The Grand Valley Rowing Team soared to the top at their first all-team regatta of the season today at the Head of the Eagle. Both Varsity and Novice traveled to Indianapolis, IN to race rowing powerhouses such as the University of Michigan, Purdue, and Notre Dame. Though faced with some tough competition, the Lakers came out on top in eight of fourteen events entered. Several other crews put up some impressive finish as well to help Grand Valley overall dominate the regatta.
Amongst the winners was the men’s varsity eight. This is the first time that a Grand Valley crew has beat Michigan and Purdue on the same day. Boat members included Freshman coxswain Justin Elwood, Senior Geoff Sadek, Junior Breck Davis, Junior Eddie Eisenhauer, Junior Ryan League, Junior Mark McClusky, Senior Blake Donovan, Senior Justin Ott, and Senior Adam Cecil. Then men’s second varsity 8+ took the fourth place spot. The third and fourth eights took fourth and sixth, respectively.
The women also soared into first place, claiming gold by nearly 20 seconds. In doing so, they beat Purdue University for the first time in the club’s history. From stern to bow, the lineup included Junior coxswain Katie Higgins, Senior Sarah Zelenka, Junior Sam Morgan, Senior Katelin Steigenga, Junior Kelsey Arnold, Junior Kendra Socks, Junior Katie Phelan, Senior Kelli O’Brien, and Sophomore Leslie Mayville. The women’s second varsity 8+ came in fourth in the event. The third boat came in third in the C event.
The novices also showed tremendous potential with both the men’s and women’s crews taking first place in their respective events. The men beat Michigan for the second time this season, and the women beat Dad Vail rivals Purdue. The women’s second eight took third and the men’s second eight took seventh. The men’s third eight took third in the C event.
Other winners included the Men’s Lightweight 4+. They dominated their race, coming in 30 seconds ahead of second. In the Men’s Varsity Pair, Sadek and Donovan took first with Ott and Cecil not far behind, finishing fourth.
The Women’s Varsity 4+’s claimed nearly all the medals in both the A/B and C/D events. The A boat took first overall, with the B boat coming in third in their race. In the C/D race, Grand Valley went 1-2-3, with the C boat earning the second-fastest time of all women’s fours.
In the Men’s Varsity 4+, the Lakers took a second place finish, coming in just four seconds behind U of M. The B four took fourth place, with the third four taking second in the C event.
After an impressive performance at their last major regatta of the season, the Laker Navy will now begin preparation for their championship spring season. They will get a taste of spring racing at the sprint-style Frostbite Regatta held on November 15 at the new Grand Rapids Rowing Association Boathouse on the Grand River.