Permanent link for Friday's Spring Break Blogs at Clemson on March 11, 2024

Amelia Paulin

Today was the last day of our training trip in Clemson! It was a little cloudy with some rain, which was a nice break from the hot weather all week. Today, practice was in some small boats. This was our first time doing small boats all of break, so it was a much needed change of pace! I was in the Marco, a pair, and bow coxed. Other boats that were in our fleet were 2 other pairs, a double, and a single! Practice started off pretty chill as I took us across one of the race courses doing our warmup in order to get to the correct side of the lake. Then, we were notified that our coach’s launch was broken so we had to go with a women’s 8 for a bit! We followed the 8 into a little cove/island area that was around 6k away. At this fun little new spot, we did some drills in order to work on balance and togetherness. To start off, we did 3 bobs for timing, 3 bobs at arms away for balance, and 3 bobs at the pivot point for more balance. We successfully completed those, and it was time to turn around and row back in order to load the trailer. 

On the way back I had to play a little bit of minefield, as I had to dodge huge trees left and right. Then, to end practice off we did a 30 stroke burst at a high rate and took it then. After taking it in, we loaded the trailer. And to end the week off, the coaches got the whole team pizza. Yum!!


Josh Scotto

Hello! My name is Josh Scotto and today was the final day of our spring break training trip! We started off with an early morning at 5:50-6am after pressing snooze a couple times. After getting dressed for the day and going downstairs to stretch and walk on the treadmill I had a sizable breakfast of a plate of eggs and potatoes, double portion of oatmeal, a banana muffin, and two slices of toast. 

Moving to the water, while I had rowed the past couple days I decided to give my lower back a break and stay on land and de-rig/clean up the beach with a fellow teammate Reilly Forbes so the team could leave earlier. Taking about 2 hours to pack everything up onto the trailer after everyone docked we finally got on the road for home!

While most of the ride home was uneventful, there were a few fun moments. After about 13-15 hours on the road, shotgunning roughly 6 hours, and driving roughly 6 hours, we finally made it to Lot J where we unpacked the van and said our goodbyes while I waited for some of the other vans to get back to the lot. Unfortunately with limited sleep the next morning we went to return the lovely vans to Enterprise, then I went home and slept for another 6 hours and am just now finishing this blog!


Nikolai Stroemme

To start the day, I woke up to the sound of the favorite apple alarm. I proceeded to pack up everything I didn't need for the day then went down for the hotel breakfast. There was very little food as Temple ate most of it. We then packed up the vans and made our way down to the boat dock. once we arrived, me, Robbie, Tyler, Ryan, and Valley set up our 4 and made our way to the race course to start our AT day. It was 3 split up 2ks and we had tons of fun doing a proper start and racing the course. After we finished the AT, we came into the dock to de rig the boats and load up the trailer. Once that was done we had a pizza party on the beach then took a group photo to commemorate this spring break. Now we are doing the 15 hour drive back to the campus to sleep and eat.

Categories: Rowing
Posted on Permanent link for Friday's Spring Break Blogs at Clemson on March 11, 2024.

Permanent link for Thursday's Spring Break Blogs at Clemson on March 11, 2024

Ellie Mulder

Hello laker nation! Today is Thursday, March 7 and I started my day bright and early around 7:30am. After a delicious hotel breakfast consisting of yogurt, granola, and many muffins, we headed to Lake Hartwell for our morning practice. I sat port 5 in our new varsity women’s 8 called the Laker Legacy. This boat is easily the most comfortable boat I’ve ever rowed in my 7 years with this sport! This morning, we focused on finding a consistent balance throughout all 8 seats to glide through the water. We also focused on timing on the back end with arm and back swing in time with stroke seat. I had some strong improvements on my shoulder placement and “arms-out” timing. After practice, we freshened up and headed to downtown Clemson for a pizza lunch and smoothie bowl dessert! With satisfied stomachs, we headed to Clemson University’s geology museum. We had loads of fun checking out the luminescent minerals exhibit and taking pictures outside in the flower-filled fields. After we returned to the hotel and grabbed a quick nap, it was time for evening practice! Tonight we scrimmaged head-to-head against Clemson University’s club team. Though we suffered a pretty tough defeat, we learned a lot about how we can improve and what we need to focus on next. Personally, I’m gonna focus on maintaining a strong and tall posture even when I’m tired. Ice cream at Andees’s ice cream shop in downtown Clemson rounded out my last full day here in South Carolina! Tomorrow’s our last practice and I hope it goes well! Thanks for reading!


Aiden Miller

Today started just like the others on spring break.  I woke up early to get a nice hotel breakfast in; consisting of a questionable omelet, cereal, a bagel with peanut butter and apple butter (a personal favorite of mine), and a banana.  After scarfing down breakfast and talking with President Eliot Van Pelt I went and got ready for practice.

Practice this morning was a nice little steady state which split us varsity men into a 4+ and an 8+.  I was placed in 3 seat of the 8+ and was coxed by the celebrity coxswain Valley who did amazing :) (shout out Valley).  The weather wasn’t quite what we expected today and it was a bit warmer and sunnier out.  So I decided to row without my shirt and this caused me to burn - a lot.

After returning to the hotel I went out with some of my friends (Joe, Miles, Michael, Amelia, and Anna) to get some Sully Steamers which is a bagel sandwich place in Clemson.  I got the blonde which is basically just a turkey sandwich on a bagel.  After eating that incredibly sauced up sandwich (in like -5 seconds) we went to some shops to get some Clemson gear.  Although we settled on a Goodwill for some of the best deals around.  I got 4 shirts for $6 so that’s a huge success in my book.  

