Lakers rowing club competes in East Lansing, gets ready for Boston

GVL / Archive
The Grand Valley Rowing Team during Spring Training in Florida last spring.

GVL / Archive The Grand Valley Rowing Team during Spring Training in Florida last spring.

Tate Baker

The Grand Valley State University rowing club is off and rolling, coming off an impressive showing at the Head of the Grand Regatta in East Lansing, Mich. last weekend.

“It’s a great time for the freshman to gain some experience,” said senior Jess Vogl. “This was their first real shot at competing for the program.”

The Lakers won the men’s varsity race with a time of 10 minutes, 32 seconds. Close behind was Michigan State University with a time of 10:39. The Lakers B and C teams also took 3rd and 4th place, respectively.

“Our novice teams got out to a good start this race,” said senior Jordan Hart. “It was also a good warm up for our varsity teams we are getting ready for the Head of the Charles.”

While the Head of the Grand Regatta is used as more of a benchmark to see where their teams are standing during the fall season, the Head of the Charles later this month in Boston will be the marque event for the Lakers.

“The Boston Marathon is to running, what the Head of the Charles is to rowing,” said head coach John Bancheri. “Think of it as a huge festival with all the best teams in it, it’s really unlike anything else.”

The Head of the Charles will consist of a number of Ivy League schools, and teams with great tradition in each of their respective rowing programs.

“More teams get turned away from competing in the Charles than teams who actually compete in it,” Bancheri said. “This race will ultimately be the benchmark for the fall as we will later on be preparing for the spring.”

The Lakers will look to gain momentum and confidence in Boston before heading into the winter. A good performance at the Head of the Charles is key to success in the spring, something the Lakers are well accustomed with.

“We have a long line of tradition within our program,” Vogl said. “Our number one goal going into the spring is to win our 6th consecutive ACRA championship.”

The Lakers success according to coach Bancheri is credited to a strong group of upperclassmen and also a hard working group of underclassmen.

“Having such a strong core group of seniors pulling the team at the top along with a group of young talent really makes the program,” Bancheri said.

The Lakers will head to Boston to compete in their biggest event of the fall, the Head of the Charles on Oct. 19.

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