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Alumni gather for reunion row on Grand River

  • A recent photo of the Varsity 8 crew from 1997.
  • A photo of the Varsity 8 crew in 1997.
  •  The crew rows along the Grand River.
  •  GVSU Crew team rowing
  •  GVSU Crew boat called Spirit of 97

Posted on September 26, 2017

Alumni who were members of the Grand Valley rowing team in 1997 gathered September 23 for a 20-year reunion row. 

The Varsity 8 crew from 1997 competed in a row with the current men's Varsity 4 crew. The race, which ended in a tie, began at the Grand Valley boathouse on the Grand River in Allendale. All eight rowers, as well as the coxswain and coach, traveled to Grand Valley from all over the country and as far away as California and Oregon. 

John Bancheri, head rowing coach, said members of the alumni team have committed to fund a new boat — called a racing shell — that will be named for the crew, "The Spirit of '97."

In 1997, Varsity 8 crew members received bronze medals at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia and earned a record score for Grand Valley Rowing. 

All members of the crew attended the reunion: Diana Bushman (coxswain), Ryan Quick, Dave George, Ken Moon, Dana Schmunk, Jeff Brecheisen, Matt LeBlanc, Ben Moon, Chris Czarnecki and Coach Richard Laurance. 

Learn more about Grand Valley Rowing at