Once back to the hotel the PM practice was a bit weird since the women had to leave later because of a scrimmage.  So the men all got stuffed into vans and went off to practice.  Once again we were joined by Valley in the experimental 2V lineup and also joining us were amazing novices Connor, Sean, and Riley.  The row started off rough, but ended up turning around and ended as a better row.  So I’m looking forward to rowing with this lineup :).

Afterwards the men sped off to the dining hall to eat some pork, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies.  Also had some ice cream and two cookies for dessert.  There was also this Oreo pudding that everyone was going crazy for, but I didn’t see the hype.  Also at dinner the winner of the talent show was announced and that was Ellie (Lil E) and her sick rap of Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys (rightfully so, that was pretty sick).

We then returned to the hotel and I played some Yukre with some teammates (I blundered that game hard).  Then I went off to Cookout with the same group as before but minus Miles.  Overall a very good day.  Loving everyday I get to spend with my friends and teammates.  Have a great day everyone :)

Categories: Rowing
Posted on Permanent link for Thursday's Spring Break Blogs at Clemson on March 11, 2024.

Permanent link for Mastering the rowing stroke and a hike to a waterfall with an afternoon off on March 7, 2024

Reilly Forbes

Welcome back to day 5 in Clemson! I started off my day with morning practice in the cold and rainy weather, but we made the most of it. I was coxing the varsity women in the Ring,4+, and we took it out for a long steady state row. We were working on stationary drills to really nail down our catch timings and overall boat set. We then took it for a long row, adding in pauses throughout the stroke to match up body positions. We wrapped up our rainy morning practice with some rate work, working on shifting to higher or lower rates efficiently. Overall, a very productive practice. 

Today was our afternoon off day so the team took advantage of our free time from rowing to partake in another physical activity, a hike! A large portion of the team made a trip to Yellow Branch Falls and hiked to a large waterfall that we got to climb around on and swim in. The hike wasn’t too hard but because of the rain, it was very slick and muddy making it a little more difficult but entertaining to watch everyone try and navigate the trails in the mud. 

We came back from the hike and relaxed for a few hours before heading to Southern Wesleyan University where we had dinner. Tonight's dinner was brisket and mac n’ cheese and it really hit the spot after a long day full of a large variety of activities. My day began to come to an end with an eboard meeting at the hotel after dinner where the executive board had their monthly meeting going through everything that they had been working on and what their next projects were. I hung out with some of my teammates in the lobby after the meeting before heading up to my room to wind down for bed and watching part of a movie before heading off to bed to get some much needed rest for another exciting day in Clemson tomorrow. 


Kyle Emerson

Today started as the past few have: wake up at 7:30am, go downstairs for breakfast, go back up to the room to get dressed for practice (my uni and rain jacket since it was drizzling this morning), then get to the practice site by 9:00am. I was in the pair (The Marco-Pitzer) with Mr. Aiden Miller and we went on to do quite a bit of steady state with drills in some rather wet conditions, but we made the most out of it anyway. At 11:00am, morning practice was done, and we returned to the hotel. Many of the varsity and novice men went to a pizza place across the street from the hotel called Your Pie. That was some of the best pizza for the price that I have ever had, and with the best company anyone could ask for. As someone who has experienced three spring breaks with the team, there is always one thing that I especially look forward to: the day hike. Two years ago I did this exact hike that took us to this incredible waterfall, but this time, I was able to explore up to the top and even further up the stream which the waterfall connected. Because of the rain, it was still muddy and if I had a dollar for everytime I nearly ate mud on my way to and from the waterfall, I could have paid off my dues, but that’s what makes you feel alive and was a good use of the rest of the day until dinner. It was BBQ at the Southern Wesleyan University dining hall which consisted of mac and cheese, pulled pork, mixed veggies, and french fries (finished with a little bit of ice cream). The rest of the night consisted of going to do laundry with a couple other rowers then heading to bed. Tomorrow we’ll be back on the water at 9:00am in the men’s Varsity 8+ (Featuring the Lubbers).

Tyler Jacobs

The day started off dark and rainy. I woke up pretty early to avoid the morning rush so that I could make myself a waffle and not have to wait in a 20 minute line for it. Like on other mornings. I was a little hesitant if we would still be able to go on a hike later in the day due to all the rain, but the forecast showed the weather clearing up around noon so I tried not to worry about it too much. 

When practice rolled around it was still rainey, but the good news was that it was our only practice for the day. The novice men took out an 8 with one seat empty. We mostly just did drill work. Towards the end of practice Coach Trevor came up with a friendly competition for us novices. Whoever could keep their blade in the water for the longest would win and I was able to win. 

After practice I took off the wet clothes I had on and put on some dry clothes. I then ran across the street to Subway for lunch. I’ve gone there so many times on this trip the lady behind the counter at this point knows who I am and what I'm going to order. 

There was some debate on what time we should leave for the hike so we eventually just decided as a team to split into two groups and leave at separate times. I decided to go with the first group. When we got to the park I was very impressed. We were the only ones there so we had the whole place to ourselves. The trail we walked on was muddy, but still a cool, neat long trail. I was the first one to make it to the waterfall and I thought it looked absolutely gorgeous. My brain immediately started to think of ways of how I could climb up it. I took off my shoes and began my journey to the top of the waterfall. Anytime I pulled myself up I made sure my hand had a good grip on whatever I was holding onto so that I wouldn't fall to my death. After about 10 to 20 minutes of climbing I was eventually happy with how high I was so I decided to climb back down. As I was getting ready to leave the 2nd group was arriving. At that moment I just decided to stay because I just loved the environment I was in and assumed that another van could take me home. Some of the varsity members started to go on a hidden path on the side of the waterfall. I was curious so I followed them and to my surprise it led to the top of the waterfall. When I got to the top I felt like the king of the world. The view was breathtaking. I climbed inside the waterfall and had a mini panic attack due to the water pressure and it being hard to breath for a couple seconds but I got over it. After hours of exploring we eventually had to head back. The trail back to the parking lot was about half an hour away, but me and some other people decided to run so we shaved at least 15 minutes off the time. I got put in a van with 6 other people so I was squeezed in there. The hike was definitely my favorite part of the trip so far. I just loved the location and scenery. It all felt so surreal. The only negative was all of my clothes were wet, muddy and cold. 

