Ann Arbor walked out on the dock, raised its oar to the sky and shouted for all to hear – and see. Dillon State Park in Nashport, Ohio hosted the annual Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship that featured some of the top rowing teams in the Midwest and the three Ann Arbor schools not only held their own but held three of the top six spots when the final boats crossed the finish line.
The event featured 49 clubs from eight states that together entered 533 boats in this two-day series of time trials, semifinals and final competitions on May 11-12.
New Trier grabbed first place with a total of 479 points. The Chicago area team had the highest number of entries (23) and finished with 272 points from the women and 207 from the men. They had 16 gold medals on the day.
Skyline rowed to an impressive second place with 199 points during the weekend – 123 from the women; 76 from the men. The Eagles had six gold medals, five silvers and one bronze.
Huron took the fifth spot in the competitive field. The River Rats totaled 107 points from their 11 entries. They took two gold medals and four silver medals.
Pioneer finished in sixth place, just three points behind Huron. They had two gold medals, one silver and three bronze.
Teams raced in preliminary qualifying time trials on Saturday morning with the fastest dozen boats advancing to the afternoon semifinals.
The race course consisted of a 1,500-meter sprint along the western edge of the 1,560-acre Dillon Lake Reservoir.
Conditions on Saturday were sunny and bright—beach weather—starting with 48 degrees Fahrenheit in Nashport around 8:15 a.m. and increasing to 68 degrees in the afternoon. Morning winds began rather mild from the northeast at 5 mph, increasing to 11 mph from the east/northeast around 9:15 a.m. and decreasing again to 6 mph from the northeast later in the day. Visibility was good.
Rain on Saturday night brought Sunday morning mud puddles. Cool temps and full cloud cover meant knit caps, down jackets, and mud boots among the many onlookers.
The temperature was 49 degrees Fahrenheit at 9 a.m. on Sunday with winds from the north at 5 mph. By noon, when the final races concluded, the temperature was 53 degrees, with winds from the west/northwest at 4 mph.
The fastest Pioneer boat on the course on Sunday was the men’s first varsity 8+, which earned a plaque in the petite finals with a time of 5:01.6.
Men’s Varsity 2-, with a time of 5.56.6: Max Bayer, James Wishart
Women’s Novice 4+, with a time of 6.28.6: Emma Bassett, Lucie Conogan, Aichata Sanogo, MK Coolican with Grace Thomas as coxswain
Women’s Freshman 8+, with a time of 5.58.7: Emma Bassett, Radina Dinov, Grace Kennel, MK Coolican, Talya Castell, Lillian Davidson-Walshe, Aichata Sanogo, Abby Stephan with Grace Thomas as coxswain
Men’s Novice 8+, with a time of 5.33.0: Evan Guzek, Will McKarns, Gabe Raux, Grayson Hobrecht, Rob Duke, Daniel Ko, Erik Hanson, Charlie Clynes with Anna Kaganov as coxswain
Women’s Novice 8+, with a time of 5.58.4: Grace Kennel, Lucie Conogan, Talya Castell, Lillian Davidson-Walshe, Katy Bajcz, Abby Stephan, Ella Folkdahl, Shuyi Xu with Talia Zakalik as coxswain
Women’s Second Varsity 4+, with a time of 6.55.6: Tina Ai, Erica Burns, Ruby Taylor, Lydia Schaafsma, with Talia Zakalik as coxswain
Plaques for placing second in the petite finals
Men’s First Varsity 8+, with a time of 5.01.6: Hank Murdock, Max Bayer, Josh Weiner, James Wishart, Erik Anderson, Ashish Venumuddula, Josh Grant, Rob Snyder with Natalie Uytingco as coxswain
Women’s First Varsity 8+, with a time of 5.47.3: Presley Koepp, Ella Cunningham, Molly Maloy, Laura Akey, Hope Hesseltine, Helena Yambrick, Alyssa Sun, Ariel Mobius, with Marley Wolff as coxswain
The Pioneer men’s and women’s crew teams will travel to Riverside Park in Grand Rapids on Saturday, May 18, for the State Championship Regatta, to be hosted by the Scholastic Rowing Association of Michigan.
Cathy Mizgerd, Leigh Ann Koepp, Francine Romine and Kit Bennett contributed to this story.
MAIN PHOTO: Members of the men’s Pioneer crew team relax before the return to Ann Arbor after two days of racing (photo by Gary Guevara)