Archive for October, 2008

Lakers Compete at Head of the Charles

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Though a winding course, stiff winds, and rough waters made it a challenging day for the Lakers, both the men’s and women’s crews battled back to claim top ten finishes at the Head of the Charles Regatta.

The Men’s Varsity 8+ started their race in the fourth position, but quickly closed the gap on the crews ahead of them. By the time they reached Riverside Bridge, the first checkpoint of the race, the Lakers had the fastest split in the field by over two seconds (3:23.785). They maintained their lead with a time of 8:26.139 at the second checkpoint, the Weld Exhibition, about halfway through the race. The Lakers had a little trouble, though, coming around the nearly 180-degree turn in the last mile of the race, losing a few seconds and falling behind Williams College as they passed the Cambridge Boat Club 12:40.338 into their race. Unfortunately for the Lakers, this was ground they could not make up as they crossed the finish line fourth with a time of 15:15.112, four seconds behind winners Williams College (15:11.487). Trinity College and Brock University came in second and third, respectively.

The Women’s Varsity 8+ was the third boat to start in their race. Still within reach of the leaders, the Lakers were in fourth place at the Riverside Bridge (4:01.856), leaders and held a four second gap over the boats behind them. They held onto their fourth place spot through the midway point at Weld with a time of 9:51.424, still opening water on the other crews. But the women too had a problem with the 180-degree bend in the river, stopping completely to avoid a collision with the bridge and to complete the turn. Despite this, the Lakers fought back and managed to hold on to a tenth place finish with an overall time of 18:02.775. Williams College finished in first with a time of 17:11.649, followed by Bates College and then Trinity.

Outside of racing, the Lakers made a long weekend of the trip, leaving for Boston late Thursday night. After arriving Friday afternoon, the team had the opportunity to practice on the Charles River and row the course before race day. Afterwards, they spent the evening in Harvard Square for dinner and to see the sights of the city.

Saturday was a day for rest and relaxation as the Lakers prepared for their day of racing. And what better way to prepare for a race than with a great dinner: the team was invited to Outback Steakhouse where owner and Grand Valley Alumnus James Dunleavy provided a delicious meal to the rowers. Overall, the team had a great experience both on and off the racecourse.

The Lakers are now off until Saturday, November 1 when they will travel to Indianapolis, Indiana for the Head of the Eagle regatta.

Grand Valley Dominates Head of the Grand

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

While Grand Valley’s first Men’s and Women’s 8+ fought against national rowing powers over in Boston, the remainder of the Grand Valley Rowing team awoke early Sunday morning for an hour’s drive to Lansing, bringing the Laker Navy into battle with three major Michigan schools at the Head of the Grand Regatta: the University of Michigan, Michigan Tech, and the hosting school, Michigan State University. In addition to elevating Grand Valley’s second Men’s and Women’s 8+ to first varsity if only for the weekend, the Head of the Grand provided the first bona fide away race experience for GVSU’s multitude of novice rowers.

Both Novice 8+ events were won with ample time by Grand Valley: the two Women’s Novice 8+ placed first and second, the lead boat finishing with a time of 13:07, while the first Men’s Novice 8+ finished at 11:31, ahead of University of Michigan at 11:55, with the second Grand Valley boat coming in close behind.

Grand Valley finished first again in the Women’s Varsity 8+ with a time of 12:27; Michigan State placed second at 13:17. GVSU’s second entry in the Women’s V8+ came in at third at 13:47.

The Men’s Varsity 8+ brought the afternoon to a climax with a victory over the University of Michigan, Grand Valley finishing at 10:57 to Michigan’s 11:09. A second Michigan boat and a Michigan State boat finished third and fourth, with the Grand Valley B boat coming in at fifth, after mid-race equipment breakage, with a time of 11:36.

In addition to the 8+ events Grand Valley also obtained both first and second in both the Men’s and Women’s Varsity 4+ events, as well as a victory in the Lightweight Men’s Varsity 4+. GVSU competed in several other events, such as the Novice 4+, as well.