Once I got dropped off back at the hotel I took a quick shower and then quickly put whatever I had laying around on and headed towards my van to take me to the food place. I surprisingly wasn’t that hungry, but I still had a decent amount of food and made sure that I didn’t waste anything. 

When I got back to the hotel I took a proper shower because I wasn’t rushed. To close things out for the day, I relaxed in bed working on editing some videos on my computer and watching some youtube. Overall today was definitely my favorite day because I love exploring and wandering and when I was by the waterfall I got to take all of that to a whole new level.


Categories: Rowing
Posted on Permanent link for Mastering the rowing stroke and a hike to a waterfall with an afternoon off on March 7, 2024.

Permanent link for Day 4 in Clemson filled with sunny skies, seat racing, scrimmage with Clemson, and a talent show! on March 6, 2024

Reece Thurston

Welcome back to Clemson! I woke up early around 7:30 and headed down to the hotel lobby for breakfast with the team before we headed out for our morning row. When we arrived at the water, we were met with perfectly flat water and sunny conditions perfect for rowing. I rowed in the single which I was super excited about because it’s been a couple years since I’ve been able to row one. Our morning workout consisted of steady state intertwined with some drills, focusing on a slow recovery and getting our oars in right away at the catch. I spent the drill time doing some bobs at the finish followed by catch placement. On our row back to the dock, we practiced some starting 5’s in anticipation for tonight's seat races.

After our morning row, the women’s team ventured into downtown Clemson for lunch and some sightseeing. We got steamed bagel sandwiches and smoothies to fuel ourselves for our afternoon practice. We finished our downtown trip with souvenir shopping where I bought a shirt and a sticker to put on my car.

We got back to the hotel and it was then time to begin getting ready for afternoon practice. Today was our first seat racing practice of the spring to begin making racing lineups. The women’s squad loaded up into two 8+’s and hit the water. Our workout was 6x1000, and we switched two people in each after every piece. Considering the short amount of time we’ve been able to spend working at a higher intensity on the water, the pieces went really well! The women’s team is making progress each day and it was evident in today’s practice that everyone is giving these spring break sessions their 100% effort.

As our day drew to a close, the whole team retreated back to the hotel where we participated in a team talent show! Whoever had a talent they wished to share with the team had the opportunity to show it off. The talent show rounded out the night and I spent the rest of my time relaxing in my room getting ready to get back at it tomorrow morning!


Michael Jeromsky

My morning started at the ripe hour of 4 o'clock. I awoke from my slumber to pounding on my hotel room door. It was Aiden Miller. He informed us that Nikolai had just landed in South Carolina, and we needed to go pick him up from the airport. Aiden, Miles, and I took one of the rental vans and got Nikolai from the airport. Once we returned to the hotel, we ate our breakfast. The meal consisted of scrambled eggs, sausage, orange juice, banana nut muffins, and the most vile, gut wrenching, intestine killing, heart stopping, plague infected red skin potatoes that had ever been in my mouth. After breakfast, I changed and headed to the race course for practice.

Morning practice was steady state and we rowed by sixes and all 8 to mainly work on our technique. We also practiced our starts for the scrimmages that we had against Clemson and Villanova in the afternoon. Once practice was finished, Miles and I returned to the hotel room and ate 2 of our “Banquet Chicken Pot Pies”. This was by far the best financial decision Miles and I had ever made, being that the pies cost 1 dollar each. I then went with Amelia, Anna, and Joe to downtown Clemson to buy some souvenirs to take back home. Soon after, we headed to the afternoon practice where we raced Clemson and Villanova for three 1000-meter pieces. The pieces went very well as the GVSU men's varsity 8 won all 3 of the pieces. By the time the third piece started, the sun had already set, I was unable to see the man in front of me and was rowing purely out of instinct. I would like to commend Butters for not crashing into the shore or any of the other boats in those conditions, it was truly a miracle.

We headed to dinner directly after our scrimmages and dug into fresh tilapia, fried shrimp, hushpuppies, and tasty vegetables. The food review was an 8/10. Once we headed back to the hotel and showered, the team held its first ever talent show. Many people from the team showed their impressive and wide range of talents. Some notable acts were the Tik Tok dance, how to pog, how to get kicked out of practice, how to mew, how to griddy, how to start a pyramid scheme, types of rocks, and Ryan’s angelic voice.


Connor Wolfe

The day is Tuesday, March 5th- our 4th day on the water. After downing one chocolate chip waffle while making eye contact with Little Ryan, Van #5 took off for the beach. Today I was rowing with my fellow novice men in the Stoll, 8+, for our morning steady state before being joined by Nikolai and Sawyer later for evening AT. Starting off with some drills to fix out positioning and rush, we did two-part pauses in varying steps of the recovery Then, we continued onto our steady state where we were able to apply what we’ve learned. Practice concluded with a full-boat row back to the dock where we focused on set and timing as a boat. 

Today is laundry day so after stopping back at the hotel to grab clothes, van #5 once again departed for the laundromat where we pioneered the world’s first laundry basket race course (I was the fastest (credits to Jo Pat)). We then proceeded to head downtown where I purchased the world’s drippiest Clemson bucket hat and ate a french toast bagel for lunch. 

