by MARY CLINTHORNE “Go Rams!” echoed through the Harsha Lake valley east of Cincinnati on Saturday and Sunday, Mother’s Day weekend, as Rockford rowed to first place in the men’s division of the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship (MSRC). The Rams were followed in second and third place by Toledo Central Catholic and Cleveland St. Ignatius, respectively. While there were no fancy Mother’s Day brunches, the Rockford moms and dads who served the rowers in the food tent throughout the regatta were thrilled with the victory. The general feeling was, “They rocked!” referring to the amazing performances by all of the rowers. The Rockford women rowers earned third-place honors at this regional championship. First place in the women’s division was won by New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.), and second place was taken by Upper Arlington (Columbus). In the men’s and women’s combined points, Rockford came in second place behind New Trier. The warm sunny day of time-trials and semifinal races on Saturday qualified 11 Rockford boats for Sunday’s final races. Of those, 10 earned medals (seven gold, two silver, and one bronze). Head Coach Timothy Jacobs commented, “As a coach, watching our boats from shore racing in the grand finals is awesome, but to have ten of the eleven boats medal with the majority being first-place finishes is priceless.” Forty-five schools from six states competed in the MSRC this year. Rockford’s first-place winning boats were the Men’s Lightweight 4+ winning by 2.27 seconds over Ann Arbor Pioneer (K. Clinthorne, Tristan VanFossen, I. Blenman, D. Itter, coxswain L. Conner); Men’s Lightweight 8+ beating second-place Upper Arlington by six seconds (Clinthorne, VanFossen, T. Maple, J. Nemeth, M. Hendershott, S. Ginebaugh, Blenman, Itter, coxswain Conner); Men’s Varsity 4+ overcoming a tight race to win against Ignatius Chicago by 0.58 seconds (Bryce VanderBerg, A. Carley, C. Fase, M. Hendershott, coxswain R. Featherston); Men’s Varsity 2 besting second-place Upper Arlington by more than 11 seconds (VanderBerg, Carley); Men’s Novice 8+ winning by more than seven seconds over second-place New Trier (M. Crimp, E. Sawicki, J. Ullrey, A. LaBadie, N. Guerra, R. O’Grady, A. Houn, A. Karsten, coxswain J. Villearreal); Women’s Novice 4+ triumphing over second-place Upper Arlington by nine seconds (M. Fix, M. Plekes, H. Twardy, M. Marvin, coxswain I. Waite); and […]
by CANDY BURRIS The Rams traveled to Stony Creek Metro Park in Utica, Mich. over Memorial Day weekend to compete in the Michigan State Regatta. Schools and clubs from around the state gathered to race at the all-day event. Rockford came out strong and placed six boats in first, four boats in second, and two boats in third. Starting the gold medal streak was the men’s novice four team of Bryce Vandenberg, Nate Roobol, Jake Madsen, Matt Vermeer, and coxswain Margaret Saelens. This team was quickly followed by the men’s junior four team of Austin Burris, Zach Haugen, TJ Jacobs, Zach Troyer, and coxswain Andrew Saelens. Then the men’s senior four team of Ian Sims, Landon Burris, Levi Pulver, Nate Harrison, and coxswain Andrew Saelens took first. They were followed by the men’s novice eight team of Cody Brown, Roobol, Alex Christensen, Madsen, Trevor Harrison, Andrew Troyanowski, Vermeer, Vandenberg, and coxswain M. Saelens. The men’s junior eight team of Burris, Haugen, Jacobs, Troyer, Sims, Harrison, Troyanowski, Jeff Gleghorn, coxswain A. Saelens also claimed gold. Taking first in one of the last races of the day was the men’s pair, Pulver and L. Burris. Silver medal winners were the men’s double boat of Sebastian Sieracki and Tim Carlson, along with the women’s novice eight boat of Jenna Brower, Lynsey Felty, Carly Johnson, Lindsey Muir, Courtney Brummeler, Alana Christy, Rachel Alberta, Kacie Kinstle, and coxswain Shelby Hodges. Also bringing home silver was the women’s lightweight eight boat of Laura Rohde, Sam Tefft, Alberta, Rita Snyder, Stephani Sawicki, Johnson, Laura Gleghorn, Lauren Madsen, and coxswain Lauren Fay, along with the women’s novice four boat of Brower, Muir, Brummeler, Kinstle, and coxswain Hodges. Bronze medal winners were the women’s senior eight team of Shannon Schmutz, Sarah Lemanski, Marie Albano, Olivia Nielsen, Madsen, Erin Fedeson, Amy Fedeson, Emma Korson, and coxswain Fay, along with the men’s lightweight eight boat of Troy Paskiewicz, Josh Houn, Trevor Holloway, Sam Berndt, Tyler Truxton, Issac Blenman, Tyler McDaniel, Kyle Brown, and coxswain Kylie Torres.
