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.
Over 150 male swimmers from seven West Michigan area high schools competed at the annual freshman/sophomore meet in Grandville on Saturday, Feb. 5. Last year the Rams came out victorious with their first win in seven years. However, this year it was the Hudsonville Eagles that came out on top, with Rockford finishing in second place. Hudsonville placed first with 482 points, followed by Rockford (379), Jenison (294), Grandville (252), East Kentwood (231), Grand Haven (222), and Holland West Ottawa (162). Despite the loss, the young Rams put forth a tremendous effort with numerous top-16 scoring finishes and several Rams swimming their fastest times of the season. The top 16 individual scorers for the Rams were: • 200-yard free: Mike Arend (second), Reese Patino (ninth), Dylan Dick (14th), Kurtis Loux (15th) • 200-yard IM: Trenton Babcock (first), Nick Willison (third), Corey Fase (10th) • 50-yard free: Chris Lemoine (12th) • 100-yard fly: Craig Wasberg (first), Corey Fase (10th), Jacob Davis (11th) • 100-yard free: Mike Arend (fourth), Justin Hulsebus (10th), Chris Lemoine (14th) • 500-yard free: Stephan Cress (sixth), Kurtis Loux (ninth), Dylan Dick (12th) • 100-yard back: Craig Wasberg (first), Nick Willison (second), Stephan Cress (ninth), Justin Hulsebus (11th), Reese Patino (15th) • 100-yard breast: Trenton Babcock (second), Kyle Hams (sixth), Tyler Vanderhaag (15th) Rockford placed second in all three relays: • 200-yard medley relay: Willison, Babcock, Wasberg, Davis (1:44.68) • 200-yard free relay: Lemoine, Davis, Hulsebus, Arend (1:40.89) • 400-yard free relay: Arend, Willison, Babcock, Wasberg (3:26.15) The Rockford divers, Noah Markel and Shane Phillips, finished in third and eighth places for the Rams, with a final score of 288.80 and 234.40 points respectively. This week, many of these young Rams will join the Rockford juniors and seniors to face off in a dual meet against East Kentwood at the Falcons’ home pool on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. Both teams still remain undefeated in the OK Red conference.