Archive for March, 2011

Interview with Coach Bancheri

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Sunday, March 27th, 2011


Wyandotte Men’s Summer Sculling Camp Coaches

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Grand Valley is pleased to announce that the Coaching staff for the 2011 JR B Men’s Sculling Camp at the Wyandotte Boat Club, will consist of three Grand Valley Representatives. Head Coach John Bancheri will be assisted by Coach Kyle LeMoine and Senior Jimmy Wilkie this summer from June 17- June 26. Information about the camp can be viewed here: A Copy of the Informational Pamphlet for the Camp

Grand Valley Rowing Spring Break: Sarasota

Friday, March 11th, 2011

The Grand Valley State University Rowing Team evaded the 20-degree Michigan weather as they trekked south to Sarasota, Florida, for spring training this week. The team, in unprecedented numbers, arrived in Florida on Friday and began the process of combining their erging endurance with rowing delicacy. Practices were held twice daily on the Intercoastal Waterway and in Benderson Park, and involved technical focus, seat racing, and the annual “Darth Vadar Row” (in which the athletes’ breathing should be so labored that they sound like the Star Wars villain).

The long stretch of salt water provided a distinct and often unpredictable backdrop for training – for example, a morning practice might be smooth and serene, while the PM practice often involved two-foot swells and subsequent bailing with water bottles (Coach Kamrad assured his crews that they would never complain about rough water again). Training with these variables necessitated a degree of adaptation in both the mindset and posture of the rowers, who have learned to appreciate practice on both flat and rough water. “It gets us ready for spring,” says senior Laura Marshall. “We’ve had some choppy water in championship races, and practicing in open water gets us ready to handle it. We want to be able to race in anything.”

Adaptability was not the Intercoastal Waterway’s only advantage – rowers saw dolphins every day, usually trailing alongside the launches, and coxswains even sighted a couple of manatees during pieces. Among the other noted creatures were crayfish, shrimp, hermit crabs, pelicans, bald eagles, and leaping fish. Passersby in sailboats and yachts regularly slowed their speed to wave at the passing crews. During a sunset row out to the Gulf of Mexico, tourists lining the shore photographed the rowers and even ran along the coast to videotape the Grand Valley stripes flicking skyward with each turn of the oar.

With the exception of one thunderstorm, the weather was impeccably sunny and humid. The team took advantage of this lucky break (recalling vividly winter break last year, in which the temperature in Florida never surpassed 45 degrees) with trips to Siesta Key Beach, reading poolside, and jogging the one-mile stretch to practice every day. Athletes were joined by parents and alumni who helped them recover from strenuous practices with good humor, historic tales, and food. Bob Monahan, a rower in Grand Valley’s first-ever rowing class, came out to see his legacy live on in the competitive spirit of GVSU athletes. Among other visitors were Bob Seif, Mary Ann Simon, Tom Sellmer, John Reichner, Joe Dobson of the Sarasota Rowing Club, Dana Schmunk (98), Terry Mckee (’78), Alex VanderArk (’10), Breck Davis (‘10), Justin Ott (‘09), and Diann Slanders (’87).

The exhausting and exhilarating week culminated in the team photo, in which all of the boats locked oars on the water (see photo). Before the row back, the athletes clamored across each other in order to try out seats in other boats for the row back home. Coach Bancheri oversaw this relative madness with the kind of jovial level-headedness that only results from a week spent driving a launch in the sun. He says, “We had a fantastic experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the time here. Having the opportunity to spend time with my son, a bunch of great college kids, and supportive alums made this a memorable trip. It laid the foundation for what I expect to be another great year for the Laker Navy.”

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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