To wrap things up, we headed back to the water for our AT practice where Nikolai arrived just in time from his three hour flight. We made a ton of progress on set and rush during our 8x4’ pieces and ended the rowing day with a long steady state row back. 

Back at the hotel we had a talent show where I gave a presentation on Pogging and witnessed many feats of humorous strength before tending to my wounds and heading to bed. 

Categories: Rowing
Posted by Gavin Smith on Permanent link for Day 4 in Clemson filled with sunny skies, seat racing, scrimmage with Clemson, and a talent show! on March 6, 2024.

Permanent link for Another Day of Rowing and Team Bonding in Clemson on March 5, 2024

Sarah Lawrence

Today was day three in Clemson. This morning's practice I was in a women’s varsity 8+. We worked on having a proper lay back and pivot position and catch timing. Coach McKenzie was my coach this morning and she created a fund drill to make laying back at the finish and pivoting less scary for the new novices in the boat. I was sitting in 4 seat and was focusing on my blade and seat timing. I could feel and Coach McKenzie could see the improvement by the end of the practice. 

During the break between practices the women grilled hot dogs by the water and even though I can not eat hot dogs, I really enjoyed spending time with my teammates outside of practice. I did end up refueling for afternoon practice at a local Clemson business with a couple of other varsity women. After eating we walked around campus enjoying the amazing weather we had today. 

This afternoon we had the same lineups but Coach Troy was coaching my boat this practice. We did some drills to work on catch timing, having a good ratio at low rates and then transfer that to high rates, and we also put our start sequence together. I was focusing mostly on twisting round the pin and keeping my pivot the same through my stroke but my favorite part of practice was working on the start sequence. It felt so energizing to have everyone build power and speed together as one to move the boat. After practice we headed to the dining hall for dinner and everyone got to relax and hang out before we headed back to the hotel. My roommates and I watched a movie and then called it a night. Overall today was a great day of rowing and making memories and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the spring season holds.


Izak Sahutske

Today was a good day. We got a total of around 28,000 meters on the water in between our first and second practices both in 8’s. Today was also the first day where we spent most of our time rowing by all 8’s on the feather and near the end of the second practice we did some starts. They were a little bit rocky at first, but after a while we got the hang of them and they were a lot of fun. I rowed in the new men’s 8 for the first practice and oh my lordie is that boat fun. She can sing like Aretha Franklin. 

For lunch me and a couple of the other guys went to a raising canes. We went to zaxbys yesterday so naturally we needed to go to canes today to see which one is better. For my money, I’ll take zaxbys, but that was not the popular opinion amongst my teammates. 

Raising canes was on the Clemson campus so we walked around a little bit. The campus is beautiful and HUGE. A lot bigger than we thought it would be. We stopped by the bookstore and some of us got shirts to remember the trip by.

This trip has been so much fun and I have done everything I can to take it all in and live in the moment. But no matter how good of a job I do, I don’t think I could ever get it all. 


Arley Wagley

My third day in Clemson! This morning I woke up and another coxswain and I split a red velvet waffle! In the a.m. I was with Coach Kyle in one of the two men’s varsity eight. We started with a chalk talk and a demonstration on a slider led by Coach Kyle. We had a good warm-up of swing pick and once we got out there and lined up with the other varsity men’s eight, we worked on drive sequence, steady state, and dropkick drills. The dropkick drills were my favorite, because even though they are super helpful for the drive, they’re also a little bit of fun. They  include bobs, a men’s team favorite where they bob their blades in the water before returning to a named position. 

The men are constantly cracking jokes at appropriate times, which makes every single row with them hilarious and upbeat. I was focusing on blacking the blades into water, their blade depth, and we have been focusing on suspension a lot this trip. We had a lot of laughs in the a.m. and snuck in some more bob drills. After a quick dock, the men wanted to make it a competition to see how fast they could get the boat out of the water and off of the dock for the other boats (55 seconds!) Making small things like this into a competition or just seeing how fast they can go really adds a fun and competitive spirit into our practices every day. After putting the boats away I retired to my room for a nap, most people went out to lunch and some even stayed and grilled hot dogs! all plans sounded super fun but it’s important that I get my rest since the practices are fun, but it’s important that i’m alert and awake!! 

For the pm practice after my nap we had a new line up and returned to the water! It was beautiful and hot outside! We started with study state after a good warm-up, did some drive sequencing and legs only! After picking up by all eight and focusing on our set a bit we got to do some starts! Another team favorite where we simulate starting a race. This is great practice for me to use my coxswain voice and apply my voice to their rhythm. The men in my boat loved this, and absolutely killed the drill. We spent some time seeing how long we could glide with a good set after the starts. After the loss of my glasses in the Clemson reservoir and a nice smooth docking from yours truly, we all ran off to dinner where they serve lots of good food, but the highlight was the beignets served for dessert that were a hot commodity. Afterwards, we all returned and took showers and a lot of the team headed down to a public dock where we spent some time, laughing and having fun together before I returned to my room and talked a little bit about our day and some strategy for tomorrow’s before ultimately heading to sleep. One of my favorite parts of every practice is being able to ask everyone how the role was and getting to hear how everyone’s day in the boat went, It’s such a good way to bond and learn about my team.

Categories: Rowing
Posted on Permanent link for Another Day of Rowing and Team Bonding in Clemson on March 5, 2024.

