by MARY CLINTHORNE
Rockford medaled in 12 out of 19 events on Saturday, May 5, at the St. Mary’s Crew Classic in Orchard Lake, with the women bringing home the first-place trophy and the men earning second-place behind Cleveland St. Ignatius. Other top teams in the women’s competition were Detroit Boat Club (second place) and Toledo St. Ursula (third place). Third place in the men’s competition was claimed by St. Mary’s.
The day was partly cloudy with calm winds when the Novice Women’s 8+ led the charge as the first Rockford boat to earn first place. M. Marvin, C. Wadlow, A. Kely, H. Twardy, M. Plekes, T. Kacsits, S. VanFossen, M. Fix, and coxswain S. Doletzky filled that winning boat. They were quickly followed by the Novice Men’s 8+, who continued their season’s unbeaten streak, out-rowing 13 other boats to win gold. Rowers in the Novice Men’s 8+ were A. Karsten, A. Houn, R. O’Grady, Z. Lecceadone, A. LaBadie, J. Ullrey, E. Sawicki, and M. Crimp, with J. Villarreal as coxswain.
The Varsity Women’s 4+ (K. Bilardello, K. Korson, K. Fraser, A. Galloway, and coxswain R. DeKorne) ruled their race beating out eight other boats to claim first place. Later, the Varsity Women’s 8+ (Fraser, Korson, Bilardello, A. Dew, A. Andrews, VanFossen, A. Fedeson, Galloway, and coxswain DeKorne) raced past nine other boats to cross the finish line first.
Earning second-place medals in their races were the Women’s Lightweight 8+ (E. Prus, S. Sawicki, T. Todd, Fix, Marvin, A. Coberly, Twardy, T. Powers, and coxswain Bri VanderBerg); Women’s Lightweight 4+ (E. Prus, S. VanFossen, T. Powers, Sawicki, with coxswain Bri VanderBerg); Men’s Open 2x (Bryce VanderBerg, and A. Carley); Men’s Lightweight 4+ (K. Clinthorne, T. VanFossen, I. Blenman, D. Itter, and coxswain R. Featherston); and Men’s Varsity 4+ (M. Hendershott, VanderBerg, Carley, C. Fase, and coxswain L. Conner).
The Women’s Junior 4+ earned third in a 15-boat race (Andrews, Dew, J. Levin, and E. Emerick, and coxswain DeKorne). Later in the day, the Men’s Lightweight 8+ also rowed to third place (T. Ingersoll, J. Nemeth, C. Jewell, T. Maple, J. Dennis, M. Soloman, K. Loux, S. Ginebaugh, and coxswain Featherston). The day of racing ended as the Varsity Men’s 8+ claimed an additional third-place victory (Clinthorne, VanFossen, Carley, VanderBerg, Hendershott, Fase, Blenman, Itter, and coxswain Conner).
“The crew team took a big step forward this weekend as we head into our Midwest championship in Cincinnati,” commented Coach Jacobs. “The kids improved from top to bottom this weekend. Their hard work is starting to pay off at the right time.”
The upcoming Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship in Cincinnati, May 12-13, determines which boats move on to compete in the nationals in Camden County, N.J. later this month.