With several talented athletes in the program this year, Grand Valley sent 11 athletes to the CRASH-B Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston, MA. The athletes loaded up the van Friday evening to make the 15 hour trek to the eastern part of the country. In preparation for the races, the Lakers practiced Saturday afternoon at the MIT boathouse and spent the rest of the day relaxing in Boston. All races took place Sunday afternoon, with each athlete putting up a solid performance for Grand Valley.
The first race for the Lakers was the Open Lightweight Women’s event. Three girls represented Grand Valley in this event, and each made it into the top 25. Senior Kelli O’Brien led the way, pulling a time of 7:38.9 to come in 15th place overall. Sophomore Leslie Mayville was close behind, coming in 19th place in 7:42.4. Freshman Mollie Manson rounded out the bunch finishing in 7:47.8 to take the 24th spot.
The following race was the Open Lightweight Men. Senior Adam Cecil was the sole representative of Grand Valley in this event. His time of 6:27.5 earned him a solid 16th place finish.
Five girls earned spots to compete in the Women’s Open event, and all put up impressive performances. In her second year in the competition, senior Sarah Zelenka made another top 10 finish. Her time of 7:01.9 put her in 9th place overall. Neck and neck the entire race, junior Kelsey Arnold, junior Sam Morgan, and sophomore Abby Quisenberry all finished within a second of each other. Arnold led the way in 22nd place with a time of 7:09.8, with Morgan and Quisenberry finishing in 25th (7:10.9) and 27th (7:11.0), respectively. Junior Alexandra VanderArk turned in an impressive personal best performance of 7:15.7 as well.
Geoff Sadek and Ryan League returned to Boston for the second year in a row to compete in the Men’s Open event. In another close race, senior Geoff Sadek’s sprint put him just 0.3 seconds ahead of his teammate to finish with a time of 6:12.9. Junior Ryan League’s time of 6:13.2 earned him a 47th place spot, while Sadek finished in 44th overall.
After a solid performance by all the athletes at CRASH-B this weekend, as well as all those back in Allendale, the Laker Navy is excited for the racing season to come. They will spend the rest of this week training indoors before heading to sunny Florida February 28-March 8 for spring training where they’ll finally be back on the water.