by CANDY BURRIS Rowing teams from 20 schools in Michigan, Canada and Illinois converged at Wyandotte early Saturday morning, May 2, for the Wi-Hi Regatta. Weather conditions were less than ideal as high winds created whitecaps along the river and pushed waves up over the riggers as rowers attempted to race the course. Spectators watched from the shoreline as two competitors’ boats were overcome by the height of the waves-the rowers were quickly rescued by safety patrol. The women’s senior four boat (Schmutz, Kuhn, Peck, Kasper, Denike) continued to row, clearly in the lead throughout the race, but rapidly filling water within their boat dashed hopes for a first-place finish in the heat. Delays were called several times as race officials tried to better determine if the regatta could be completed within the safety guidelines of the U.S. Rowing organization. Eventually, the winds slowed, and rowers were called to the water once again to compete. The Ram rowing team took the challenge to heart and refused to let the weather impact them, placing 19 boats in the finals. When asked how Rockford’s team could do so well when other schools struggled to stay on course, men’s coach Greg Hobart stated, “Our rowers are used to these adverse conditions and row in them on a regular basis. They have practiced hard and are prepared.” Rockford will now advance to the Michigan High School Scholastic Regional Regatta in Cincinnati on May 9-10. This regatta includes schools from a seven-state region and will provide the Rams with intense competition as they compete against the best rowing teams from the Midwest. Coming on strong with first-place finishes were: women’s novice eight: Amy Fedeson, Julia Fraser, Lena Klienoder, Emma Korson, Kendall McConnohie, Kendra Bilardello, Kate Fraser, Kara Korson, coxswain Becca DeKorne; women’s novice lightweight four: Kate Fugate, Kelli Borgeld, Andrea Galloway, Emily Prus, coxswain Sam Teft. Silver medal winners were: women’s senior eight: Shannon Schmutz, Christine Kasper, Darcy Peck, Michelle Kuhn, Alicia Dickenson, Maddie Anderson, Marie Albano, Olivia Neilsen, coxswain Jennifer Denike; women’s novice lightweight four: Lauren Madsen, Laura Gleghorn, Carly Johnson, Lauren Rohde, coxswain Lauren Fey; women’s novice four: K. Korson, Bilardello, Kleinoder, Fedeson, coxswain Shelby Hodges; men’s novice four: Matt Vermeer, Bryce Vandenberg, Austin Togger, Nate […]
In a regatta dominated entirely by Ann Arbor Pioneer over the past several years, Rockford’s crew team pulled out all the stops to narrowly claim a first-place finish, just one point ahead of rival Ann Arbor Pioneer and two points ahead of another strong East Michigan team, Ann Arbor Huron. East Michigan teams have dominated this sport for many years, primarily due to the fact that they have established programs going back 20 years or more. Rockford crew is a relatively young sport, only claiming varsity status within the past eight years. The Rockford women’s team captured the first-place trophy, with the men’s additional points helping to catapult the Rams to first place overall. Over 700 competitors converged on Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, coming from 14 teams located in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Rockford crew, 92 members strong, had the largest showing among the eight area teams located in West Michigan. “It helps to have that many bodies,” stated