Archive for April, 2008

GVSU Championship Season Underway

Monday, April 21st, 2008

The Grand Valley Rowing Team started their championship racing season this past weekend at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta in Tennessee. Two of seven boats came home with gold medals, and the rest of the team made huge accomplishments for the program.

For the first thousand meters of the Men’s Lightweight Varsity 8+ race, Grand Valley, Purdue, and Texas were neck and neck. But that was when the Lakers made their move, taking a boat length’s lead and never looking back. When they crossed the finish line, they had a six second lead over the pack, coming in with a time of 6:19.20.

The Women’s Novice 8+ also dominated their event, beating out several Division I crews on their way to gold medals. This race by far brought their biggest competition of the season, but proved no match for the Lakers as they went on to win both heats and finals. Their time in the finals of 7:01.90 beat scholarship programs, such as Kansas and Louisville, and would have won the DII, DIII, and Club Novice event by almost 20 seconds.

The Men’s Varsity 8+ made their first appearance in the Grand Final after 1st and 3rd place finishes in heats and semis. They fell a little short, though, in the finals, finishing in 5th place overall. Their time of 6:07.84 put them seven seconds ahead of 6th place Florida Tech, but behind the leaders, Virginia and Purdue.

After dominating the DII, DIII, and Club event last year, the Women’s Varsity 8+ stepped it up a level, racing for the first time in the Division I/ Open event. The Lakers finished third in their heat, winning them a spot in the Grand Final. They fought a tough race in the finals, but in the end couldn’t overcome the speed of their competition, finishing in 6th place (6:58.30). Purdue won the event with a time of 6:47.50. Ohio State won the DII, DIII, and Club event with a time of 7:09.40.

An impressive second place finish in heats landed the Men’s Varsity 4+ in the AB semifinals, but after another tight race, the Lakers were edged out of third place by just over a second. They still qualified for the Petite Final, however, and their time of 7:10.12 put them at second place behind Virginia Tech and was the fifth fastest men’s 4+ of the day overall.

The Men’s Novice 8+ came in second in their heat, nearly 10 seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. But after a close race in semis, the Lakers were out of reach of third place, putting them into the Petite Finals. Grand Valley took third in the final to St. Joe’s and Dayton, but beat rivals Marietta in the process.

The Women’s Second Varsity 8+ rowed a personal best race in the DII, DIII, and Club Varsity 8+ event, finishing fourth in their heat and fifth in their semifinal.

Grand Valley looks forward to facing some of this weekend’s top competition again in their upcoming races. Next up for the Laker Navy is the Mid-American Collegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta in Athens, Ohio on May 3. From there, they will stay and train in Ohio before making the trip to Philadelphia, PA for the Dad Vail Club National Championship.

Not Even Ice Stops the Laker Navy

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Not more than a week ago, Spring Lake was covered in ice. Today, it was host to the first major regatta in the city in over 120 years. Thursday afternoon, Coach John Bancheri and some local family and friends took launches to the ice and broke up the lake so that the 2nd annual “Other West Coast” Regatta could go on.

Grand Valley had a very successful day, winning the overall and women’s points trophies and bringing home lots of medals. The University of Michigan, a last minute addition to the races after theirs was cancelled due to ice, took the men’s points trophy.

In the first final of the morning, Grand Valley’s Women’s Varsity 8+ blew past the competition to take first place. The Lakers came in with a time of 7:08.95, with Ohio State in second and Marquette following in third. After the race, GVSU coach awarded Michigan State’s coxswain a special medal after using her arms to steer when she lost her rudder in the first 40.”

The Novice Women’s 8+ followed suit, dominating the competition by over 30 seconds. Their 7:22.93 put them ahead of Ohio State, The University of Cincinnati, and Marquette University.

After winning their heat to advance, the Men’s Varsity 8+ battled it out with the University of Michigan for the second weekend in a row. But it was the Wolverines again that came out ahead, winning with a time of 6:13.47. The Lakers pulled a 6:15.53, which beat third place Michigan State by twenty seconds.

In the lightweight/ 2V 8+ race was also a similar match up from last weekend as the Grand Valley lightweights had another close race with Michigan. Neck and neck the entire race, Michigan pulled ahead in the last few hundred meters, taking the Lakers by a second and a half with a time of 6:23.51. The Lakers did, however, beat the other lightweight boats in the race, coming out ahead of Northwestern and Ohio State.

The Women’s 2V 8+ took second place in their event (7:59.27) while the Novice Men’s 8+ took fourth in theirs (6:37.86). Grand Valley’s Men’s 3V 8+ took 6th in the 2V/lightweight event (7:03.24).

In the Men’s Varsity 4+ races, Grand Valley took first in the “A” event (7:09.58) to beat out the Michigan and the University of Cincinnati, whereas they took first (7:03.01) and third ( 7:23.23) in the “B” event with U of M in between.

Grand Valley’s novice women showed their speed again in the 4+ races, winning the “A” event and taking the top two places in the “B” event.

The Men’s Lightweight 4+’s were also impressive, taking first, second, and fourth in the event.

Ohio State took Grand Valley’s Women’s Varsity 4+ in the last 500 meters of the “A” race, putting the Lakers in second by less than a second (7:57.16). But it was the Lakers in the “B” event that came out on top in their race, their 8:16.47 beating second by nearly 30 seconds.

The Men’s Novice 4+’s had a similar finish, with the “A” boat taking second and the “B” boat in first.

The Lakers will have next weekend “off” as they stay home and train for their upcoming championship races. They will then travel to Tennessee for the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship regatta the weekend of April 19-20.

Laker Alumnus Impressive at NSR

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Ross Anderson did his alma matter proud after competing in the National Selection Regatta this past weekend. Ross finished 19th of 32 in the Men’s Single time trials. Ross graduated from Grand Valley in 2006 and is currently living in Philadelphia and training at Penn AC, working towards his goal of making the U.S. National Team.

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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