Rockford crew men bring home Grand Rapids Invitational trophy

by MARY CLINTHORNE 

Rockford’s crew teams celebrate the Men’s Grand Rapids Invitational victory on Saturday, April 28. Photo by JON LOUX

Students from 10 high school rowing programs, representing three states (Michigan, Illinois and Indiana) competed Saturday, April 28, at Riverside Park, the site of the Grand Rapids High School Rowing Invitational. Rockford High School took home the men’s team trophy, scoring 46 points, besting second-place Forest Hills Central by 36 points.

The dry, sunny, and slightly breezy weather conditions combined for an excellent day of rowing. Preliminary races in the morning narrowed the field to the top boats for the afternoon’s final races, where the Rockford men especially shone, winning six of the nine men’s races.

Among the more interesting details of the final race (senior men’s 8+), was that this open-weight race was won by Rockford’s lightweight rowers (weighing 160 pounds or less).

Rockford’s senior men’s 8+ boat heads toward victory at the Grand Rapids Invitational Regatta on Saturday, April 28. Photo by JON LOUX

Rockford rowed for the top prizes in the senior men’s 8+ (K. Clinthorne, D. Itter, M. Hendershott, S. Ginebaugh, I. Blenman, J. Nemeth, M. Powers, T. VanFossen, and coxswain L. Conner), the novice men’s 8+ (A. Houn, E. Sawicki, J. Ullrey, A. LaBadie, N. Guerra, R. O’Grady, Z. Lecceadone, A. Karsten, and coxswain J. Villarreal), the junior men’s 8+ (M. Crimp, C. Fase, A. LaBadie, R. Dickenson, A. Houn, J. Ullrey, T. Maple, E. Sawicki, and coxswain J. Villarreal), the senior men’s lightweight 8+ (M. Power, J. Nemeth, M. Hendershott, M. Soloman, J. Dennis, T. Ingersoll, K. Loux, S. Ginebaugh, and coxswain R. Featherston), the senior men’s 4+ (M. Hendershott, B. VanderBerg, A. Carley, C. Fase, and coxswain L. Conner), and the senior men’s lightweight 4+ (K. Clinthorne, T. VanFossen, I. Blenman, D. Itter, and coxswain R. Featherston). The Rockford men took first place in six races.

In addition, a second-place medal in the senior men’s 2x was earned by B. VanderBerg and A. Carley.

Rockford women medaled with third place in several races:  novice women’s 8+ (M. Fix, A. Kely, H. Twardy, M. Plekes, T. Porter, T. Huerta, T. Todd, M. Marvin, and coxswain S. Doletzky), junior women’s 8+ (E. Emerick, L. Pratt, A. Dew, A. Andrews, F. Fix, T. Powers, C. Wadlow, V. Kacsits, and coxswain R. DeKorne), senior women’s lightweight 4+ (M. Fix, S. VanFossen, E. Prus, S. Sawicki, and coxswain B. VanderBerg), and senior women’s 4+ (K. Bilardello, K. Korson, K. Fraser, A. Fedeson, and coxswain R. DeKorne).

Rockford headed to Ann Arbor on April 28, but will be rowing again in Grand Rapids at the state championship on May 19 at Riverside Park. If you’ve never seen a high school regatta, stop by Riverside Park, known to be one of the best venues in the state, to see the top high school boats in Michigan compete.

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