Archive for March, 2009

Lubbers Cup Successful for Lakers

Monday, March 30th, 2009

The Grand Valley Rowing Team had their first home regatta of the season as they hosted the annual Lubbers Cup at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. The rain and snow held off and it was a beautiful day for great racing.

On the women’s side, the Laker Navy won every grand final in which they were entered. In Grand Valley’s first final of the day, the women’s novice 8+ flew past the competition to bring home the gold. Their time of 7:03.6 put them forty seconds ahead of Rochester, the next fastest crew.

Later in the day, the women’s varsity 8+ also dominated their race. Their time of 6:48.6 put them an impressive 26 seconds ahead of another quick Rochester crew to take first place. Michigan State finished 3rd in the event.

The women’s second varsity 8+ continued the trend, also taking first place in their event. Their time of 7:11.9 put them ahead of Rochester’s second eight and Grand Valley’s third, and was also the second fastest time of all women’s varsity eights.

Grand Valley had five boats entered in the women’s varsity 4+ event. After four of these crews made the grand final, the Lakers swept the event, finishing 1-2-3. The novice women’s fours followed suit with their two fours in the event finishing 1-2 in the final. Both crews finished a minute ahead of third place Wheaton.

The men’s side also showed a lot of early season speed against some tough competition. Although the men’s varsity 8+ didn’t take home the gold, they are already starting to close last year’s gap between them and rival Michigan. The Lakers finished in second place, their time of 5:55.7 putting them eight seconds behind the Wolverines.

In a close race, Notre Dame just edged out the men’s second varsity eight to take the first place slot. Grand Valley, coming in less than 2 seconds after the Fighting Irish, finished with a time of 6:47.1. However, the Lakers were able to hold off the University of Rochester and three Michigan crews.

The novice men’s 8+ put up a fight, but couldn’t overcome the speed of their competition and finished in fourth place overall. Notre Dame won the event, followed by Michigan and Notre Dame’s second eight.

In the men’s fours, both the varsity and novices took second place. In a tight race, the varsity men came in just behind the University of Rochester, finishing in a time of 6:37.5. Rochester finished in 6:35.6. In the novice four, it was Michigan who triumphed.

When the point’s trophies were awarded at the end of the day, the University of Michigan took home the men’s trophy, while Grand Valley won the women’s and overall team point trophies.

Following the regatta was Grand Valley Rowing’s annual banquet in Grand Haven. The team welcomed back alumnus and former novice coach John Palk as the guest speaker of the evening. Fourteen seniors were also recognized as they are finishing their last season rowing for the Lakers.

Grand Valley will be spending next weekend racing in Ohio. On Saturday will be the Marietta Invitational Regatta, and then they will travel to Columbus to race Ohio State and Cincinnati.

Lakers Finish Successful Spring Training Camp

Monday, March 9th, 2009

For most college students, spring break means relaxing and lounging on the beach. For the Grand Valley Rowing Team, it means a week of intense training to get ready for the spring racing season.


For the past week, the Grand Valley Rowing Team was able to escape the doldrums of a Michigan winter at their spring training camp in Fellsmere, Florida. The week was full of water training, hard work and dedication by the athletes and coaches, and many improvements all around. The Lakers were grateful to have Coach Bartman of Vesper rowing club and Bart Gulong along for part of the week to share some of their vast rowing knowledge with the team. The team’s time in Florida ended with the Keuper Cup regatta and races against Central Florida in which Grand Valley showed the results of a successful week back on the water (see results below).


It wasn’t all work for the Lakers, though, as they had many opportunities to relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine. A few trips were made to Melbourne Beach, and people were also able to spend a couple days at Disney World.


Coach Bancheri was very pleased with the results from this week and described the trip as, “the most successful training camp he’s ever attended”.


On the way back to Michigan, they stopped in Gainesville, GA to continue their new tradition of an early season scrimmage with Georgia Tech. This was not only a great opportunity to race against some great competition, but also to enjoy the interteam camaraderie that has developed over the last few years. This year, they got the awesome experience of rowing their three 1000 meter pieces on the 1996 Olympic race course on Lake Lanier. The Lakers will see Georgia Tech at some of their national regattas this spring and hope to continue the tradition in years to come.


