Source: Grosse Pointe News Online

Local rowers earn third place

by Bob St. John

July 03, 2014

For some Grosse Pointe area high school rowers, the past months have consisted of early mornings and late evenings as they trained five hours a day, six days a week.

This hard work culminated in a trip to Sacramento, Calif., to compete in the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships the weekend of June 13.

The Detroit Boat Club Crew Juniors, who row off of Belle Isle, faced a shortened spring season due to the harsh winter and subsequent icy waters in the Detroit River.

Regardless, the team traveled to Cincinnati in May to compete against rowing teams from across the Midwest in the Midwest Junior Rowing Championships.

The rowers needed to place in the top three in this multi-state event to qualify to compete in the national championship.

Ultimately, the Detroit Boat Club Crew sent three crews to Sacramento to see how the local rowers would fare in the best high school competition in the country.

The first team to qualify was the Junior Menís Lightweight Eight plus coxswain (8+).

This crew is comprised of Michael Landuyt (Grosse Pointe South), Sean Nemeh (Grosse Pointe South), Matt Dimond (Grosse Pointe South), Sorin Koszyk (Grosse Pointe South), Andrew Kelly (homeschooled), Raymond Mattingly (Grosse Pointe North), Dylan Goitz (University Liggett), Christian Nemeh (Grosse Pointe South) and coxswain Rob Robson (Grosse Pointe South).

These young men went undefeated in every Lightweight 8+ race this year, beating all the teams they faced from Michigan before convincingly winning a gold medal in the Midwest Championship.

The rowers traveled to the national championship with high expectations, but met adversity in their first race Friday afternoon, finishing third in the preliminary races. This meant they had to race in Saturday morningís Repechage event where only the top two winning teams would advance.

The Detroit team won its Repechage event and had to race for a second time Saturday in the eveningís semifinals.

With a strong race, the Detroit Boat Club Crew edged out the crew from Long Beach, Calif., by 1.1 seconds to secure the last spot in the finals.

The finals now had the six best lightweight crews from the United States ready to row 2,000 meters to determine the grand champion.

The race started slowly for the Detroit crew who found themselves in last place at the halfway point in the race.

However, with fierce determination, extraordinary physical teamwork and an amazing sprint, the Detroit Boat Club Crew ended up in a photo finish to take third, just 0.14 seconds behind second place.

This is the second bronze medal in rowing for the team in the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships, having also placed third in 2013.