Permanent link for Second day in Clemson filled with sunny skies and racework on the water on March 4, 2024

Anna Cleveland 

We started out the morning with a quick breakfast at the hotel and headed off to the practice course. When we arrived there was a light fog but shortly cleared after our land warmup. For morning practice I was bow seat in the Schintz. We did a steady state row followed by lots of bob drills. When we were rowing it back to the dock we went by all eight and were surprisingly set for just getting back out on the water. 

After practice a group decided to get lunch at Tropical Grille (very yummy rice and chicken and veggies!). Then we made a short trip to Walmart to grab some essentials. It was also nice to be able to take a short nap in between practices. 

We then headed to our afternoon practice to do some bungee resistance work. The day turned out to be very warm and sunny. While waiting to use the dock we decided to wet launch since we share the dock with several other teams also on spring break. I sat seven seat in the Schintz for this practice. We are starting out strong this spring season and doing lots of rate work. We also went by all eight for the last part of the pieces and it will be exciting to see how much we will improve even by the end of the week. 

After our afternoon practice we headed directly to dinner at the dining hall. It is nice to be able to eat dinner with the whole team and have more time for team bonding between the men and women’s squads. A few of us also went out for ice cream afterwards and I got banana ice cream with peanut butter and dark chocolate chips. Back at the hotel we played card games in the lobby. After that I headed to bed to be ready for another day of practice! 


Brendan Butterfield

Today marked our second day in Clemson where we had our second and third practice session. We started the day by waking up at 7 am for breakfast then shortly after left for the water for our first AM session of the week. I was coxing the new men's boat where we did drills to work on drive sequence and did the back it down drill. It's during the first few practices this week we are working on dusting the rust off and getting back into the swing of things. After practice, we headed back to the hotel and a group of the guys went for a little walk to try the local cuisine. We made the hike down the street to go to Zaxby's. Trying new restaurants we don't have back home is always fun. After getting lunch many of us went back to our rooms to rest during the downtime. After lunch, I took a short nap as I was still tired from the drive down to Clemson. When I woke up it was time for our PM practice. For today's PM practice, we did an AT workout at pace which was 4x8 min 1:30 on 30 seconds off. It was nice to see that we were still able to work our way up to higher rates while in the boat after being inside all winter. I feel pretty confident so far for the season and am eager to see how much we improve this week. After our PM practice, we headed to dinner at a local dining hall and made plans to go see Dune Part 2 afterward. A number of the men went and watched Dune which we all enjoyed and recommended. 


Sean Antone

I woke up this morning at 7am with a sore throat due to the dry air circulating the room at night from the AC. I thought I was sick which startled me because I would hate to be sick the entire spring break. I took a vitamin C booster and headed downstairs for breakfast. The lobby was quite comfortable as it had a modern design with the colors of orange representing Clemson. I had eggs, sausage, and potatoes with a dark roast coffee. 1 creamer. I headed back upstairs with Butters to chill until we had to leave for practice around 8:30am. 

We showed up at the site we unload the boats from. We warmed up and stretched before heading out on the water. we unloaded the boats off the dock and headed out on the lake. Around 11, we turned around and headed back to shore. It was a warm overcast, which was perfect weather to row in. After strapping down the boats and a post cap of practice, we headed back to the hotel in the van to grab lunch at Zaxby’s. I had a chicken sandwich with fries.

After the 15 walk back from Zaxby’s with Izak, I went back to the room to chill out until Bryce and Robbie returned. We all played Super smash bros. on the Nintendo switch. Shortly after that, I went downstairs in the hotel hospitality room to find Elliot, Ryan, and Daniel doing homework. I was tired watching them so I went back upstairs and took  nap before the afternoon practice.

After arriving at the site, we did our warmups and applied sunscreen on a high of 70 degrees today. As we attempted to get our boat in the water, many teams were clustered on the beach trying to do the same. Once we got our boat in, we were on our way. Our afternoon practice focused on AT workout meaning we train like we’re in a race. The piece was a 4x1:30 going at high stroke rates. 22,24,26,28 stroke rate. The sun was shining as our blades floated across the water. After a well paced row, we docked the boat and strapped it down on the beach. We were running late for the dining hall so we quickly gathered everyone and drove the vans away from the site.

Since the movie, Dune 2, starts at 7:30, we had to eat quickly so we could watch it. I was buying my ticket while I was waiting in line for food. The food that was being served was biscuits and gravy, corn, and green beans. I caught a ride with Mateo, Butters, and Robbie. As we made our way to the theater we listened to 90s rock. After watching Dune 2, we headed back to the hotel and went into the hospitality room to check if people were still playing poker. Since I was tired, I decided to head back upstairs to my room to go to bed. It was a very eventful day and I can't wait to wake up at 7am for hotel breakfast :) 

Categories: Rowing
Posted on Permanent link for Second day in Clemson filled with sunny skies and racework on the water on March 4, 2024.

Permanent link for The GVSU Rowing team competed in the Devils Lake Invitational this weekend! on April 10, 2023

On Saturday the rowing team went to the Devils Lake Invitational hosted by the Adrian Rowing team, below are some results.

  • Women’s V8+ - 1st
  • Women’s V4+ - 1st
  • Mens N4+ - 1st
  • Women’s 2V4+ - 2nd
  • Mens V4+ - 2nd
  • Mens N8+ - 2nd in JV category 
  • Mens V8+ - 3rd
  • Women’s N8+ - 3rd in varsity category 

Categories: Rowing
Posted on Permanent link for The GVSU Rowing team competed in the Devils Lake Invitational this weekend! on April 10, 2023.

Permanent link for Rowing Club Takes on Georgia Over Spring Break - Day 3 - 3/7/23 on March 14, 2023

Day three (Tuesday, March 7th) 

Josie Heintz 

Tuesday morning was busy for the GVSU Rowing team. We had breakfast around 7:30 and left the hotel at 8:20 for practice! 

