Senior Spotlight: Cass Bruins


After moving from my home state of Colorado, to Michigan, disappointed in having to retire from sports while in college, I decided that Grand Valley was going to be my university of choice for a single semester, only to allow me to transfer home to Colorado State- boy, was I wrong. I quickly fell in love with the campus and everything that the University had to offer, and decided that maybe this place wasn’t so bad. It was one warm summer evening, while walking back to my new apartment of my second year at GV, that I ran into 4 of the leaders of the rowing club hanging out on their porch (somehow I managed to move in 4 doors down from the ‘rowing house’). I received nothing but good vibes from these guys, and they encouraged me to try rowing. After a few declinations and about a month into the school year, I finally gave in and showed up for “one practice, and that is it”. That sure was ‘it’, it was the start of the rest of my career at Grand Valley, as a member of the team.

Words cannot describe entirely how this team has impacted my life, but I can definitely say that I would be nowhere near where I am as an athlete, a scholar, or a person in general without it. This team is unlike so many; we pay for everything we do, we fight for everything we can, and we earn everything we have. My love and compassion for the sport of rowing and the GVSU Crew are immeasurable, and I have learned so many lifelong skills that I will carry on with me forever. My novice year changed my life in so many ways. I got to see how the team operated from the bottom of the pack (I was literally the worst girl on the team by a mile for a solid months), I learned that good things never come easy, hard work never goes unnoticed, and compassion for what you do and who you’re with is detrimental in this sport and in life. Medaling at DadVail was such an honor to me, and kept me hungry for more success in that season and the years to come. I earned my way into the 8+ that went to the Women’s Henley Regatta after only rowing for a few semesters, and that was beyond incredible. The various trips and races in my three years have been unforgettable, and each of them has a certain memory (or medal) that I treasure.

The blood, sweat, tears, jokes with the team, desire to be as fast as possible, and occasional quarrels with Coach B have kept me devoted to this team with all of my entirety since the first day I sauntered down to the boathouse. I am very grateful that I have found this team, my best friends, and lifelong connections. Graduating and saying my final goodbyes this summer won’t be easy in the slightest, but I’m definitely ready to put up a good fight for some hardware, and make a great deal of memories with my team before I go.

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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