Jupiter Rowing chased down six medals at the Leelanau Chase Regatta

Jupiter Rowing Team competing at the 9th Annual Leelanau Chase Regatta.  Photo by Aaron Sundman
The traditional bagpipe welcomes the sunrise and the start of the competition.  Photo by Aaron Sundman

Jupiter Rowing faced its toughest competitors of the fall season on Saturday, October 28th at the 9th annual Leelanau Chase Regatta on Lake Leelanau, Michigan.  Thirteen clubs from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana and over 500 your rowers competed in forty-degree temperatures with light rain throughout the day.  The brisk weather and late October conditions welcomed the athletes of Jupiter Rowing.  The club is comprised of students from Rockford, Northview, Forest Hills Eastern, Lowell, and Heritage Academies as an off-shoot of Rockford Rowing as it opens its club program to those in the community that do not have fall programs.  These athletes were also joined by other West Michigan students from the East Grand Rapids Crew Team, the Spring Lake Crew Club and the Grand Rapids Rowing Association.

The Sunday morning sunrise was met with the sound of two bagpipers who marched to the end of the dock signaling the start of the competition.  More than two hundred boats powered by high school and middle school students then raced down the 3.5-kilometer course.  The race takes about 15

Men’s Varsity 4+ boat comprised of Joe Saenz, Morgan Werner, Jake Janssen, Chris Neihoff and Coxswain Alli Ziemba took the bronze.  Photo by Aaron Sundman

minutes to complete such a lot of grit and determination was demonstrated.  Jupiter Rowing Middle Schoolers had two medaling mixed eight seat boats, comprised of boys and girls, including a gold and a silver.  First year high school rowers in the Women’s Novice 8+ and Women’s Novice 4+ both received bronze medals.

The Women’s JV 4+ boat comprised of Amelia Sundman, Sophie Stauffer, Hannah Burmania, Courtney Cocuzza and coxswain Callie Perini received a bronze medal for their efforts.  Wrapping up the medal collection was the bronze obtained by the Men’s Varsity 4+ boat comprised of Joe Saenz, Morgan Werner, Jake Janssen, Chris Neihoff and Coxswain Alli Ziemba.

Men’s Head Coach Tucker Anderson felt the team had a great showing against some of the top teams in the state.  “The Varsity and Novice boats have made strong progress since the start of the season, especially over the last few weeks where we’ve closed the gap on the top squads,” said Anderson.  “We still have some speed to gain as we continue to work on our rhythm and timing heading into our last week of the fall season.”

Overall, Anderson and Women’s Head Coach Dilan Itter were quite happy with the results of the regatta.  “The boys are a fairly young squad and we were still able to have a strong showing across the board,” Anderson continued.  “We need to work on our rhythm and timing this last week as we put it all together and look to end the season on a high note.”  Coach Itter also feels that the women’s team is in a great position heading into the winter conditioning season, with definitive plans on what to work on to make the spring season successful.

Rockford Seniors Sophia Smith and Emma Lassig compete in the Women’s Varsity Two Boat.  Photo by Aaron Sundman

Jupiter Rowing completes its season with its final fall regatta in Northville, Michigan on Saturday, November third.

To learn more about Rockford Rowing, please visit www.RockfordRowing.com.