Coach Bancheri demonstrating “striking to and from the balance” during an early morning chalk-talk
Brandon Roberts, ‘18
Hometown: Dearborn Heights, MI
Major: Computer Science
This morning was a wake up like any other spring break morning. *Alarm* *Snooze* *Alarm* *roll out of bed* With a quick breakfast before practice, the van ride consisted of some jams to prep us for the row we were about to embark upon. After a short, yet informative chalk talk, we hit the water for some last minute technique fixes before the race. One “short” steady state row later and we were back on the dock for any athlete’s favorite time of day: Chow Time. Another van ride and we were back to the hotel for nap time.
3 hours later and we all put on our race duds to do yet another round of 5x1250m seat racing. This time around, we had some guests also join us on the race course in the form of the University of Rochester. The men went out in fours to race their fours, the women went out in eights to race their women’s eights, and the novice men went out in their eights to race their novice men. The dock was never a more welcome sight as we came around the turn and from the “thousand yard stares” on everyone’s faces, I could tell the team worked their butts off. Upon returning to the hotel, we all split off into our own groups and ate dinner. It is now night time and the hotel is quiet as the team winds down and prepares for what tomorrow has in store.
Amber Crotty, ‘17
Hometown: Fruitport, MI
Major: Pre-Physicians Assistant
After a well deserved and needed night in Gaitlinberg, the team woke up this morning well-rested and refreshed. The team devoured the complimentary breakfast provided at the hotel. Loading the vans quickly and efficiently the team headed to Oak Ridge for a bright and early row on the beautiful venue.
Before getting on the water, Coach B gave a very intriguing “chalk talk” about backing the blade into the water and timing sequence with the seat. The varsity men went out in fours while the varsity women went out in an eight, while the novices were divided into their racing boats for the afternoon. Going upstream the team worked on timing and ratio. Several pause drills were included, which consisted of feather/square drills.
After a productive row, the team loaded up into vans and drove back to the hotel for a few hours. Team bonding over homework and naps were shared. Some team members even went hammocking in the trees next to the hotel.
After our short break, the team loaded back into the vans and headed back to the course where we scrimmaged Rochester. I coxed the same men’s four as earlier in the day. The venue luckily provided us with a well-organized course for racing. A few switches were made amongst the boats on our team. All of the men are working towards earning their seat in the men’s varsity eight for the spring/summer season. After having a very eyeopening and positive scrimmage against Rochester, we said our goodbyes and went for a short technical row twelve minutes downstream.
The team worked hard today. It is exciting to see the speed and rhythm develop in the boats, and I expect a very successful season ahead.
Zack Peters, ‘17
Hometown: Royal Oak, MI
My name is Zack Peters and I currently sit three seat in the men’s varsity eight. Yesterday the men’s varsity eight set a new Grand Valley distance record for a single practice. We rowed just over thirty miles and had a great time doing it. Today we continued our week with a easy technique practice in the morning and a more intense practice in the afternoon.
The University of Rochester joined us on the course for 1250m sprint races. I was in one of the three GV men’s fours. Some hard strokes were put in and every one will help us in the future. A big thanks to the men and women’s rowing team from Rochester, we both got faster today.
As the week comes to an end, I will have fond memories of the whole trip. A big thank you to the coaches and everyone who made this trip possible. The only way to get better at rowing is to row, and this experience is invaluable to us. All in all it has been a great week to be a Laker.
Drew Vielbig, ‘18
Hometown: Fowlerville, MI
Today, the weather was perfect. My room woke up around 7:45 and left the hotel at 8:15. We got to the course at around 8:30 and sat down to listen to one of coach B’s famous chalk talks, focusing on catch timing and posture. The most interesting part of the chalk talk was the fact that there was a boat placed in the water and rowers at each end holding it in place. Donnie was in the water and he demonstrated the strike to and from the balance.
Once the talk was over, we split off with the other novice men, to talk with Coach Costas. We got out on the water in new lineups and focused on drill work and timing for the morning practice. We did some newer drills and worked by 6’s and 8’s. We rowed for about an hour and a half and then came back in to grab a delicious and in all ways satisfying peanut butter and jelly lunch. Once we finished lunch, we went back to the hotel, to hangout for a few hours. Some people showered, and napped, while I opted to hammock.
In the afternoon, we arrived at the course around 2:45. Today’s practice was unique because we raced two boats from Rochester University. This went very well. Our F1 lineup had great timing and lots of power. I gotta say, it felt top notch. After completing five 1250m races, we were done with our evening practice. The novice men went out to Chuy’s for dinner for a little team bonding. All in all, was a successful day on the water.