When we got to the course this morning the varsity women worked on catches in 8s. One boat was in the Schintz and the other was testing a new Vespoli! It was very smooth and very exciting to row in. Especially as a cox because the steering was great! We did some steady-state rowing and backing drills to get back in the swing of things. We took a 30-minute break and then went out for part two! We did more steady state and pause drills. The weather was so beautiful until the wind gusts picked up. Even so, it was still a great practice. 

Afterward, we were set free to explore Georgia on our own. I decided to go on a hike at Amicalola Falls state park. The hike was only two miles but the 200+ stairs had us hurting! It was so much fun, and the views were beautiful. We saw great mountains and Georgia’s biggest waterfall! 

After the hike, we went back to the hotel and had a great dinner. Thank you, Lisa Harding, for helping us with dinner! Then, for those who weren't too beat from the hike, we spent some time at the mall looking for Georgia merchandise. Sadly, none could be found. Tuesday was a super long day and I ended it by hanging out with my roommates Fiona, Emilia, and Andrea! This is one of the best spring breaks I’ve had on the team and I'm so glad to spend my last one with such a fantastic team. 

Andrew Cavrell 

Today was a pretty interesting day simply because our schedule was flipped on its head. Instead of having two practices over the course of the day we took the opportunity to run two practices in the morning and leave the afternoon for several options of activities. Immediately following practice there was an incredibly scenic hike to visit “Georgia’s largest waterfall”. It was a nice hike that was not super challenging. But it did have some incredible scenery. 

Besides that, dinner was a wonderful assortment of breakfast items crafted by the wonderful Mrs. Harding. We were able to eat a family recipe (a family staple according to Coach Troy) of Baked French Toast as well as bagels and spiral cut ham. It was all a very nice meal that left everybody wanting more. 

Following dinner, the novice men were treated to a trip to the Local TopGolf establishment by Coach Trevor, which all of them were super stoked for. All in all it was a very pleasant day with wonderful weather and plenty of sun for all of us to share. 

Fiona Patrick 

Today was day 3 of practice and it was a whopping 80 degrees. In the morning the novices quickly rigged the Ring and Zelenka. We did drills with the four switching between stern, bow, and all fours. We worked on having even handle heights and trying not to rush. It was really rough in the beginning, but by the end of morning practice, we were starting to get our stuff together. 

After getting a few snacks in our stomachs we took out the 8+ instead of taking out pairs because it was super windy. We rowed the Alex and started off by doing pausing drills and practiced setting the boat with all eight. We ended practice by having to try to re-dock the boat about seven different times until finally coach Troy and McKenzie pulled us in. Coach Troy’s input for the day was, “It’s really windy out here.” 

After practice, most of the team headed to the East Ridge Spring Trail for a hike that was a never-ending stair master. Once we got to the top of the trail and caught our breaths, we dipped our toes in the creek and looked out at the waterfall. Then I went to the mall of Georgia with my hotel roomies and a couple of other rowers in search of merch and sadly found nothing. 

Ryan Morren 

Today I got up and got some breakfast at 7:00 so we could leave at 8:20. At practice we worked on improving our catches. We did a drill at half-slide for high rates to help us get our catches faster. Our drills were mostly done with 4’s and 6’s, but towards the end we went down the 2k course by all 8 at an 18-stroke rate, with race pace for 10 strokes every 500m. The sunlight was quite intense today so many of our guys got sunburned. After our three hours of practice, the novice men and a few of the varsity men rode together to get some lunch at Zaxby's along the way to our hike. We hiked up the mountain and walked in the creek for a few hours, enjoying the outdoors and taking pictures. Then we went back to the hotel where Mrs. Harding had some very tasty French toast paired with bagels, ham, and fruit, waiting for us. After lunch, Coach Trevor took us novice men to TopGolf and we played a game trying to hit targets for points. I proceeded to score a whopping 13 points in an hour because I have never golfed in my life. Even though I couldn’t beat Coach Trevor’s 70+ points, I did hit my golf balls faster (125mph) than him. We had some good laughs on the way back, and now we get to crash at the hotel and prepare for tomorrow!

Categories: Rowing
Posted on Permanent link for Rowing Club Takes on Georgia Over Spring Break - Day 3 - 3/7/23 on March 14, 2023.

Permanent link for Rowing Club Takes on Georgia Over Spring Break - Day 2 - 3/6/23 on March 14, 2023

Day two (Monday, March 6th) 

Brendan Butterfield 

Hi, I’m Butters, and I'm excited to share my experience with Grand Valley's rowing team during our spring break training trip. This is the second spring break trip I’ve been on with the team, and I’ve been looking forward to it for a while now! 

Our first two days were intense and a bit hot, with practices twice a day, but it was worth it as it’s a nice change from Michigan’s weather. This morning we started with a yummy breakfast at our hotel, getting ready for our morning practice on Lake Lanier. After a nice land warmup, we headed towards the water for some drills and technique work. As a coxswain for the eight, I spent some time in the launch recording our performance to analyze later. After practice we headed back to the hotel where we ate a delicious lunch made by Coach Troy's mom (shoutout to the real MVP). Then some of us headed to the store for some downtime before our afternoon practice. At practice we got to test out a demo boat from Vespoli, which was a pleasant change from our usual Hudson eights. We did some high-intensity pieces with resistance, getting faster each time, before heading back to the hotel for dinner, which was prepared again by Lisa Harding. 

Overall, it's been a great start to our spring break training, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the week has in store for us. These trips are always challenging, but they're also incredibly rewarding. I'm grateful for the opportunity as the trip gives us a chance to fix all the issues with our stroke before getting back on the cold water back home. 

