TRAVERSE CITY -- The Saline High School rowing team traveled to Traverse City on Saturday to compete their last event of the 2012 fall season in the Leelanau Chase. Located on beautiful Lake Leelanau and hosted by the Lake Leelanau Rowing Club, the spectacular setting was a perfect backdrop for Saline’s rowers to compete with high school rowers from Ann Arbor Skyline, Rockford, Northville, Grand Rapids, Northview and Lake Leelanau on a 4,000 meter course.
The event opened Saturday morning with a strong showing by the young Women’s Novice 4 boat (Sydney Bunch, Allie Fiske, Jenna Jansa, Rachel Weidmayer and coxswain Victoria Wellings) winning the bronze medal with a third place finish (19:06) behind boats from Skyline (18:09) and Rockford (18:46). The Men’s Double (Jacob Hargrove and Ryan Wellings) then finished 2nd place in their race less than 40 seconds behind Skyline’s winning time of 15:27 and ahead of Rockford’s 3rd place finish. The Women's Single (Sarah Buckeridge) also won a silver medal in her race (21:33) to Grand Rapid Rowing’s winning entry.
Saline’s only gold medal of the day came in the Women’s Double race with Alexis Wolfe and Liz Walsh powering to a strong first place finish (17:33) , over a minute ahead of the second place boat from Rockford and the third place boat from Skyline.
The last races of the day ended up being the closest with the Women’s Varsity 4 boat (Gavin Gallagher, Liz Walsh, Alexis Wolfe, Haley Pfeiffer and coxswain Sarah Carter) finishing third (17:06) behind Skyline and Rockford with less than 25 seconds separating the top three finishes . The Men’s Varsity 8 (Sean Hutfles, Alex Mundorf, Brad Roberts, Ryan Wellings, Jacob Hargrove, Travis Krause, Graham Fox, Alyosha Makarov and coxswain Savannah Theisen) also finished third (14:28) behind Rockford and Skyline with 20 seconds separating the top three and only 1 second between the first and second place finishers. Saline’s second Men’s Varsity 8 entry finished 4th, just out of the medals.
The team will continue practices for several more weeks before the start of winter conditioning in advance of the spring season which features shorter, 2,000 meter head to head sprint style races. The team is accepting new rowers for the spring season, so any Saline High School students interested in joining or learning more about this exciting and fun sport can find more information at www.salinecrew.org.