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Beline Obeid
Grosse Pointe Woods’ Max Montpetit, center, is flanked by his parents, father, Gregory Montpetit, and mother, Lisa Montpetit, during one of his rowing events in the spring. Photo courtesy of Gregory Montpetit

August 23, 2012
Grosse Pointe Woods resident Max Montpetit was part of Northeastern University's freshman 8+ crew that won a silver medal at the Eastern Sprints at Worchester, Mass., in mid-May.

The 20-year-old Orchard Lake St. Mary's graduate put together a strong first year of collegiate rowing, ending with the silver-medal performance.

Montpetit and his teammates posted a time of 6:04.801, second to Harvard's 6:02.621. However, Northeastern powered past Cornell, Brown, Princeton and Navy. Only Cornell was close to Northeastern, losing by less than three seconds.

The squad put together a bronze-medal performance the weekend of June 2 in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Men's Rowing National Championship Regatta at Cherry Hill, N.J.

The nine members had the third-fastest 8+ boat in the country. This time, they beat Cornell, Brown, Penn, Columbia and all of the east coast Ivy League squads.

Washington won with a time of 5:31.902, followed by California at 5:35.659 and Northeastern at 5:43.629.

His teammates were Connor Wortley (cox), Sean Crowley (stroke), Riordan Morrell, Kyle Erlandson, Cameron Buchan, Colin Schaap, Dale Jordan and Bill Tomlinson (bow).

"It was a lot of fun and a nice accomplishment to earn medals in those races," Montpetit said. "We have a nice team and the hard work paid off."

Montpetit didn't relax and relish in the success. He continued to work out and row, improving each and every day.

"I have to be strong and be at the top of my game," he said. "Everyone who comes into our program is hungry and has been working out hard. I have to stay focused to stay in the lineup."

Northeastern finished its season 6-2, winning three competitions on its home course, the Charles River in Boston.

"It's such a beautiful site," Monpetit said. "Sometimes I take a step back and look around and admire the beauty."

John Pojednic is the head coach and Ted Benford the associate head coach. Richard Schroeder is the rigger, while Dan Boothby is the strength and conditioning director.

Northeastern 2007 graduate Will Miller and his teammates competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

"It's great exposure for our program," Monpetit said. "I hope more recruits look at our program."

Monpetit was one of more than 30 rowers. Only a few graduated and several newcomers start in September.

"Our rowing program is increasing, which is great for us," Monpetit said.

Northeastern dropped football as a varsity sport and the money invested in that went to rowing.

He was satisfied with his freshman year academically, finishing with a 3.2 grade point average.

"Year one was a good one and the transition from high school went smoother than I thought," Monpetit said. "I received a great college prep education from St. Mary's, so the class work wasn't too challenging.

"It was some long days with rowing practices and a full load of classes, but overall I did the best I could and I enjoyed myself."

He is ready for his sophomore year academically and athletically.

"We're very proud of Max and to watch him do well on his grades and on the rowing team," Montpetit's mother, Lisa, said. "It's been nice to have Max home for a while before he leaves for school in a few weeks."

"St. Mary's really prepared Max for college and he has a lot of confidence after achieving a solid freshman year," his father, Gregory Monpetit, said. "He works hard and he should have a nice sophomore year, too."

Montpetit returns to Boston in a few weeks and immediately prepares for his fall class schedule and rowing season.

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