Kayla Pendley 

This morning we left the hotel around 8:30 to go to the lake for morning practice. I rowed in one of the varsity women’s 8+ boats where we got to test out a new Vespoli 8+. We worked on our catches and focused on getting a good backsplash while rowing by sixes at a 12-16 stroke rate for the first half of practice. Then for the second half of practice, we focused on the same thing but rowed by all 8 at an 18-22 stroke rate. Each practice we’ve been seeing a lot of improvement while we knock off some rust from winter training. It makes me very excited for the upcoming season. After practice, we had lunch at the hotel, and I went to Dunkin with a group of the varsity women. Then I watched Tiktoks until afternoon practice. At practice, we did AT work at a 24-28 stroke rate. After practice, I had chicken and mac and cheese for dinner at the hotel. After dinner, I went to get ice cream with some teammates! 

Stephen Warner 

This morning it was hard to get myself out of bed but eventually, I got up and got myself a nice waffle and sausages to fuel myself for practice. The novice men gathered after breakfast for a quick meeting with coach Trevor and discussed issues with our technique that we could focus on. After that and a little 

bit of downtime, we went off to practice. I got to ride with Elliot, our esteemed vice president for the first of many trips today, and I have to say it was a fun ride. At our morning practice, we went out in the Stoll and did a lot of work on our timing. Our first drill was a pause slap, where we would stop at the ½ slide, ¾ slide and then let our oars slap the water at the catch. Rotating between bow and stern 4, we spent a lot of time on that and continuous rowing by 6s . Near the end of practice, however, we started to row by 8 and worked up towards race speed. While it is valuable to spend time rowing as an eight, it wasn't in my favor being that my feet don’t fit in 2 seat’s shoes in the Stoll. This made it even more difficult for me when we got to higher rates but by sheer luck, I was somehow able to stay in. Our second practice was 3 hours long and full of experiences. The novice men went out an hour early just to make the most of this trip as we could. However, during our time warming up Aiden’s rigger, our bow seat, ended up coming off the boat. So we had to head in after that. It wasn’t so bad though, since it led us to have the chance to row in the Lubbers, the current V1 boat. Most of this practice was spent on backing the blade into the water and just spending time rowing as a boat. 

Outside of practice, most of my time was spent with the other novice men. Our coach took us to get ice cream as a reward for a successful setting drill. Here we got another amazing food review from Michael as he enjoyed his blizzard. Overall, our time with the trip was full of great memories. 

Ellie Mulder 

Good morning, Laker Nation! Today is Monday, day 2 of our spring break training here in Gainesville, Georgia! We started off the day strong with morning practice consisting of steady-state in an 8 boat by 4s and 6s. Along the way, we performed pause drills to focus on the timing of body movements at the catch. Coach McKenzie taught us that as we approach the catch, we need to have faster arm movement and slow down the legs to make sure that once we do reach the catch, the oar blade enters the water at the exact same time as when our legs reach the end of the slide. It was a tricky concept for us all to grasp at first, but I saw improvements with our slide speed and tendency to lunge or over-compress at the catch. While rowing back to the dock by 6s, I noticed that our oars were rarely checking (touching) the water as we rolled up through the recovery. This made me so happy! It was only a few months ago that our novice 8 could only get one or two “tickless” strokes in a row. We are making so much progress in improving our form! 

After morning practice concluded, we all loaded into the minivans and drove back to the hotel where we ate deli sandwiches, various chips, and watermelon. We played a few rounds of the classic game Telephone which was fun, too. After our delicious and nutritious lunch, around a dozen women rowers and myself drove to Dunkin Donuts to enjoy post-practice coffees. One thing I’m really enjoying about this trip is all of the opportunity to interact and get to know members of the team I haven’t gotten close with yet! Especially as a first-year member of the team, the trip has been an amazing bonding experience. 

Next was the afternoon practice! It was a bright and sunny 70° evening in our novice 8 boat. We brought up the power with a Battle Paddle between port side and the starboard side! It was a fierce competition between pair partners, boat halves, 6s, and eventually all 8! It was a thrilling experience to go head-to-

head with the other girls and cheer them on! Afterwards we rowed by all 8 at higher rates and focused on keeping the boat controlled. In the end, I saw lots of improvement in our timing, rushing, and overall, boat synchronicity. 

Finally, we drove back to the hotel and enjoyed a burger and macaroni dinner together. Some of us went out to ice cream after and it was a blast! I cannot wait for what fun adventures await me for the rest of the week!

Categories: Rowing
Posted on Permanent link for Rowing Club Takes on Georgia Over Spring Break - Day 2 - 3/6/23 on March 14, 2023.

Permanent link for GVSU Rowing Club � Spring Break Blogs 2022 - Day 8 � Saturday, March 12th on March 14, 2022

Miles Hagmeyer – Varsity Man

We wouldn’t be able to call it a Grand Valley Rowing experience if it didn’t go out with a bang. After a week of high intensity seat racing and high training volume, the team was about to see its first spring 2k race in almost two years. The day began sunny and windy, but the weather has never stopped us before. I launched as the stroke seat of the men’s 1v8, prepared to take on Clemson on their fully buoyed 2k course. The wind continued ramping up as we ran the pre-race warmup, and while getting alignment, we knew conditions would be far from ideal. 

We sat at even, and when the flag dropped, we pried the boat up to speed cleanly. It wasn’t until we reached the first 500 meter mark that both crews realized this was going to be more of a battle against the elements than against each other. Waves began to whitecap, and we fought to maintain composure as water crashed over our riggers. With 500m left to the finish, we entered a less protected portion of the course and were hit by the full force of a 30 mile-per-hour crosswind. The men persevered, and we crossed the finish line soaking wet and with water almost filling the hull. 

