Brock University in Cananda, Mercyhurst, and the University of Rochester.
Starting 42nd of 44, the women’s varsity 8+ passed four boats on their way to a fourth place finish. Their time of 17:50.382 put them ahead of school such as the University of California-San Diego, Washington University, and Queens University Canada. Representing Grand Valley in this event was (stroke to bow): cox Katie Higgins, Sarah Zelenka, Sam Morgan, Katelin Steigenga, Alex Vander Ark, Lauren Holben, Megan Hubbell, Kelli O’Brien, and Kristin Granroth. Trinity College came out on top in both events with times of 14:58.705 (men’s) and 17:20.077 (women’s).
The men’s lightweight 4+ also made an impressive 10th place finish. Their time of 17:16.388 was good enough to push them past Cornell, Penn A.C., and rivals Northwestern University. Prestigious lightweight programs of New York Athletic Club (16:29.091) and Yale University (16:32.524) took the top spots in the event. Crew members include (stroke to bow): cox Alissa Jaster, Thomas Beebe, Adam Cecil, Mike Stoll, and Dan Robertson.
Coach Bob Stanage also raced this past weekend, competing in the Men’s Senior-Masters Single. He finished with a time of 24:06.892, shaving some time off of his previous races.
In other rowing news, the rest of the team competed at the Head of the Grand Regatta in Lansing on Sunday. The men’s second varsity 8+ and lightweight 8+ raced in the Varsity 8+ event, placing 1st and 3rd respectively. The women’s second varsity 8+ took 2nd place in the varsity 8+ event.
The novice squads also made an impressive showing in their first regatta of the season. Novice men took first and third in heat one of the novice 8+ event, and second in heat two. They also claimed first and second place finishes in the 4+ event. The novice women also dominated their competition, taking the top two spots in the 8+ event and the top four in the 4+.
The Lakers will take next weekend off and resume competition November 3 and 4 where the whole team will travel to Tennessee for the Head of the Chattahoochee. All crews will race on Saturday with varsity athletes staying for the Sunday races. Novices will travel back to Wyandotte, MI for the BSAF Fall Regatta.