Archive for February, 2009

Lakers Strong at C.R.A.S.H. B’s

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

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.

Laker Navy Ready for Spring

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Though there’s snow on the ground and the river is still frozen, the spring season is right around the corner for the Grand Valley rowing team. After a successful fall season, the Lakers are hard at work indoors and are ready to make this their most successful spring season yet.


With several girls returning from last year’s undefeated novice 8+ and Dad Vail silver medalist varsity squad, the varsity women are looking forward to what could be their best season in years. More intra-team competition is pushing each girl to improve in every aspect of rowing, and they are looking stronger every day. After taking the second place spot three years in a row at the Dad Vail regatta and a disappointing finish last year at ACRAs, the Lakers are fighting for improved results this year.  


After a few wins and a top four finish at the Head of the Charles this fall, the varsity men’s team is eager to see what they are capable of this spring. With ten guys back from last year’s varsity and gold medalist JV eights, as well as some talented underclassmen; everyone is pushing themselves for the top spots. That, as well as motivation to take down rival programs and improve on last years finishes is sure to bring them success this spring. 


With added experienced rowers and several other talented athletes entering the program, great things are expected of the novice men’s crew this spring following a successful conclusion to their fall campaign at the Head of the Eagle. The novices have been training with the varsity men this winter, pushing them harder and allowing them to challenge some of the top guys in the program. This year’s crew hopes to continue the streak of Freshman eights making the final at the Dad Vail.


This year’s novice women’s squad is looking good coming into the spring season. Though smaller than last year, they have the same strength, heart, and team dynamics that they hope will bring them similar results. After an impressive fall performance, the ladies have been working hard this winter. Coach Ola Nwabara has noticed remarkable improvements and can’t wait to see what they’ll do on the water this spring.


The Laker Navy is counting down the days until they can get back on the water for Spring Break in Palm Bay, FL. The team will leave February 27 for a week of training and of course, enjoying the Florida sunshine. While on their trip down south, Grand Valley will also have their first races of the spring season against crews from the Florida and Georgia areas.

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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