After a week of training in warm and sunny Florida, the Laker Navy hopes the Grand River will be thawed and ready for rowing upon their return to Allendale to resume water practices this week. Their next race will be March 28 when they host the 14th annual Don Lubber’s Cup Regatta at Riverside Park in downtown Grand Rapids. Competition including Michigan, MSU, Notre Dame, Rochester, and Western Ontario will attend the event and there is sure to be some exciting races. The team banquet will follow that evening in Grand Haven.

Laker Navy Kicks Off Spring Season

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

The Grand Valley State University Rowing Club kicked off its spring racing season on March 7th in warm, sunny Florida. As the week long training camp came to a close, the Laker Navy raced at the Keuper Cup Regatta on Canal 54 in Fellsmere, FL and also sent the women’s varsity eight to Orlando to scrimmage University of Central Florida.

GVSU participated in the Keuper Cup for the second consecutive year, and was able to emerge as team points champions. The Lakers were familiar with the course as they had just concluded a very productive week of training on Canal 54. Participants included Florida Tech, Stetson University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Grand Valley State University, and the conditions were warm and sunny with a stiff headwind.

The morning kicked off with GVSU’s V8 racing in the Women’s Varsity eight race against Stetson and FIT. After a quick start that saw the Lakers up four seats, the group fought hard to a third place finish in a time of 7:23.9, just behind the winner FIT at 7:20.6. FIT took the Lakers with a strong sprint in the final 400 meters to win the race.

Following the women’s eight, the Laker Men’s Varsity eight was able to overcome a slow start to finish in first place in a time of 6:12.6 ahead of FIT at 6:14.2. The race was closely contested from start to finish. FIT jumped out to an early lead and held an advantage to the 750 meter marker. At that time GVSU was able to close the gap and hold a strong pace to the finish. Coach Bancheri commented, “The men rowed a smart race and stuck to their race plan. We expected FIT to take us off of the start, but we knew the body was our strength. We are pleased with the early season speed and will look to improve over the next several weeks.”

Top finishers for Grand Valley at the Keuper Cup also included the Men’s Novice eight and four, the Women’s Novice eight, the Women’s Varsity four,  and the Women’s JV eight. Also racing were the Men’s Varsity four and Men’s JV eights. In the Men’s JV eight, Grand Valley fell behind a quick FIT crew early and never closed the gap, falling in a time of 6:47.4 to FIT’s 6:43.3. The day saw an increasing headwind that caused for some slower than expected times, but GVSU was able to take home the points trophy with a total of 67 points, ahead of Stetson University at 42, FIT at 36 and ERAU at 6.

As the Keuper Cup took place in Fellsmere, the women’s varsity eight graciously traveled to Orlando to race a strong University of Central Florida crew. Conditions were beautiful in Orlando, and the races were held on a 2000 meter buoyed course with no wind and no current. In a borrowed boat, the ladies had a strong showing throughout the scrimmage of three two-thousand meter pieces. In a structured scrimmage with a capped rate and unoficial timing, the first piece went to UCF in a time of 6:57 with GVSU coming in at 6:59 ahead of UCF’s other eight at 7:12 and 7:32, after an equipment malfunction slowed the GVSU crew halfway through the race. The second piece saw GVSU finish in 6:57, ahead of UCF’s three varsity crews at times of 7:03.5, 7:10 and 7:34 respectively. The final piece of the day placed GVSU in front in a time of 6:55, followed by UCF at 7:02, 7:07 and 7:26. Varsity Assistant Coach McIlduff summarized, “UCF was a tremendous host. The new state of the art facility was beautiful and the staff was very helpful in rigging the borrowed eight. We were happy with the results and saw some things that we can improve upon to gain boat speed. UCF should have a successful spring as they showed outstanding program depth today.”

The Laker Navy will travel to Gainesville, GA to race Georgia Tech University on March 8th on the 1996 Olympic Games race course on Lake Lanier. Ironically, GVSU was lucky enough to host Vesper Boat Club, Director of Rowing Coach Bartman at their spring training camp. Bartman was a member of the 1996 Olympic Gold medal Netherlands eight that raced on Lake Lanier.

Following the races on March 8th, GVSU will be off until it hosts the Lubbers Cup Regatta on March 28th. A full story on the training camp and Sunday’s scrimmage will be posted soon.

Full Keuper Cup Results

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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