On October 22 and 23, 11 rowers with Rockford ties competed in Boston’s prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta. “Head” races are three miles long and boats are started sequentially 12 seconds apart and race against the clock. Extremely demanding, the Head of the Charles course twists and turns with the river’s bends and includes seven narrow bridges. Boats are not separated in lanes, so the action often resembles a NASCAR race, including near collisions. Rick Anderson, 2010 winner in the Veterans Singles category, again rowed to first place, leading 51 racers down the course. Anderson has a long history of rowing competitively. He was a founding officer of the Grand Rapids Rowing Club and in 1996 started the Rockford High School crew team, serving as head coach for 13 years. Five Rockford graduates competed at the race. Ross Anderson, representing Philadelphia’s elite Penn AC, was eighth in the Championship Single against a field of 32 that included world champion Mahe Drysdale from New Zealand. On scholarship at the University of Central Florida, Chelsey Lauzon was part of the UCF Championship Eight, finishing 24th out of 37. In Notre Dame’s Club Four was another scholarship rower, Olivia Kacsits, and they placed 36th out of 45. Grand Valley State University’s men’s Club Four with junior Tucker Anderson and freshman Austin Burris did very well, placing 15th out of 50. Three current Rockford rowing team members made the trip to Boston to gain experience. Bryce VanderBerg competed in the Club Singles, finishing 52nd out of 64. Tristan VanForsen and Kevin Clinthorne were 35th out of 40 in the Youth Doubles. Former Russian professional rower Michael Raisky, now on Rockford’s masters’ squad with Rick Anderson, was sixth out of 37 in the Senior Masters Doubles event, and his wife Carol was fifth in a field of 19 Masters Doubles.
Clear skies and calm waters were a welcome relief at the St Mary’s Crew Classic on Saturday, May 7 in Orchard Lake, Mich. Teams have been hampered with stormy weather and swollen rivers, causing races to be cancelled and rescheduled. The Rockford men’s team had a strong showing for the day, tying for second place with Ann Arbor Pioneer with a total of 85 points each at the 10-team event. Host St Mary’s Orchard Lake took top honors in the men’s division with a total of 158 points. In the opening men’s race for Rockford, the lightweight four team of Dilan Itter, Kevin Clinthorne, Tristan VanFossen, Sam Berndt and coxswain Sarah McLellan set the pace as they captured the first of the silver medals awarded to the men’s team with a time of 05:33.61 over the 1,500-meter course. They were then followed by the men’s lightweight eight, which garnered another silver medal for Jacob Nemeth, Jacob Dennis, Tyler Maple, Isaac Blenman, Tyler Truxton, Marcus Powers, Itter, Clinthorne and McLellan with a time of 05:01.86. Speed and power were brought to the forefront by the varsity four team with a posted time of 05:20.75 that captured silver for TJ Jacobs, Mitch Griffis, Bryce VanderBerg, Austin Burris and coxswain McLellan. Rounding out the award winners for the day was the men’s novice four team with members Mack Solomon, Ryan McAnelly, Mitchell Hendershott, Chad Slider and coxswain Logan Conner collecting bronze. They were followed by the novice eight team of Tyler Ingersoll, Reggi Titmus, Kurtis Loux, Dezmund Nelson, Hendershott, Maple, Solomon, Slider and coxswain Conner. The team will compete next on home waters at the Grand Rapids High School Regatta, which was rescheduled from April 30 due to flooding conditions on the Grand River. Teams from across a quad-state area have been invited to the event. Racing takes place at Riverside Park, Boat Launch #2, and everyone is encouraged to cheer on the Rams as they defend their GRHS Regatta championship title.
The prestigious Boy Scout Eagle Scout rank was bestowed upon 16-year-old Kevin Clinthorne of Troop 282 at a special Court of Honor on March 13. Clinthorne, a sophomore at Rockford High School, is the son of Mary and Jim Clinthorne of Rockford. He is the 18th Scout from Troop 282 to achieve this rank since 2002. Clinthorne began his Scouting career in second grade with Cub Scout Pack 3282 at Roguewood Elementary School. He earned his Arrow of Light award, the highest Cub Scout award, as a Webelos Scout and has also earned the Parvuli Dei religious award. He has served his troop as a patrol leader and is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, a Boy Scout National Honor Society. For his Eagle Scout project, Clinthorne constructed four handicap accessible picnic tables for the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford. The Center is a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic riding training for mentally, physically and socially challenged individuals. Each summer hundreds of riders attend summer camps hosted by the Center and the tables will be used by the riders and their families. His project was funded by donations from Rockford Hardware, pop can collections and private donations. In addition to Scouts, Clinthorne sings with the Rockford High School chorale and rows on the crew team. He enjoys building and flying radio control model airplanes. Following graduation, he hopes to receive an appointment to a U.S. military academy to pursue a degree in engineering and to train as a fighter pilot.