Archive for October, 2007

Lakers Come Up Big at Head of the Charles

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

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.

GVSU Celebrates 40 Years of Competitive Rowing

Monday, October 15th, 2007

The Grand Valley Rowing Team celebrated 40 years of rowing this past weekend at their Homecoming Races. Alumni from as far back as the Laker’s first squad joined in the festivities as the team christened four new boats, honored past rowers, and shared in some friendly competition.

The afternoon began with class races in which representatives from each year raced for the pride of their class. The senior men took home a victory, followed by the juniors, then the sophomores. In the women’s race, the upperclassmen edged out the underclassmen in the last leg of the race.

A ceremony followed to honor Grand Valley Rowing’s past. Several alumni and previous coaches were awarded plaques to recognize their dedication to the Laker Navy. In addition GVSU’s four newest boats were christened. Two pairs were named following the new tradition of naming boats after past club presidents. Both John Palk and Rob Johnson were both in attendance to say a few words and accept their great honor. Two fours were also christened as a tribute to past coaches. The “Coach Jack Anderson” was named after the 1966-68 coach who was instrumental in starting the Grand Valley Rowing tradition and led the team during their first years of intercollegiate competition. Several members of Jack’s crews were present to speak in honor of him and the program. Lastly, the Richard Laurance was christened with water from the Thames River in England. Coach Laurance was at the event, as were some of his crew members, Shane Szalai and Olympic rower Dana Schmunk, to speak on his behalf.

Then it was the alumni’s turn to get back into a boat and show what they can do. In a battle against the novice eights, both the men and women alumni came out on top.

Select crews will represent Grand Valley next weekend at the world-renowned Head of the Charles in Boston. The remainder of the team will race at the Head of the Grand in Lansing on Sunday.

Laker Navy Kicks Off Fall Season

Monday, October 8th, 2007

A lot of people were talking about Grand Valley this past weekend at the Head of the Genesee Regatta. Of course people are going to wonder where you’re from when you’re a small-town Michigan school traveling to Rochester, NY. But a lot of the talk was about how Grand Valley was so good.

Three of six Grand Valley boats brought home medals from the race, with the rest of the crews putting up impressive times at the team’s first regatta of the season.

This regatta, however, was run a little differently than most. Final rankings were determined by a combination of a sprint and head race. The morning 5K times were added to the afternoon 1500 meter sprint times which were multiplied by three to determine the winners.

The men’s Varsity 8+ came up big, bringing home a second place collegiate and fifth place overall finish. After the morning races, Grand Valley was seeded against Harvard University for the 1500 meter sprint. But they were no match for the Lakers as they crossed the finish line three seconds before the renowned Ivy League school. Their combined time was 29:39.03. Colgate won the collegiate event at 29:16.45, while Brown University (28:45.05) took home gold overall. The men’s Second Varsity 8+, facing the same tough competition, came up with a 15th place collegiate and 19th place overall finish.

The men’s Varsity Lightweight 8+ pulled of an impressive second place as well, coming in behind one of the fastest lightweight boats in North America. The Lakers (30:59.47) proved their speed by finishing just seconds behind Western Ontario (30:37.83), a crew composed of some Canadian National Team members, in both the head and sprint races.

The men’s Varsity 4+ (33:40.81) made a comeback in the 1500 meter sprint to claim a silver medal overall. In fourth after the head race, the Lakers pulled the fastest 4+ time of the day to jump into second place behind only Brown University (33:12.33).

The women’s team made an impressive showing as well. The Varsity 8+ (35:10.41) came in fourth place in the collegiate division and 12th of 35 overall. Cornell won the event with a time of 33:13.37, with Williams topping the collegiate event (34:20.57). The Varsity 4+ faced some tough competition as well and took tenth place in their event. Cornell again took home a first place finish.

The Lakers next event will take place Saturday, October 13, where they will welcome back rowing alumni for their Homecoming Races at the Allendale boathouse.

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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