The Laker Navy returns for the 2009-2010 campaign with their eyes set on a third team point’s national championship. Coach John Bancheri returns for his fifth year at the helm of the Laker Navy, with the intention of making this his most successful season to date.
Bancheri states, “When I arrived at GVSU and discussed the possibilities of our development, we set lofty goals that we believed were attainable. We have reached or surpassed our initial four year goal on almost every level. This was possible with the support of the institution, a competent staff that worked together and most importantly, a group of committed student athletes who believed they could be as successful as any varsity-club program in the US.
In the previous four years, we have developed the “Happy Boathouse Model”. Both our men’s and women’s crews, although seperate, are equal in training, facilities and equipment. They have worked side by side to help each other get faster, which is something that no one has had to legislate. They have developed successful crews and individual athletes who have attained a higher level each and every year because they are happy, they are challenged, they support each others goals, and most importantly they support the vision of what is needed for the greater good of the programs terminal goal. These are great victories in and of themselves and winning Dad Vail, points trophies, sending athletes to national camps are all feathers in our cap. However, the fact that all of our athletes and staff (male and female) support the vision of the program says simply that we are poised to continue to further develop our athletes and our program”.
Joining Coach Bancheri on the coaching staff will be Mark McIlduff in his fourth year with the team, as well as first year coaches Lisa Saladino and Geoff Sadek. GVSU Rowing also welcomes facilities coordinator Kyle LeMoine and advisor Kirsten Bartels to the staff.
On the women’s side, captains Kelsey Arnold ’11 and Samantha Morgan ’10 return to lead a very talented and motivated group. Arnold and Morgan were members of the highly successful 2009 varsity eight that took home wins at the Dad Vail and ACRA regattas. Both Arnold and Morgan spent the summer training at elite camps. Arnold was selected to compete at US U23 Selection Camp in Oak Ridge, TN while Morgan trained out of Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia, PA. Joining the captains is an extremely competitive group of ladies that helped Grand Valley to its most successful women’s season ever in 2009. This group will look to improve on those results and it should prove to be another exciting year for the Laker ladies.
The men will look to senior captains Breck Davis ’10 and Mike Stoll ’10 to lead a young group high on potential. Davis was a member of the varsity eight the past two seasons. Some of the highlights include trips to the Dad Vail final two years in a row and a third place finish at the ACRA in 2008 and 2009. Breck was also a member of the 2008 crew that made the quarterfinals at Henley Royal Regatta in the Temple Challenge Cup. Stoll is going on his second year as president of the club and was a 2008 Dad Vail champion in the JV eight. In 2009, Stoll stroked the JV eight to a third place finish at Vails and a second place finish at ACRA. The men will also return several members of both the varsity and JV eights from last season. Filling in the gaps, will be a talented group of sophomores looking to make good on a promising novice season.