The row back to the dock consisted mostly of bailing water out of the shell, but spirits were still high. The feeling of warm water and lactic acid couldn’t have been sweeter, knowing that your teammates were experiencing the same for you. All in all, it was a lesson not to fight the losing battle against an angry mother nature that we probably still wouldn’t learn. When the trailer was loaded and wet clothes were replaced with their dry counterparts, we departed on the van ride home, knowing this would be another unforgettable piece of the coveted spring racing season of Grand Valley Rowing.


Maria Rueda-Rodriguez – Varsity Woman

The last day in Clemson also meant race day for us. My day started at 6 am when my alarm woke me up. I got ready for the day and headed to the lobby for breakfast. For breakfast, I had a bagel with butter and apple juice. After breakfast, I loaded my stuff into our van, and we headed to Clemson for our scrimmage against them.

We arrived at Clemson where the weather was not the best for racing, unfortunately. The plan was to race a 2k and some shorter 500m sprint pieces. We entered one varsity men’s eight, two varsity women’s eights, one novice women’s eight, and a novice men’s eight as well. I was in one of the women’s varsity boats. Due to strong winds and water currents, the racing was rough. We didn’t get to do the short race pieces, and right after our 2k races we had to go back to the dock. After getting back to land, we de-rigged all the boats and loaded the trailer so we could head back home.

Once we were done loading the trailer, we all got in our vans and stopped for lunch in downtown Clemson. I had pizza for lunch with other teammates, and then it was time to hit the road. I was not excited to have to sit and drive for twelve hours, but we got home safely and had some fun times along the way!


Jacob Galloway – Novice Man

The last day of the trip started by packing the vans with our luggage and a quick breakfast before one last row at Clemson. We had a quick 2k scrimmage against Clemson on some very choppy water. The weather was not in our favor today. Temperatures in the 40s and wind gusts around 45 mph made for a difficult row. I was in a mixed 8+ with some of my teammates and some of Clemson’s crew. We raced against Clemson novice men on one side and Grand Valley novice men on the other. The first 1500 meters of the race was decent with some current rocking the boat, but the last 500m was unlike anything I’ve rowed in previously. Water was overflowing the boats as we raced along the course fighting the wind and the current. Thankfully, we finished, but with soaked clothes and shivers. It was quite an experience!

After a treacherous docking because of the wind, we made it back to land and seemingly dumped gallons of water out of the boats. Then, it was all hands on deck to de-rig the boats and pack up the trailer. Once again, the weather was not on our side - lots of wind and numb hands from the cold. Afterwards, each van went off to one last lunch in busy downtown Clemson. My van went to Moe’s Southwest Grill (similar to Chipotle), and I had a delicious burrito bowl.

Finally, it was time to fill the vans with gas and head north back to Grand Rapids. Driving through the Carolina and Tennessee mountains was beautiful, especially with some added snow. The vans stopped for stretching, gas, and snacks every three hours. I bought way too much sugar, but it’s spring break, so I can’t be hard on myself. The ride itself was filled with short naps and playing Monopoly. Dinner was a grilled chicken club sandwich and waffle fries from Chick-fil-A around Lexington, Kentucky. There were no lines, as opposed to the Michigan locations. 

Soon, we resumed and the road became flat and dark as we drove through Indiana and west Michigan back to Grand Valley. Finally, we arrived at 4:00 am Sunday morning! Now, time for some sleep and resuming practice on the Grand River. Great work this week!


Alyssa Cassie – Novice Woman

I woke up and started my day around 6:15am. This morning was earlier than usual because we had to load the vans as this was the day that we headed home. However, before heading home, we had one final practice in Clemson which consisted of a 2k race against their team. We were all pretty pumped for this race until our boats hit the water. Our initial warmup was pretty smooth and less worrisome, but when we finally reached the racecourse, a wide open area with less land to block the wind, reality hit. Our pre-race warm up became very rocky as we attempted to pull through the waves and as we worked through our bursts, an unsettling feeling set in. As we sat and waited for our race, our coxswain had to consistently readjust our boat as the wind carried us. Our turn to race finally arrived, so we got ourselves situated at the starting line. We began the race pretty strong with only a few minor complications, but as the race went on, we gradually began to feel the small wrath of the waves. Our race was stopped early because of the waves, and we ultimately ended up in last place. After the race, we continued to fight our way through the waves, working as a team to head back to the docks. After getting splashed from all angles and hopping out of the boat already more wet than preferred, we lifted the boat filled with water only to become drenched and freezing in the strong gusts of wind. Immediately post-strapping down the boat, our coach released us to change into dry clothes, and then we were to help derig and load the trailer. After all was said and done, we grabbed some lunch and headed back to campus.

During the early hours of our 13 hour trip home, my van decided to start the trip with a game. Each person was to say a sentence that added onto the last person’s in an attempt to create a story. The first few sentences had so many surprising elements that one of the members decided to start writing it all down. The story contained myriad plot twists and out-of-left-field details that we couldn’t help but laugh at throughout that time. Once we finished the story and our writer read it back to us, we deemed it worthy of being shared with the rest of the team. We made stops every few hours to switch drivers. During one of the last couple of stops, we motivated each other, with no other option, to hold on for the last home stretch. After what felt like forever, we finally arrived back on campus to find snow and freezing weather, and so we each hurried home after collecting all of our belongings from a long and successful trip.


Categories: Rowing
Posted on Permanent link for GVSU Rowing Club � Spring Break Blogs 2022 - Day 8 � Saturday, March 12th on March 14, 2022.

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