Archive for May, 2010

Lakers Conclude Training Camp

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

The Laker Navy left their host families in Atlantic County early Thursday morning to travel into the city of Philadelphia, PA for their final preparation for the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. After landing a prime parking spot under the ‘Three Angels’, the team rigged and launched quickly for a pre-race rehearsal swing over the course. The extra practice in the windy conditions may prove valuable as the forecast calls for high wind this weekend. Following the practice, the team anchored the boats down and walked to Penn AC for a luncheon hosted by GVSU alums Dana Schmunk ’98 and Ross Anderson ’06. The lunch gave the young Lakers a chance to soak in the tradition of Penn AC and boathouse row.

The Thursday practice marked the completion of the Dad Vail training camp. The team would like to thank its gracious hosts in Atlantic County for housing and feeding the near 70 athletes over the course of the week. Each and every host family went above and beyond, and the entire team sends out a gracious thank you.

Friday marks the start of the regatta with heats kicking off at 7:00am and wrapping up at 4:36pm. Grand Valley State has nine boats entered that are competing in the heats for a chance to advance to the semi-finals and finals on Saturday, May 8th.

Lakers recieve taste of Philadelphia on first day

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

by Daniel Schoolcraft

As Grand Valley Rowing’s graduating seniors rejoined the team after Saturday’s ceremony, the Lakers arrived in Philadelphia Monday despite traffic woes. The team immediately rigged their shells to practice on the Schuylkill River, before freshening up and crossing through the city towards Geno’s Steaks, but not before a slight detour to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s famous steps. At Geno’s Steaks, Congressman Robert Brady treated the team to authentic cheese steaks, and the owner of the establishment, Joey Vento, made an appearance.

After lunch, the team took a break to sightsee, parking at Independence Mall. Nearly all team members were able to see the Liberty Bell, and many others visited the Philadelphia Mint and National Constitution Center. However, because of crowds and time limits, few if any were able to visit Independence Hall itself. Finally, the team finished the afternoon with a second practice on the Schuylkill, before derigging and departing for their host families in New Jersey. The Lakers will be practicing on Lake Lenape for the next two days, before returning to Philadelphia for Thursday. Heats for the Dad Vail Regatta begin Friday, with finals Saturday.

Third time’s the charm: GVSU takes third consecutive MACRA points championship

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Thunderstorms rolled through eastern Ohio this weekend but just missed Athens, enabling the MACRA regatta to proceed as planned and the Grand Valley rowing team to win the team points trophy for the third year consecutively. The schedule was bumped forward in anticipation of lightning, but the rowers performed in their final races even after an abbreviated rest after their heats this morning.

The Novice Women’s 8+ won their final by a significant amount of time. The girls looked smooth and long, and have made incredible technical gains in the past couple of weeks. These gains have been noted team-wide even without Coach’s encouragement.

The Novice Men’s 8+ also rowed to first-place finish, defeating Cincinnati by open water and impressing their teammates by looking “strong and smooth” in their final. After their row, three boys from the novice boat stepped up to hot-seat immediately into the 2V Men’s 8+ race to cover for their varsity teammates who graduated Saturday in Grand Rapids.

The Women’s 2- took second place in a race known for technical difficulty. Hanna Jones and Krista Rapisarda moved held strong to second place down the course, finishing strong behind Mercyhurst, a last-minute entry. The girls navigated the course impressively, avoiding the five-second steering penalty other teams in their race received.

The Men’s Novice 4+ took 2nd place to Mercyhurst by about a boat length. However, they defeated Northwestern, Cincinnati, Cleveland State, and Dayton. Coach Geoff Sadek notes, “I was pleased. They knocked off people who were 15-20 pounds heavier than them.”

Novice men Robbie DeWeerd, Chad Conlon, and Keegan Jahnke jumped into the 2V Men’s 8+ without a cool-down, and raced another 2000 meters without ever having practiced in the varsity boat. Due to the time crunch caused by hot-seating, the boat rushed up the course to the starting line and took off without even practicing a start. The guys got it together at the thousand meter mark, when they walked away from OSU and took seats on Mercyhurst. Mercyhurst won the event, but Grand Valley took a close second in a strong finish. The boys have since (affectionately) referred to their lineup as a “motley crew.”

The 2V Women’s 8+ established their dominance early in their race, which they won by a minute and thirty-five seconds. They dropped the rate and rowed a smooth, controlled race, saving their energy and readiness for the Dad Vail Regatta. This race kicks off a week-long taper for the girls and the rest of the team, and their preparation and restlessness showed in powerful strokes, even at a low rate. Lauren Holben says, “I think we raced really well and saw how in shape we are. We’ve gained speed since SIRA and we continue to gain speed for Vails.”

The Varsity Women’s 8+ won their final over Mercyhurst by seven seconds, quickening their stroke rate to adjust to their new boat. The girls were quick off the start and gained distance on the other crews consistently throughout the piece. Due to the two and a half hour delay before their race, the women were very warmed up (albeit slightly distracted) before they lined up to start, and approximately half the rowers jumped out of the boat to use the bathroom before the race commenced. Coach Bancheri would call this “adapting.”

The Men’s Varsity 8+ rowed a slightly different lineup due to graduating seniors in the usual lineup. Zak Armstrong and Tucker Anderson stepped up for the race from the 2V boat, and demonstrated their competitiveness: the first race was called a tie between Mercyhurst and GVSU, and the boys had to launch again for a 1300 meter sprint for the victory. The men established their lead early in the sprint and held of Mercyhurst until the finish line, with the entire rest of the Grand Valley team sprinting and screaming along the course for the last 400 meters. Said a Mercyhurst team member of this display: “Their cheering section is bigger than our entire school.”

Sunburn happened this weekend but thunderstorms didn’t, and the team made a great showing and is revved up for their week training camp in New Jersey that will propel them to the Vails starting line. Anticipation and energy are high, and the rowers will continue to fine tune their rowing before their season culminates in Philadelphia.






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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