The 74th Annual Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta
The Laker Navy had a Strong Showing at the 74th Annual Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta
The Grand Valley Laker Navy Competed in Philadelphia, PA for the 74th Annual Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta and were successful across the board. The conditions were perfect for racing on the Schuylkill with flat water and hot sunny weather. In the first day of racing, the Laker Navy qualified seven of nine boats for semifinals. Grand Valley Rowing took home one silver medal and two bronze in the Men’s 2nd Varsity 8+, Men’s Pair, and Women’s Novice 4+ respectively.
The Men’s Varsity Heavy Weight 8+ with Chris Simon (cox) ’14, Bow: Jimmy Wilkie’ 12, Chad Condon ’13, Ken Pierson ’14, Nate Biolchini ’13, Ryan Kasley ’13, Austin Burris ’15, Marco Benedetti ’12, and Stroke Justin Wegner ’13 qualified for the petite final after taking fourth in their Semi-Final, and rowed to a First place finish in their petite final with a time of 6:05.263. Michigan won the Men’s Varsity 8+ event overall (05:58.6).
The Women’s Varsity Heavy weight 8+ with Jordan Hart (cox) ’13, Bow: Shelby Welbaum ’14, Rebecca Studer ’13, Jessica Vogl ’13, Nicole Hagoort ’13, Kylen Pattermann ’13, Lauren Adlof ’12, Lindsay Marshall ’12, and stroke: Carey Mankins ’13 qualified for the Grand Final taking 1st Place in their Semi-Final, and rowed to a 4th place finish in their final with a time of 6:49.3. Duke won the Women’s Varsity 8+ event overall (6:43.7).
The Men’s 2nd Varsity 8+ with Dayna Campbell (cox) ’12. Bow: Stephen Brown ’14, Dominic Kootsillas-Conybeare ’13, Costas Ciungan ’14, Sam Fearnow ’12, Keegen Jahnke ’13, Ben Steel ’14, Ed Avena ’14, and stroke Anthony Anzell ’13 qualified for the Grand Final taking 2nd in their Semi, and rowed to a 2nd place finish in their Final with a time of 6:12.8; winning a Silver medal. Michigan Won the Men’s 2nd Varsity 8+ event overall (06:07.1).
The Women’s Varsity Heavy Weight 8+ DIV. II with Emily Bohn ’14 (cox), Hanna Jones ’12, Molly Visel ’14, Chelsea Shoop ’13, Courtney Panter ’14, Kaitlyn VanBoven ’15, Brittany Hyde ’15, Amy Brunner ’13, and Stroke: Alese Garstick ’14 qualified for the Grand Final with a 3rd place finish in their Semi-Final, and Rowed to a 4th place finish in the Grand Final with a time of 07:13.050. Mercyhurst won the event overall (06:59.6).
The Men’s Frosh/Novice 8+ with Athena Kalyvas (cox) ’15, Bow: Nate Bremer ’15, EJ O’Mara ’14, Nicholas Maodush-Pitzer ’15, Justin Bartaway ’14, Chris Gaigalas ’15, Derek Bruckner ’15, Spencer West ’15, and stroke Justin Ebert ’15 qualified for the Grand Final taking 2nd place in their Semi-Final, and rowed to a 4th place finish in the Grand Final with a time of 6:14.4. Marietta Won the Men’s Frosh/Novice 8+ event Overall (06:05.6).
Women’s Novice 4+ with Rhiannon McHenry ’15 (Cox), Bow: Elissa Besson ’15, Victoria Lloyd ’15, Kelsey VanAmberg ’15, and Stroke Marie Brown ’14 qualified for the Grand Final taking 2nd Place in their Semi, and rowed to a third place finish in the Grand Final with a time of 7:52.5; winning a Bronze medal. Fordham Won the Event Overall (7:45.4).
The Men’s Varsity Heavy Weight 4+ with Kyle Barnhart (cox) ’14 Bow: Chris Deneau ’13, Tucker Anderson ’12, Jacob Bouwman ’13, and Stoke Adam Wlodkowski qualified for their Semi-Final taking First in their Heat, and rowed to a 6th Place finish in their Semi-Final with a time of 6:55.4. Western Ontario won the Men’s Varsity Heavy Weight 4+ event overall (6:46.6).
