Photo Credit: Diana Spiess

October 22-23 2016
Boston, MA

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Laker Navy Take on Top Competition at Head of the Charles

The Laker Navy has gained some valuable experience from the 52nd Head of the Charles Regatta. With a cross-headwind gusting at over 20 mph, the Laker Navy took to the Charles River for the biggest race in the fall. Despite the challenging weather, the team had a safe and successful trip to Boston, Massachusetts.

The only crew to race Saturday was the men’s alumni 8+. This years crew included Mike Farrell 95′, Shane Paul Szalai 94′, Jimmy Wilkie 12′, Coach Chad Jedlic 05′, Ross Anderson 06′, Tucker Anderson 12′, John Palk 04′, Spencer West 16′ and Dayna Cambell-Wilkie 12′. Racing against other alumni boats, the crew of former athletes, coxswain, and a former head coach gave it their all over the 5k course. After a very wet, rain filled race, they finished 43rd overall.

Starting out Sunday’s races for the team was the men’s collegiate 4+. The first boat to face the conditions, they earned their way to an 18th place finish.
The women’s 8+ improved on their 13th place start, finishing 8th place in their event. A boat featuring six underclassmen and two new varsity coaches edged out many other highly competitive crews. “We are really happy about our race today,” said captain Faith Platz. “The coaches and athletes have put in a lot of hard work, and the training is paying off. This is a solid start to our season.”

The varsity men’s 8+ earned a 13th place finish. In what seemed like a repeat of last year, the crew faced hard winds and cold weather. “I am proud of our team because I know everyone gave it their all today,” said Rob Hiner, a senior men’s captain. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I’m sure that now we are as dedicated as ever.”

While the Head of the Charles is a major regatta, many other critical events lay ahead for the team. The next major step for the team will be the Lubbers Regatta in the spring. We thank the family and friends of the Laker Navy for their continued support. The team will finish out of the fall swinging, the next regatta will be the Eagle Collegiate Challenge, where both novice and varsity will race.

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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