Archive for January, 2014

Day One- Saturday, December 28, 2013

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Lexie and Elissa Rowing

Lexie Benton ’16
Major: Business Management
Hometown: Kingsley, MI

Today we finally arrived in Osprey, Florida where the weather was beautiful and sunny which was much different from what we have been experiencing over the last few weeks in Michigan. The Varsity Men and Women worked primarily in small boats today while Coach Bancheri gave us the coaching as well as a layout of the Inter Coastal Waterway. Afterward we went back to our super nice hotel to check in and hang out before going back and rigging the rest of the boats.

After rigging we started hunting for food around the hotel and after checking out a few place we found a bar and grill the ended up having awesome food. We ventured back to the room and hung out before going to bed to rest up for a long day on the water tomorrow.

boat rigging

Chris Doherty ’17
Major: Movement Science
Hometown: Traverse City, MI

After spending countless hours on a charter bus, we finally got to Florida. It was great to be able to get out and actually move around, and the warm sun and fresh air from the ocean didn’t hurt either. Rigging the boats in the Florida weather was a welcome change from the snowy Michigan we came from too, thankfully I didn’t get sunburn at all today.

We went straight from rigging into the water… The very salty, very crowded water. Personally I have never rowed on a crowded water way so it was a new experience for me. Still, it was nice to not row in the RTC and be out on the water in an actual boat. Coming off the water to a good lunch was almost better than rowing again, a big thank you to Debbie and Patrick Dolan and to all of the people helping the Laker Navy as we get to experience this great opportunity.

Good friends, good rowing, good food, what more could you want.

Justin Bartaway

Justin Bartaway ’15
Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Trenton, MI

The team has a small group of people that is trusted enough to drive the team truck with the trailer. On this trip I was one of those people along with rower Nate Biolchini, and men’s novice coach Hugh McKeggan. We started the trip at Matt LeBlanc’s boat repair shop in Belleville, MI on Thursday early afternoon. After many hours of the three of us switching between driving, shotgunning, and sleeping we arrived at the University of Florida’s boathouse in the mid-afternoon where we dropped off two of our older wooden boats. After that we soon proceeded to the teams rowing location at Blackburn Point, where the Sarasota Scullers Club launch point is, in mid-afternoon. As soon as we arrived the long process of unloading and rigging started. After a few hours of rigging we had to stop due to no light, because of being well past sunset. We woke up early the next morning and continued to work on the boats. The rest of the team arrived around noon and we proceeded to have a great practice in small boats, and marked the beginning of an amazing winter training camp.

Novice Women

Elizabeth Wallace ’17
Major: Special Education
Hometown: Fenton, MI

We started our trip with a long bus ride down to Florida on the way to our winter training camp. Although no one really likes bus rides, we were all relieved when we finally arrived. We kicked off the start of winter training with a short practice to work out the kinks and clear the cobwebs. It felt so good to be back on the water and off the ergs. After practice, Debbie and Patrick Dolan provided all of us hungry rowers with lunch. We spent some time in the pool after we were all checked in and met back at the launch site to rig boats and prepare everything for the rest of the week. Free time followed the rigging and preparations, as we recuperated for another day on the water.

Day Two- Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Lexie and Elissa Rowing

Maria Edelhauser ’14
Major: Boimedical Sciences
Hometown: Troy, MI

The day had an early start, as my friend Shelby and I headed down to breakfast. Although it was 7:00AM, the breakfast lounge was filled with hungry, sleepy rowers from not only our team, but other rowers staying at the hotel. Once we had some fuel for the day, Shelby and I started our run down to practice in the rain. After catching our breathe, the coaches then came and informed us that practice was postponed an hour. So we headed back to the hotel to snuggle in our beds.

An hour later, the whole team headed out for the first practice of the day while the rain and wind settled down. The varsity squad started out the practice doing circle drills, while the coaches took video. While the circle drill caused some close encounters of crashing, that is not what brought my boat in early. My boat lost its skeg, which meant that our boat had holes in it, which was filling up with water fast. Once the boats water contents were drained, my pair partner Shelby and I switched out our pair for singles to use for the rest of practice.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with naps, a trip to Wal-Mart, and watching videos from practice. Running to our second practice, the dark clouds followed. In the middle of our long row, the storm hit us, which brought rain, wind, and some white capping waves. While taking on water, most boats kept in our pursuit to the shore, while two of our small boats had to stop along the way to empty the water in their boats. While the journey to land seemed endless, we all made it back, safe and sound. Once back to the hotel, it was a battle for the microwave, for many of us bought food to make instead of going out. As we lounged and chatted about the day, we were finally able to fill up our stomachs, which will allow us to train hard again tomorrow.

boat rigging

Emma Anderson ’17
Major: Sonography
Hometown: Hastings, MI

Our day started out pretty rainy when we went to eat breakfast in the lobby area. The food was good, and gave us a pretty good variety. Morning practice was delayed for around an hour because of the rain and possible storms, but it gave us an extra hour to digest and nap which was nice. Around 8:15, we ran down to our boats and got on the water. The water was kind of rough, especially the waves from the large boats passing, but the row was good. We had a 2 hour break afterwards until our afternoon row at 3, in which we returned on the water with dark skies and rougher water. Our row started out pretty good, until the waves and wind picked up. It made it difficult to row and finish our pieces, so we had to turn around and go back. It was a fun adventure nonetheless. Afterwards, we walked back, showered, and then got something to eat at the tiki restaurant place at the hotel. The food was good, but could have been out faster. It’s not good when you have a ton of hungry rowers waiting for their food. Either way, that was the least of our worries. It was a pretty good first day, I think.

Justin Bartaway

David Blythe ’16
Major: Accounting & Management Information Systems
Hometown: Canton, MI

Today began the first full day of practice for this years winter training camp. The day began with a very carbohydrate filled breakfast at the hotel and just before we got done eating we were notified that practice would be moved back an hour because of the rain. The sky eventually cleared and we ran to the site to begin our work for the day. We started with a few circle drills and then went on a medium length row towards the a beach that connected the ICW to the Gulf. Here we saw Steven Kings house as well as got in a quick swim before heading back the our launch site.

Following the morning row we had a great lunch prepared by Debbie and Patrick Dolan the parents of our Coach, Alyssa. Then we proceeded to head back to the hotel to hang out before heading back for evening practice. This break included a trip to Walmart for food as well as a nice chicken pot pie meal with my bed buddy Ed Avena.

We then ran back to the site to start or long steady state row along the ICW which turned out to be a nice row for the varsity teams even though the weather conditions were a little tricky. The day then ended with an extra-large pizza split between me and Nate Biolchini. It was quite a great first day of rowing indeed.

Justin Bartaway

Michael Bien ’16
Major: Business
Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI

Just waking up today seemed like a great day to row. An early practice would not hinder the Florida sun from making our practice about as enjoyable as it can be. The warming sun combined with the sights truly made me happy to be in Florida. Even though we had not rowed in months, our team seemed to pick it back up fast and fly though the water. After our morning practice we were greeted by meals generously provided by Debbie and Patrick Dolan. There’s nothing like food to put a smile on a rower’s face. After that we had a short break to even more enjoy the sights Florida had to offer. The next practice we rowed to the beach and threw our coach into the ocean. After a hard day’s work we went out as a team and enjoyed a great meal to end the day.

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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