The Women’s Varsity Heavy Weight 4+ with Erin Hocker ’15 (Cox), Bow: Staci O’Brien ’14, Kersten O’Brien ’14, Jordan Crandell ’14, and Stroke: Beth Czarnecki ’12 qualified for their Semi-Final taking 3rd place in their heat , and rowed to a 5th place finish in their Semi-Final with a time of 8:16.1. Nova Southeastern won this Event overall (7:43.3).
The Men’s Pair with Bow: Peter Zwierzynski ’13 and Stroke: Thomas Sawicki ’14 qualified for the Grand Final taking 2nd place in their Semi-Final, and rowed to a third place finish in the Grand Final with a time of 7:43.7; winning a Bronze medal. Trent won the Men’s Pair event overall (07:34.0).
The Men’s Single with Chris Picklo ’13 qualified for the Semi-Final taking 3rd in his heat, and rowed to a 5th place finish in his Semi-Final with a time of 8:12.3.
The Men’s Single with Marty Reed ’12 took 5th in his heat with a time of 8:40.5. Oklahoma City won the Men’s Single Overall (07:23.5).
Boat Man Tyler Sellmer at work. Thanks for all your hard work. You truly exert Tireless Effort and take great care of all equipment. Thank You!
The Women’s Varsity Heavy Weight 8+
Athlete: Carey Mankins ’13
Major: Health Professions
Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, MI
The IV women were pumped, to say the least, for the Dad Vail Regatta to start on Friday. After spending last week perfecting our starting 500 meters and small details, we knew we were prepared for the races to begin. Our heat on Friday consisted of Drexel, Georgia Tech, Florida U, Villanova and Eastern Michigan. Being the first race, we were all pretty nervous going up to the starting line. Our main competition in this race was Drexel in the lane right next to us, making it easy for us to keep a watchful eye on them. As we came up to the 500 meter mark, we already had a considerable amount on most of the other crews. Drexel was down but not by much. Jordan made it our goal to push Drexel back by the 1000 meter mark. With 750 meters left, we were playing cat and mouse with them but kept the lead. We were confident that we would take first and move to semifinals because we still had another gear in us. We finished at a strong 35 with Drexel two seconds behind us.
Our semifinal consisted of Sacramento, Temple, St Joe’s, Middlebury and San Diego State. After getting a full nights rest, we went into this race a little more relaxed, having a successful heat under our belt. Our start for this race was much more clean than our heat. We came through the bridge in lane 4, able to see all crews to our left and right. Although we were hit with a headwind once we came through the bridge, having trained in the unpredictable weather of Michigan under Coach Bancheri, it was nothing we could not handle. We had crews giving us some competition as we went into the last 500, but were ahead enough that we did not need to sprint. After coming in first for our heats and semi-finals, we were feeling more and more confident about the grand final. We had one final boat meeting that night. We all reminded each other of how much hard work and time we have put into getting to the grand final. And we made it there. Now, we just had to race like we always had, smart and strong. We were as ready as we were ever going to be.
Going into the grand final, I wondered why I was not as nervous as I was for the other races. At stroke, 7 other people depend on you for a lot of things, such as a consistent rate. If the rate is too low, then obviously other crews are going to pass you fairly quickly. But if it is too high, then your boat will “fly and die”. I put these concerns aside, realizing that we all have worked together for months now. We know what we can handle and what we can’t. We now how each and everyone else races. We were going to race the grand final and make it our best race yet. We locked into the starting block in lane 2, with Duke on our starboard side and Bucknell on our port. Our starting sequence was strong. We pushed through the 500, looking to be 1-2 seconds faster in the first 1000 of the race. We executed our moves with as much power and strength as we had. Bucknell pushed out pretty quickly but also paid for it in the second half. Duke kept strong but as Jordan yelled at us, we were able to stay within a boat length of them for a lot of the race. We came into the last 750, our muscles hurting more than ever at this point. We still stayed our strongest and focused on keeping our technique clean and crisp. We kept the body of the race at about a 36. With 300 left and crews in front of us, we jacked up the rate for our sprint. Jordan’s voice lasted just long enough to get us through the finish line. We finished with 4th place, with 1st place being only 5 seconds faster. Although we were all wishing to bring home some metal from the race, we were not upset with our race. Our moves were effective and in the right places of the body of the race. We raced smart and strong. Out of 33 varsity women’s heavyweight 8′s, many of which are scholarship programs, 4th place is still impressive from a club team.
