CREW: Saline Rows to 2nd Ever Victory at Hebda Cup on the Detroit River

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Andrew Schmaltz, Michael Brewer, Alex Phillips, Grace Orwig (coxswain), Luke Chai, James McCalla, Daniel Sirbu, Zach Lindemann, Jai Brackenbury, Gavin Sykes, Luke Haase, Gavin Male

The Saline High School crew team rowed to an historic victory Saturday in the Hebda Cup Regatta at the Wyandotte Boat Club on the Detroit River. 

It was just the second time in the nearly 60-year history of the Hebda Cup that it will be engraved with Saline.

The Saline boys' rowing team won the points trophy, fueled by victories in two races - including the biggest race of the day - the varsity eight.

Grace Orwing was the Coxwain and Daniel Sirbu was the stroke for the varsity eight. Also rowing were Luke Haase, Gavin Male, Zach Lindemann, James McCalla, Jaie Brackenbury, Alex Phillips and Andrew Schmaltz.

The varsity 8 team took an early lead with a stroke rate near 40 strokes per minute, according to coach David Fiske.

"We maintained the lead throughout the 1500-meter course by holding a higher than normal stroke rate at 40 strokes per minute," Fiske said, noting that the rate is usually around 35. "Wyandotte Roosevelt made a late charge but the Hornets held on by a narrow margin of 2 seconds to seal the victory for the Cup."

The junior varsity 8 team of Orwing (coxswain), Sirbu (stroke), Haase, Gavin Sykes, Brackenbury, Phillips, Luke Chai and Michael Brewer also won their race.

Fiske said he was proud of the team for its performance despite competing shorthanded.

"We were a ragtag crew with six absent due to illness from our 29-member crew, and having many line-up adjustments through the week," Fiske said. "The win was a surprise to the rowers but not the coaching staff.  The coaches had been preaching all week that we could win this championship, but there was not a lot of confidence from our crew until the day of the regatta when we reminded them that we could do this."

The regatta, the Hebda Cup, was started in 1964 by the Hebda brothers, who were head coaches at two different high schools, Mount Carmel and Roosevelt, in Wyandotte.

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