Heat and Humidity were obstacles for the Grand Valley Rowing team at the American Collegiate Rowing Association Championship in Gainesville, Georgia along with fierce competition. Throughout the weekend, sustained heat and humidity persisted, challenging rowers and coxswains to stay hydrated. However, in the end, things would work out for the Lakers, as Grand Valley Rowing succeeded in scoring its Fourth straight ACRA Women’s and ACRA Overall Team Points Championships, continuing its winning streak since the inaugural ACRA Championship.
Saturday’s heats and semifinals went well for the Lakers, with a Men’s Double, Men’s Novice 4+, Men’s Novice Lightweight 4+, a Women’s Varsity 8+, Women’s Novice 8+, Women’s Novice 4+, Women’s Junior Varsity 8+, and a Women’s Single making it to the Grand Finals
The Women’s Varsity 8+, coxed by Vanessa Dean and rowed by Hannah Brinza, Lauren Adlof, Lindsay Marshall, Carey Mankins, Kelsey Arnold, Kathryn Phelan, Laura Marshall, and Leslie Mayville, took First in their preliminary heat with a time of 7:00.40. The women placed second in the Grand Finals behind Purdue University, finishing with a time of 6:46.2 to Purdue’s 6:43.2. Senior, Kelsey Arnold, stated that “it was a good way to end four years of rowing for it was a great fight and Purdue was just a faster crew. She also stated that “After the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, we really wanted to beat Purdue and I am glad that we got another shot.”
The Men’s Varsity 8+, coxed by Hallie Dorsey and rowed by Jimmy Wilkie, Chad Condon, Zak Armstrong, Justin Wegner, Robert DeWeerd, Ben Steele, Brendan Sawyer, and Marco Benedetti, took second in their heat with a time of 6:07.27 and in their semifinal they took fourth place with a time of 6:06.20 to UC-Irvine’s 6:04.60, who took third. The Men’s Varsity 8+ raced in the Petite Final and took third with a time of 6:05.5 to Michigan State and Purdue. Senior Captain and seven seat, Brendan Sawyer, stated that “we are disappointed that we didn’t make the Grand Final but we left everything we had on the course.”
The Women’s Novice 8+, coxed by KT Lamour and rowed by Alese Garstick, Molly Visel, Kylen Patterman, Liz Webb, Shelby Welbaum, Anna Hunt, Amanda Paul, and Mia Edelhauser, won their heat with a winning time of 7:13.90 and also won their Grand Final with a winning time of 7:02.4.
The Men’s Novice 8+ , coxed by Christopher Simon and rowed by Stefan Kuklish, Dominic Conybeare, Costas Ciungan, Tom Nieman, Zach Whittle, Ken Pierson, Ed Advena , and Adam Wlodkowski, took fourth in their heat advancing them to the semi-final. In their Semi-final, they narrowly missed the Grand Finals with a fourth place finish and a time of 6:20.5 behind UC- Santa Barbara’s 6:19.8. The Men’s Novice 8+ advanced to the Petite final and won their Petite final with a winning time of 6:14.3.
The First Grand Valley boat to compete on Sunday in a Grand Final was the Women’s Single, resulting in a Third place finish for Krista Rapisarda and Grand Valley Rowing with a finishing time of 9:31.4.
The Men’s Double, rowed by Chris Picklo and Peter Zwierzynski, took Second in their Heat with a time of 7:34.98, which advanced them to the Grand Finals. In the Finals they took Fifth with a time of 7:27.1.
The Men’s Novice Lightweight 4+, coxed by Kyle Barnhart and rowed by Zachary Miller, Anthony Anzell, Kevin Albrecht, and Stephen Brown, took Second in their Grand Final with a time of 6:48.5 and was narrowly beaten by Michigan’s 6:48.4.
The Men’s Novice 4+, coxed by Tamara Hillman and rowed by Jacob Dec, Sam Fearnow, Justin VanPortfliet, and Tim Robertson, took Third in their Heat, with a time of 7:04.26, which advanced them to the Semi-Finals. In their Semi-Final they took Third with a time of 7:15.10 which advanced them to the Grand Final. In their Final they took Fifth with a time of 6:57.6.
The Women’s Novice 4+, coxed by Marissa Ellswood and rowed by Sarah Richter, Jordan Crandell, Maddie DeVoe, and Kersten O’Brien, won their Heat with a time of 8:30.9, which advanced them to the Grand Final. In their final they took Fourth with a time of 8:19.9.
The Women’s Junior Varsity 8+, coxed by Jordan Hart and rowed by Hanna Jones, Beth Czarnecki, Amy Brunner, Nichole Hagoort, Jessica Vogl, Rebecca Studer, Mollie Manson, and Christina Turner, won their Grand Final with a winning time of 6:56.1.
The Men’s Varsity 4+, coxed by Jeremy Schumann and rowed by Tucker Anderson, Jacob Bouwman, Marty Reed, and Keegan Jahnke, took Sixth in their Heat with a time of 6:54.66, which placed them into a Semi-Final to determine who would advance to the C or D Final. They won their Semi-Final with a winning time of 7:11.3, which placed them into the C final. In the C final they took Second with a time of 6:49.5.
The Men’s Single, rowed by Tom Sawicki, took Fifth in his Heat with a time of 8:23.42, which advanced him to the petite final. He won his petite final with a winning time of 8:14.2.
The Men’s Varsity Pair, rowed by Tyler Sellmer and Andrew Zwierzynski, took Fifth in their Heat with a time of 7:40.87, placing them into the C final. They won their C final with a winning time of 7:31.8.
The ACRA National Championship had a great deal of fantastic racing and the Lakers were successful enough across the board to defend their Overall Team Points Championship, a title they have defended since the first ACRA, alongside the ACRA Women’s Team Points Championship.