Although we were upset, we were not angry or mad at ourselves for the way we raced. Rowing is a sport of, strength, determination, intricateness and control. If a rower does not have these qualities, they will not last in the sport. GV’s women’s 1V has these qualities. We were together, not one person can win the race and not one person can lose it. We look forward to spending the last 2 weeks of the season fine tuning the small details and bringing home medals from ACRA.
Men’s Varsity 4+
S: Adam Wlodkowski ’14, 3: Jake Bouman ’13, 2: Tucker Anderson ’12, B: Chris Deneau ’13, Cox: Kyle Barnhart ’15
Our four headed into Dad Vails knowing that it was going to be a tough weekend of racing. With 54 boats in our event, we knew we would be facing a lot of fast crews, but after three days of good practices in New Jersey, we were ready to lay it all out.
In the heat on Friday morning (heat 8 of 9) we came off the line strong (by far out best start of the season) and it set the tone for the rest of the race. We were first through the bridge and by the time we hit the 1,000 meter mark we had open water on four of the other crews and two seats on a fifth team. The second half of the race was solid, and we made a couple pushes to hold our position, crossing the finish line in first with a time of 6:50.8, two seconds over second place, to advance to the semi-finals.
In the semi final we drew the two fastest times out of the heat, along with four other fast crews (including a team in lane 0) and we knew it would be a tough race. Unfortunately, we were slow off the line, coming out into 5th place. Our first 1,000 meters was solid and we held with the pack, pushing into fourth place. The second thousand meters became a little frantic as we fought crews on all sides. After a rough spring at the end we finished 6th out of 7 with a time of 6:55.4. While it was a bit of a rough piece, everything was left on the water and we are ready to make the necessary changes over the next two weeks to bring home a medal at the ACRA Championship.
Athlete: Chris Picklo
Major: International Relations
Hometown: Macomb, MI
The men’s single, it is not like any other event. Not only are you racing the smallest boat possible which also in turn makes it the slowest event, but it is also one of the most psychologically demanding events out there. Rowing is just the half of it. Steering and coxing yourself down the course while at the same time pulling your heart out to stay ahead of the other singles.
Most of the week I spent memorizing my race plan: start and ten, shift ten and settle, move at Saint Joes’ Boathouse; and sprint before the bottom of the island. Thursday, during my practice row I looked for key landmarks to let me know where to make my moves, where to turn and where to sprint. As easy as all of this sounds, when you are pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion its easy to forget. I have had some experience in the single which made it easier to compete at the Dad Vail, but no matter how much experience you have it is still a whole different ball game with thousands of people lining the shores cheering.
The heat. I was in lane one, which by the stagger artificially puts you in the lead at the start, it also has the easiest turn. I had a 5 boat race and it was top 3 finishers to semi. After getting almost dead last in this event last year, I was bent on making it out of the heats and racing on Saturday. The start was great and I was in the lead for most of the first 500 meters, but lane 2 over took me and lane 4 was quickly charging. At the turn I still held contact with lane 2 and had a slight lead on lane 4. However I weigh 150lbs and was the smallest guy in the race, therefore when I passed under the bridge and hit the headwind I slowly fell back into third.
From St. Joes boathouse on, my only plan was to do whatever it takes to stay in third with fourth place charging up on me. As I passed the island with a 2 boat length lead, I could hear my father cheering which propelled me to power through the last twenty strokes. Breathing a sigh of relief as I advanced with a time of 8:07 just behind the University of Minnesota and Fairfield. The Semi. Going into this race on Saturday at the crack of dawn I had one goal in mind: Make a good race of it. I had a quick semi and I knew it going in. Lane 6, also known as the slow lane and has the most difficult turn was my lane. At the start the stagger makes you feel like you are behind to begin. I felt like I had the greatest start of my life, unfortunately so did 4 other guys in my semi and they took off on me. From then on I was racing the clock for my best time (and to stay ahead of sixth place). After the dust settled I was content with my race, it felt great and those
who saw said I also looked great and that was all that I could ask for. After placing 29th last year, I can honestly say placing 13th overall this year felt pretty good.
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