Laker Navy Finishes Strong Year at ACRA
The Laker Navy finished up the year with the ACRA National Championship Regatta, held at the Atlanta Olympic rowing site at Lake Lanier, GA. While the regatta went smoothly for GVSU, it was without head coach John Bancheri, who was forced to stay back in Allendale due to health concerns. However, even with the absence his presence was felt throughout the regatta. The passion, determination, and skill shown by his crews was a direct reflection of Coach Bancheri and the ability of his coaching staff.
For the women, the varsity eight won their heat to advance to the grand final. One of two medaling crews for the team, the boat finished in third place and earned a bronze medal for their efforts. With seven of the nine women in the boat being first year varsity athletes, the medal was a testament to their will to improve and how far they have come since the fall.
The novice women’s eight also earned a berth into their grand final. Battling hard, the crew finished fifth overall, capping off a strong novice year.
The women also had three other boats entered. The varsity pair finished fourth in their grand final. The novice women’s four overcame a tough heat and won their repicharge to earn a spot in their A final. The four finished eighth. The women’s double, with only weeks of sculling experience, took fifth in their A final.
For the men, the highlight of the weekend was the men’s novice eight. Placing the highest ever at ACRA for a Grand Valley novice men’s crew, the boat finished second in a tight final, finishing just four seats over third place. The first year athletes, with first year novice coach Coastas Cinguin, were all smiles on the medals dock.
The varsity men’s eight had an equally tough final. After a strong start, the crew crossed the line in fifth place, less than a second behind fourth. While not the finish the crew had hoped for, all nine members of the boat were proud of their efforts; each man pushed until the end and refused to take a stoke off.
The variety men’s four earned a berth in their B final, taking their repecharge and after their semifinal. Racing until the end, the crew crossed the line in 2nd place, 10th overall.
The men’s novice four finished seventh in their rep, missing the races on Sunday.
In total, seven of the nine boats from Grand Valley made it to the Grand Finals on Sunday. With only three graduating seniors and a strong novice class, the future looks bright for the Laker Navy. Now, a select few athletes will begin training for the Henley Royal Regattas in the United Kingdom. The selection for those crews begins Thursday.
We would like to thank you all for your support this season. Our efforts would not be possible without the support from the Laker Nation. Parents, friends, and family: your athlete made it this far because of you. Thank you for this year.
Check back here for Henley Updates and, as always, keep pulling for the Laker Navy!