Josh Grant wasn’t exactly born in a boat – he wasn’t even on crew his freshman year – but the Pioneer senior has been rowing along pretty nicely since jumping on board as a sophomore. One of the top performers on a Pioneer crew team loaded with top performers, Grant will row over to Adrian College next year where he will row as a freshman.
So far it’s been a fun – and rewarding – ride for Grant.
“Crew has helped me outside of the boat by instilling a good work ethic in me,” says Josh, the son of Brian and Marnie Grant. “Everything in this sport is earned by personal hard work. And that idea translates very well into the world outside of crew, especially in the environment of high school and college to follow.”
Speaking of college, Grant has committed to Adrian where he will be studying Environmental Geology while also rowing for the crew team.
“I decided on Adrian because I felt that it was the best fit for me,” he says. “They have a beautiful campus and boathouse and offer good courses and support for the major I am pursuing.”
Before he heads out the door for Adrian, Grant will head north for one final meet with Pioneers who will be competing in the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association (CSSRA) Championships May 31-June 2 in Saint Catharines, Ontario.
Grant – and the Pioneers – had a huge day on Saturday at the annual state rowing championship in Grand Rapids. The Pioneer Rowing Club men’s and women’s teams finished first out of 20 teams with a combined score of 186.5 points, 25.5 points higher than the second-place team.
Grant joined teammates Hank Murdock, Max Bayer, Josh Weiner, James Wishart, Erik Anderson, Ashish Venumuddula, Rob Snyder with Natalie Uytingco as coxswain to finish second in the Men’s Varsity 8+ with a time of 4:35.09.
Grant, along with Bayer, Wishart and Snyder, with Elizabeth Williams as coxswain, took bronze in the Men’s Varsity 4+ with a time of 5:13.7.
He’s come a long way since “hearing” about crew as a freshman.
“I was first introduced to crew my freshman year through Drew McCreadie and Rob Snyder,” Grant says. “I had classes with both of them every day and they would talk to me about crew. Through them my interest for the sport grew and I decided to join the fall of my sophomore year.”
He had a successful novice year with medals at Midwest and States and the Pioneers as a team had a strong year. But last year, Grant and his teammates cranked things up and had a fantastic season, rowing up one of the most successful years in the school’s history.
“We were second in the state for men’s points and combined with the women we were the best team in the state,” Grant says. “I medaled at Midwest in the 2V4 and also at CSSRA in the senior men’s 72kg eight. For both of these boats it was the first time in many years that the Pioneer men’s team had medaled at either of those regattas.”
Grant, one of the team captains this season, says he trains year-round for crew and it starts with being active.
“It’s extremely important to keep in shape for rowing, but it can also be done by running and stretching routinely if certain equipment isn’t available,” he says.
The spring rowing season is more about sprints and speed work than in the fall. In the spring, they race 2,000-meter races compared to the fall where they row 5,000-meter races.
“The shorter spring races are much more fun than in the fall,” says Grant, who is clearly enjoying his final season with the Pioneers – both in and out of the boat. He says this year’s team has great support for each other and that helps lead to success.
“Crew is an entirely team based sport where you succeed and fall as a boat,” he says. “Without each other we would not be able to compete and knowing this is what creates an extremely strong bond between all of our rowers. Over the years the team has become extremely tight knit and we start to see each other as a family.”