Over in Boston Grand Valley’s two first varsity 8+ concluded their expedition to the 44th Head of the Charles Regatta, the Men’s Varsity 8+ placing fourth overall and the Women’s Varsity 8+ placing tenth overall.

Lakers Head to Charles

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Midway through the fall season, the Laker Navy is prepared to take on the challenge of the world’s largest regatta. Selected crews will travel to Boston, MA for the Head of the Charles Regatta this weekend, October 18 & 19.

Both the men’s and women’s eights placed fourth in their respective events last year, but both crews are hoping to make an even more impressive finish this year. The men are seeded 4th out of 38 boats, starting out behind Trinity, Wesleyan, and Hobart. The women will be starting 3rd out of 34 boats, looking to catch Trinity and Williams College.

The selected crews for the Head of the Charles include:

Men’s Collegiate Eight – Starting Position 4 of 38

BOW- Adam Cecil SR. Sociology/History Grosse Ile, MI
2- Justin Ott SR. Health Professions Goshen, IN
3- Breck Davis JR. International Business Kalamazoo, MI
4- Mark McClusky JR. Management Info Systems Ann Arbor, MI
5- Ryan League JR. Biology/Pre-Vet Bettendorf, IA
6- Eddie Eisenhauer JR. Nursing New Lothrup, MI
7- Blake Donovan SR. Social Studies/Economics Brighton, MI
STROKE- Geoff Sadek SR. Biomedical Science/French Grand Rapids, MI
COX- Justin Elwood FR. Psychology Milford, MI

Women’s Collegiate Eight – Starting Position 3 of 34

BOW- Kelli O'Brien SR. Biomedical Science Saginaw, MI
2- Alex VanderArk JR. Physicians Assistant Byron Center, MI
3- Kendra Socks JR. Geography/Art/Spanish Rochester Hills, MI
4- Kelsey Arnold SO. Communications Hudsonville, MI
5- Katelin Steigenga SR. Health Prof./Sociology Spring Lake, MI
6- Katie Phelan JR. Intl.Relations/Spanish Jackson, MI
7- Sarah Zelenka SR. Health Prof./Psychology Itasca, IL
STROKE- Samantha Morgan SR. Social Work Clarkston, MI
COX- Ashley Stevens JR. Advertising/PR Grosse Point Woods, MI
The men will race first at 12:46 on Sunday, with the women’s race following at 1:01. Parents, alumni, and friends traveling to Boston are asked to meet at the Weekes Foot Bridge around 11 to build up a cheering section. For those staying home, you can get up-to-date results and a live feed from the race course by visiting the Head of the Charles website at www.hocr.org. Help support the Laker Navy at this prestigious event!

Remaining crews will stay closer to home this weekend and take on some of the area’s best competition at the Head of the Grand Regatta in Lansing.

Laker Rowing Celebrates Homecoming

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Alumni, friends, and family joined the team at the Allendale Boathouse to celebrate GVSU’s Homecoming weekend. The day was full of events, including the intramural championship and class races, the latter in which the senior men and upper-class women beat out all competition. Following these was the opportunity for retired rowers to get back into the boats for the Alumni-Novice race. On both the men’s and women’s sides, it was the experienced alumni crews that triumphed.

Following the races, the crowd gathered for the christening of Grand Valley Rowing’s new Resolute Heavyweight 8+, rowed by the varsity men. The boat was dedicated to a family who has put countless hours of time and effort into the program, both as rowers and coaches: Keith and Breanna Bouwman.

Following the events at the boathouse, everyone was invited up to the newly renovated Rowing Training Center.

The Grand Valley Rowing Team will continue training this week to prepare for a significant weekend of racing. The top men’s and women’s eights will travel to Boston, Massachusetts for the largest regatta in the world, the Head of the Charles. Remaining crews will compete at the Head of the Grand Regatta in Lansing, Michigan. Everyone will race on Sunday, the 19th.






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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