Rockford Coach Tim Jacobs. “They have trained hard and they have transferred that work ethic to the water.” Of the more than 20 boats entered by Rockford, 16 boats made it past the heats and into the finals. There, Rockford quickly rose to the challenge and captured four first-, four second-, and three third-place finishes. Bringing home the gold for Rockford were: women’s novice eight: Amy Fedeson, Kendra Bilardella, Julia Fraser, Kate Fraser, Lena Kleinoeder, Kara Korson, Sarah Lemanski, Kendall McConnohie, and coxswain Becca DeKorne men’s junior four: Austin Burris, TJ Jacobs, Zach Haugen, Zach Troyer, and coxswain Andrew Saelens women’s lightweight eight: Raechel Wrona, Clara Harding, Shelby Jacobs, Chris Scoffield, Richelle Huizina, Molly Guthrie, Jane Vandervelde, Katina Goad, and coxswain Dani Teft women’s lightweight four: Wrona, Harding, Jacobs, Scoffield, and coxswain Lauren Fey Capturing second place for Rockford were: women’s junior eight: Camille Pulver, Angelina Lipzinski, Erin Fedeson, Megan Korson, Kaitlin Champion, Lemanski, Becca Markham, Maddie Anderson, and coxswain Danielle Frick women’s senior four: Olivia Kacsits, Christine Kasper, Darcy Peck, Michelle Kuhn, and coxswain Jennifer Denike women’s senior eight dash: Olivia Nielsen, Peck, Marie Albano, Alicia Dickinson, Kasper, Kacsits, Kuhn, Shannon Schmutz, and coxswain Denike men’s senior eight dash: Burris, Haugen, Jacobs, Nate Harrison, Ian […]
by CANDY BURRIS In a test of physical strength and endurance, the Rockford crew team stood up to the challenge and excelled. Claiming first-place honors for the second year in a row, the Rams clearly showed they were the best in West Michigan. Competing against Forest Hills Central (FHC), Forest Hills Eastern, Lowell, East Grand Rapids (EGR), Forest Hills Northern, Northview, and Grand Rapids Boat Club, Rockford pulled out a first-place finish with 34 points, 17 points ahead of their closest competitors, EGR and FHC. The race was held at FHC, where rowers competed in two-meter races on indoor rowing machines called ERGs. Medals were given for first-, second- and third-place finishers, with the following Ram crew members taking home the honors: novice men: Matt Vermeer first, Bryce Vanderberg second novice women: Sarah Lemanski third lightweight women: Shelby Jacobs second openweight men: Landon Burris second openweight women: Olivia Kacsits first, Christine Kasper third coxswain men: Dylan Itter third coxswain women: Jesi Hernandez third Other team members placing in the top 10 for the Rams and earning points to ensure Rockford’s first-place win were: novice men: Andrew Christensen fourth, Nate Roohol fifth, Andrew Troyanowski seventh novice women: Kate Frasier fourth, Lena Kleinoeder fifth, Julia Fraser seventh, Kendall McConnohie ninth lightweight men: Tim Carlson fifth, Troy Paskeiwicz sixth, Tyler McDaniel seventh, Kyle Brown 10th lightweight women: Rochelle Huizinga fourth, Rachael Wrona sixth, Clara Harding seventh, Rebecca Markham ninth openweight men: Levi Pulver fifth, Zach Hagen ninth, TJ Jacobs 10th openweight women: Darcy Peck fifth, Michelle Kuhn sixth coxswain men: Danny Bronkema sixth coxswain women: Lauren Fey ninth Coached by Tim Jacobs and Greg Hobart, the Rams will compete at their first regatta of the season on Saturday, April 18 at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. The public is invited to attend and there is no charge for admission.