Michigan denies GV sweep of Lubbers Cup Regatta

GVL / Amalia Heichelbech
Grand Valley Mens rowing at the Lubbers Cup races in Spring Lake.

Amalia Heichelbech

GVL / Amalia Heichelbech Grand Valley Mens rowing at the Lubbers Cup races in Spring Lake.

In almost every men’s event at Saturday’s 17th-annual “Don” Lubbers Cup Cup Regatta, the Grand Valley State University’s men’s teams battled against a familiar foe for first place.

At the end of the day, that foe, the University of Michigan, edged out the Lakers to take the Points Cup in men’s events. On the women’s side, the Lakers snatched the Women’s Points Cup and the Overall Points Cup, two of three Regatta trophies.

“Michigan is a club sport like us but they’re well-organized, their coach is a GVSU graduate,” said GVSU head coach John Bancheri. “(They’re) a top club team in the country, regularly knocking off division I varsity teams. All 80 of our kids are rowing well and rowing above and beyond their classification talent level.”

The men’s First Varsity Four Final ended with the Lakers finishing first with a time of 6 minutes, 30.8 seconds, with Michigan State University edging out Michigan for second by four seconds with a time of 6:35.7. In the second flight, the race came down to the very end with with Michigan finishing in first, this time by only three-tenths of a second ahead of GVSU.

In the men’s Novice Eight Grand Final, the two teams also were locked in a tight race, this time it was the Lakers (6:14.59) edging out the Wolverines (6:15.0) to win by one one-hundredth of a second.

The women’s team highlighted the Lakers performance at this year’s Regatta, failing to take first place in just three events. Despite missing out on maximum points from the “Michaud Family Cup” (Varsity Four Final), the 1X, and the Third Varsity Four Final, the Lakers managed to steal second place in each event and both second and third in the Varsity Four Final.

The Regatta, which has been a process building since the team organized their winter snow removal in September, proved to be exactly what Bancheri and the team had hoped for on Saturday.

“For them to perform the way they did yesterday I am absolutely thrilled,” he said. “(It’s) great for the university, great for the community and great for the region.”

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