Archive for October, 2009

Lakers Victorious at Head of the Charles Regatta

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

The Laker Navy sent their flagships to Boston, MA this weekend to compete in the 45th Annual Head of the Charles Regatta on October 18th. The annual event is the world’s largest regatta and attracts the top oarsmen nationally and internationally. The Lakers return home having completed their most successful campaign out east in the history of the program. The weather conditions this year were brutal as the rowers had to battle high winds and a wintery mix of rain and cold. Both eights that travelled battled through the difficulties and performed outstanding.

The women raced in the collegiate eight and covered the course in a first place time of 17:47.3. The event saw reigning DIII NCAA champion Williams College follow in at 18:01.2. The winning time gave GVSU the title over 35 boats competing in their event from top programs around the country and Canada. The boat consisted of stroke seat Sam Morgan (SR), Laura Marshall (JR), Katie Phelan (SR), Kelsey Arnold (JR), Alex VanderArk (SR), Kendra Socks (SR), Leslie Mayville (JR), bow seat, Hannah Brinza (JR), and cox, Aly Mendals (SO). Senior captain Sam Morgan said, “We wanted to go for it early and see if we could pass some boats out front. Once we were able to catch some of them, the momentum carried us over the course to the finish. It was a lot of fun out there today.”

The men also competed in the collegiate eight against 38 other entries. They powered to a third place finish in a time of 15:54.3 behind Williams College at 15:33.9 and Trinity College at 15:35.3. The finish marked an improvement over back-to-back fourth place finished in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The lineup sat stroke Mike Stoll (SR), Brendan Sawyer (JR), Jeff Slater (SR), Breck Davis (SR), Marco Benedetti (SO), Seth Koch (SO), Kyle Dara (JR), bow, Scott Feil (SR), and coxswain Hallie Dorsey (SO). Senior captain Mike Stoll commented, “The conditions were nasty. I was eager to see how we would handle it. I thought the guys were composed and rowed a great race. I am excited to see the continued development of the younger guys as our season moves forward.”

The results at this years regatta marked Head Coach John Bancheri’s most successful campaign at the Head of the Charles. He stated, “I was extremely proud of both crews today. To see GVSU competing and more than holding their own against these prestigious universities says a lot about the program as a whole. I thought everyone executed a good race plan and performed to their capabilities. I was especially proud of sophomore coxswains Dorsey and Mendels. This is not an easy course to steer in the first place, and the conditions created added pressure. I thought they did a fantastic job out there today.”

The race was GVSU’s first of the fall season. The rest of the Laker Navy raced in East Lansing against Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Northern Michigan University, and Michigan Tech University. They will continue training and compete in the upcoming weeks at Grand Rapids and Indianapolis, IN.

And They’re Off: Lakers Prepare for Charles and Grand

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Dayna Campbell, GVSU Rowing Co-Historian

The summer weather has ended, which means crew season is just getting started! This weekend is a big weekend for the whole team. On Thursday, October 15, 2009, the varsity men and women’s eights are heading to Boston, Massachusetts for the Head of the Charles Regatta. The drive out east begins at 9pm Thursday night and lands in Boston 1pm Friday. Saturday will be spent learning the river, including a “coxswain tour” and practice on the Charles. Sunday is race day. Sitting stroke is Mike Stoll (SR), followed by, Brendan Sawyer (JR), Jeff Slater (SR), Breck Davis (SR), Marco Benedetti (SO), Seth Koch (SO), Kyle Dara (JR), and in bow, Scott Feil (SR); the coxswain is Hallie Dorsey (SO). “There are some fast schools that will be there this weekend. It will be interesting to see how we handle ourselves for this big race,” says Mike Stoll. On the women’s side, the line up goes as follows: stroke seat is Sam Morgan (SR), then Laura Marshall (JR), Katie Phelan (SR), Kelsey Arnold (SR), Alex VanerArk (SR), Kendra Socks (SR), Leslie Mayville (JR) bow seat, Hannah Brinza (JR), and coxing, Aly Mendals (SO). Practices have been intense and filled with hard work in pairs as well as eights. Captain Sam Morgan’s thoughts on Boston are hopeful. “I am really excited to go back to Boston and show what we really can do. Last year was disappointing, and we’d like to have a better showing.”

The remainder of the Laker Navy’s men and women are heading east to Lansing, Michigan, for Michigan State’s Head of the Grand Regatta. The gang will be meeting at the Kirkhof Center at a chipper 5:45am Sunday, October 18, 2009, to head over to Spartan territory. This is an exciting regatta because it is the first chance for the novice crew to wet their feet for the rest of the fall season. “I am really pumped to row this weekend. We have all been working really hard and trying to follow the varsity’s footsteps,” says freshman Megan DeKievit. The trailer will be carrying a fleet of 8 eights, 5 fours, 2 quads, 1 double, and 1 single. Michigan State, Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech, Lansing Rowing Club, and the University of Michigan will provide fierce competition, but the Laker Navy will be putting up a very fine fight.

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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