by CANDY BURRIS
The Rockford crew team was prepared and went to Kensington Metro Park with one goal in mind: to win the state title. They knew the competition would be tough, especially with powerhouses like Ann Arbor Pioneer and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in attendance. But the Rams charged forward and, at the end of the day, they stood tall and victorious.
Of the 13 boats that were entered, all made it to the finals-all which tallied points for the Rams. To make it fair for every participating school, only one boat was allowed per race. So, even though Rockford often had two boats in their lineup throughout the year, only one could be entered for this state regatta. The Rams assembled their best and started claiming the state champion distinction as each boat crossed the finish line. When all was over, the Rams earned seven first-place finishes, one second-place finish, and one third-place finish.
Staking claim to first place and earning the title of Michigan state champs were:
- men’s double-Tim Carlson, Sebastian Sirecki;
- women’s senior four-Michelle Kuhn, Darcy Peck, Olivia Kacsits, Christine Kasper, coxswain Jenny Denike;
- women’s junior four-Maddie Anderson, Megan Korson, Camille Pulver, Rebecca Markam, coxswain Danille Frick;
- women’s lightweight eight-Raechel Wrona, Shelby Jacobs, Richelle Huizinga, Molly Guthrie, Chris Scoffield, Clara Harding, Katina Goad, Jane Vandervelde, coxswain Dani Teft;
- women’s lightweight four-Wrona, Harding, Jacobs, Scoffield, coxswain Lauren Fay;
- women’s junior eight-Anderson, Markam, Pulver, M. Korson, Kara Korson, Kendra Bilardello, Lena Kleinoeder, Sarah Lemanski, coxswain Frick;
- women’s junior four-M. Korson, Markam, Anderson, Pulver, coxswain Frick;
- men’s junior eight-Andrew Troyanowski, Zach Troyer, Ian Sims, Nate Harrison, Zach Haugen, Jeff Gleghorn, TJ Jacobs, Austin Burris, and coxswain Andrew Saelens.
Silver medal winners were the women’s senior eight boat of Shannon Schmutz, Alicia Dickinson, Olivia Neilsen, Marie Albano, Michelle Kuhn, Darcy Peck, Olivia Kacsits, Christine Kasper, and coxswain Jenny Denike.
Bronze medal winners were the men’s pair boat of Levi Pulver and Landon Burris.
The Rams will compete in two different regattas this weekend. Four of the boats are heading to the Scholastic Rowing Association National Regatta in New Jersey (women’s senior four, women’s junior four, women’s lightweight eight, women’s freshman eight), while the remaining team members will be competing at the Michigan High School Rowing Championship at Stony Creek Metro Park in Utica, Mich.