Archive for July, 2008

Record Season Concludes

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Grand Valley State University’s rowing team capped its most successful season ever with an appearance in the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England. The Grand Valley men’s eight advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to Trinity College, of Hartford, Conn. by 2/3 length (40 ft). The Laker Navy women’s eight also advanced to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by Thames Rowing Club of England in the Women’s Henley Regatta.

The women’s eight kicked off the racing in England by competing in the Women’s Henley Regatta held June 20-22 in Henley-on-Thames. The women won two match races in the Senior Eight event against Auriol Kensington of England and the National University of Ireland respectively to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, the varsity eight fell to Thames Rowing Club of England. Sophomore Sam Morgan said about the race, “They took us off the start and we never fell back into rhythm. We fought hard, but we were fighting from behind. It was a great effort but we fell a bit short.”

The 2008 trip was the first for GVSU since 2004 and marked the furthest a women’s eight has advanced at the Henley Women’s Regatta. The women’s performance against top international clubs provides high hopes for next season as all nine athletes that competed will be returning to the team.

As the women finished their regatta, the men headed to England for the Henley Royal Regatta to be held July 2-6. The men competed in the Temple Challenge Cup amongst 75 entries. Being selected as a top tier team, the men avoided the qualification round and entered into the field of 32 teams. Again, the Laker Navy advanced to the quarterfinals by beating the University of Warwick and Shrewsbury College in match races. This set up a match race against the ECAC National Champion and US Rowing Collegiate Poll 15th ranked Trinity College eight. The men fought hard, losing to Trinity in the end by roughly 1 second over a 6 minute and 46 second race. The narrow loss to Trinity showed that the Lakers are on their way to becoming a top ranked program. The men will also return all eight oarsmen for next years campaign with high hopes after finishing in the top eight of 75 top international clubs.

The defeat was the final race for senior coxswain Lisa Malloure. “As heartbreaking as the loss was, I am very proud of our performance. I think it was our best race of the year even though it ended in defeat. Competing at the Henley Royal Regatta was a great way to end my four years rowing at Grand Valley.”

The Henley Royal Regatta is a storied race, first staged in 1839 and held annually ever since, except during the two World Wars. Grand Valley previously raced in the Henley in 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2004. Director of Rowing John Bancheri said it was an experience of a lifetime for the team and coaching staff.

“The highlights of the trip were rowing in the worlds oldest regatta, seeing both our men’s and women’s eights make it to the field of eight and our athletes having the opportunity to meet, socialize and develop relationships with people involved in rowing from all over the world. Our students rose above their abilities and beyond their comfort zones. They performed beyond our expectations and they had the opportunity to expand their worldview as well as represent our university on the international stage.”

This event marks the end of Grand Valley’s most successful rowing season. The team won the point championship at the American College Rowing Association National Club Championship Regatta in Oklahoma this spring and took second place in points at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia. The team also finished in the grand final at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association championship in April.

Former Grand Valley Head Rowing Coach Chad Jedlic led GVSU to the Henley Royal Regatta in 2002 and 2004. He summarizes, “The Grand Valley athletes who attend these regattas gain an appreciation for the world and for the USA. They learn that they are able to compete against the biggest colleges and the fastest universities. They learn that they should feel confident and proud to wear the Grand Valley colors, no matter who they face. I believe that gaining this confidence affects the athletes in a very positive manner and remains with them throughout their lives. As the athletes who competed for Grand Valley in ’02 and ’04 finished up their undergraduate studies, they left Grand Valley feeling confident because they learned how to set challenging goals and pursue them with passion and resolve.”

