GVSU rowing captures another national title

Courtesy / GVSU Rowing Club
Varsity men competing in the Dad Vail Regatta.

Courtesy / GVSU Rowing Club Varsity men competing in the Dad Vail Regatta.

Tate Baker

Six years ago when the ACRA Club National Championship was created, Grand Valley State University set out to become a household name in rowing. After capturing a national championship every single year since it’s creation, the GVSU women have put the Lakers on the map.

“I couldn’t be happier with how everyone competed this weekend,” said head coach John Bancheri. “We have a great group of seniors that really anchor not only the team, but the entire program as well.”

The Women’s Varsity 8 rowing team took home gold at the ACRA National Championship by finishing with a time of 6 minutes, 33.4 seconds, holding off University of California Santa Barbara, and Purdue University.

“They really set out to accomplish their goals they set this season and didn’t disappoint once,” Bancheri said. “It’s great for the program and it makes Grand Valley more recognizable among other colleges and universities.”

The Men’s Varsity 8 also competed well as they knocked off Michigan State University to push themselves towards a third place finish with a time of 5:53.9.

“It was a great way to cap off another great season,” said junior Costas Cuingan. “It was great to beat Michigan State. Getting bronze over them in that particular race really got our guys fired up, as it is always a good feeling to beat Michigan State.

What may be the most impressive stat of the weekend came from the Women’s Novice 8 team, as they once again took home gold with a time of 6:48.7 – ending their season undefeated.

“What they were able to accomplish was really quite remarkable and shouldn’t go unnoticed from anyone,” Bancheri said. “Their focus never shifted throughout the entire season. Even with everything we had to deal with this year, they stayed strong and a lot of that credit goes to their coach Kelsey Arnold.”

While the GVSU women cruised to their sixth consecutive overall points championship, almost every other Laker rowing team tallied points in their respective races. The Women’s Double, Women’s Novice 8, Women’s Second Varsity, Men’s Double, Women’s Pair, Women’s Novice 4, Men’s Novice 8, Men’s Second Varsity, and both Men and Women Varsity 4 teams all took home points to help out the Laker cause.

“Our results this past weekend really demonstrates the focus and attention all of our teams and pairs have had this season,” said Men’s Novice coach Hugh McKeegan. “Hopefully this will carry over onto the summer where our hard work will continue into next season.”

With the continued success, there is added pressure for further growth and improvement. All of this is something that coach Bancheri is ready to embrace.

“After accomplishing so much this past six years, it gets harder and harder as the added expectations come with the continued success,” Bancheri said. “I think we are all ready to embrace that and we are excited to further put GVSU on the map. It’s really our goal to make Grand Valley a household name in the rowing community.”

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