Joining high school and masters rowers from 12 Midwest clubs in Grand Rapids at the Grand Rapids Challenge Regatta on Saturday, four Saline boats earned medals in races against rowers from Forest Hills Central, Rockwood, Northville, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Skyline, East Grand Rapids, Lake Leelanau, Northview and Grand Rapids Rowing Association. With over 160 entries competing in 24 races, morning temperatures in the 40’s climbed into the 70’s later in the day and with little to no wind, conditions were perfect for rowers and spectator alike.
Hosted by the Grand River Rowing Club, the Challenge is a head race (races are based on time) rowed upstream, from picturesque Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, under the historic North Park Bridge and finishing near the Fifth Third ballpark in Comstock Park. The race distance for novices and master rowers was 3.6 km and 5.0 km for high school and open crews.
Opening the event with the first race of the day, Saline’s Women’s Novice 4 boat (Erin Connor, Alle Fiske, Rachel Weidmayer, Sarah Loughman and coxswain Victoria Wellings) finished their race in 4th place, just out of the medals. The men’s Novice 8 (Matthew Eby, Ian Marlow, Ethan McGuire, Matthew Hargrove, David Johnson, Zayn Al-Zahid, Adam Nowicki, Brandon Zukowski and coxswain Jade Hoang]) then scored the first medal of the day for Saline with a third place finish just behind Ann Arbor Pioneer and Skyline.
Men’s Double (Ryan Wellings and Jacob Hargrove) followed with a strong third place finish and medal, finishing less that 20 seconds behind the first place boat from Skyline (21:00) and only 3 seconds behind the second place entry from Rockford.
The afternoon then started with Saline’s Mixed 8 entry, including men and women rowers, finishing their race in 4th place out 12 boats followed by Saline’s Women’s Varsity 8 also earning a 4th place finish. Next, Saline’s Women’s 2x entries finished with two boats in the top four with 2nd place going to Alexis Wolff and Liz Walsh, with a time of 25:10.
The final race of the afternoon brought with it Saline’s only gold medal of the day with the Women’s 4x (Elizabeth Walsh, Alexis Wolff, Haley Pfeiffer and Gavin Gallagher) placing first in their race.
The Hornets have two weeks to prepare for the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA and the Rowing the Dotte Fall Classic Regatta in Wyandotte, MI on October 20, 2012 before closing out its fall season on beautiful Lake Leelanau at the Leelanau Chase Regatta on October 27, 2012
More information can be found at www.salinecrew.org.