Men’s Eight Eliminated at HRR

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

The Grand Valley men’s eight was eliminated this morning from the Henley Royal Regatta. In a valiant effort, the Lakers fell to Trinity College, USA by 2/3 length. The 10:00am start time saw little to no wind on the course and beautiful weather. Through the island Trinity jumped out to a 1/4 length lead with a quick start. Rowing two beats higher, Trinity lengthened their lead to 1 and 1/4 length at the halfway point. Expecting the early push from Trinity, Grand Valley patiently waited to make their move into the Bantams in the last thousand meters. Matching rate with Trinity over the final part of the course, the Lakers fought back to within a 1/2 length at the grandstands. Despite cutting the lead in half, the charge came a bit late as Grand Valley ran out of river to catch the ECAC Champion Trinity eight. The final verdict was Trinity by 2/3 length in a time of 6.46.

The loss was the final race for senior coxswain Lisa Malloure. Lisa commented, “As heartbreaking as the loss was, I am very proud of our performance. I think it was our best race of the year even though it ended in defeat. Competing at the Henley Royal Regatta was a great way to end my four years rowing at Grand Valley.”

This event landmarks the end to GVSU’s most successful season. The men’s eight gained speed throughout the year. Finishing in the grand final at SIRA and Dad Vail, rowing to a third place finish at ACRA, and making it to the quarterfinals at the Henley Royal Regatta displays the improvements each rower made over the last few weeks and months. The men’s team will return all eight oarsmen from this crew next year.

Grand Valley Rowing Club would like to thank everyone who made this trip possible through their generous donations and tremendous support!

Lakers Advance to Quarterfinals at HRR

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008


The flagship of the Laker Navy defeated Shrewsbury College today in the round of sixteen at the Henley Royal Regatta. Outweighing Shrewsbury by nearly 2 stone, Grand Valley jumped out early and powered through the water at a long, low and controlled striking rate. With a deck lead at the island, the Lakers were happy to lengthen out to thirty-three strokes per minute against the thirty-eight strokes per minute that Shrewsbury settled to. The lighter crew pushed GVSU through the halfway point at a much higher rating, while Grand Valley was satisfied at the more powerful rate. With a boat length lead at the mile marker, Grand Valley held off a late charge from Shrewsbury heading into the grandstands. The official result was a length and 1/4 victory at a 6.56.

Coach Bancheri noted, “I watched the first race from the umpire launch Panache. Ironically, that is how I told the guys to handle the racing these last few weeks…with a lot of panache. In the first race against Warwick, I thought we were unsteady and short through the water. Today we loaded up and worked on length. The bladework was sharper and much more effective. Tomorrow we race Trinity College, coached by one of my mentors, and, in my opinion, one of the best coaches in the country. It will be a privellage for GVSU to have the opportunity to match up with Trinity.”

The flagship will match up against the ECAC National Champion eight in Trinity College, USA tomorrow in the quarterfinals. Trinity advanced against Oxford Brooks University ‘A’ today in a time of 6.47. The draw for tomorrow’s race is posted at the HRR website. The race time will be 10:00am (5:00am est) and Grand Valley will be starting from the Berkshire shore for the first time this regatta.

Grand Valley featured in the Henley report on Row2k. Follow the link:

Laker Navy Advance at HRR

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

The Laker Navy matched up against University of Warwick in the first round of the Temple Challenge Cup today at 11:05am and tallied a 3 and 3/4 length victory. The crew from GVSU weighed in at an average of 13 stone and 2 pounds against University of Warwick at 13 pounds 6 pounds. Clean off the start, Grand Valley lengthened out to a 1 and 1/4 lead by the barrier in a time of 1.59. Rowing controlled and with a long, relaxed rhythm, the Lakers powered out in front of the University of Warwick and dropped the rating by the half-way point. Riding from the launch, spare oarsman Justin Ott commented, “The guys looked smooth and relaxed, and I am sure that they have a lot of speed left in them.” Controlling the race throughout, the flagship eight cruised in with a time of 7.02.

Grand Valley will face a Shrewsbury College crew weighing in at 11 stone and 10 pounds which defeated Eton College in a time of 7.02. The draw for tomorrow’s round of sixteen will be posted today at 7:30pm (2:30pm est). You can look up the draw by following the link:
Henley Draw

Listen to the Regatta Radio at the link:
Regatta Radio

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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