The Riverview rowing program is out to make history at the Hebda Memorial Cup Challenge Saturday – for the second straight year.
Last season the Bucs swept the girls’ title, the boys’ title and the overall title – the first program ever to do that.
Saturday, they’d like to repeat the feat.
“It was a pretty big deal for the kids,” said Riverview Coach Rich Kesor. “They have been pushing themselves in workouts since the beginning of January with the goal of repeating the feat motivating them. Hopefully, we can pull it off.”
It won’t be easy as the Bucs will be facing stiff competition from 11 other teams at the event, including teams from Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The complete field is Roosevelt, Riverview, Anderson, Grosse Ile, Carlson, Dearborn Heights Crestwood, Saline, Cranbrook, Northville, Mercyhurst Prep from Pennsylvania, and Parkersburg from West Virginia.
This will be the 49th running of the Hebda Cup. Racing begins at Waterfront Park in Wyandotte at 8 a.m. Saturday, with the finals expected to begin around 11.
Riverview prepped for Saturday’s event by winning the WBC championship last week.
The event was held over two days because of bad weather.
Riverview won the majority of the events and scored 333 points. Crestwood was second (103), Carlson was third and Anderson was fourth.
Downriver’s high school rowing teams capped the season with several strong showings at the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association Championships – formerly known as the Canadian Schoolboys – in St. Catherine’s, Ontario last weekend.
More than 3,500 rowers from across Canada and the United States attended the meet and only a few hundred reached the finals races on Sunday. Among them were four boatloads of local rowers.
Three of those boats in the final came from Riverview, with the team’s Junior Women's 59kg Four leading the way with a second-place showing.
Crewing that boat were Haley Reynolds, Zoe Kissel, Norma Lee, Margaret Raushch and coxie Samantha Warren.
Riverview also got a fourth-place finish from its Junior Women's 63kg Four of Lee, Kissel, Rausch, Cara Charette and coxie Nina Brown.
That finish was more impressive considering that Lee, Kissel and Rausch jumped out of their 59kg boat after their race and jumped right into the 63kg boat with Charette and Brown and just barely missed a second- or third-place medal.
Riverview's Junior Women's 63kg Four of Lee, Kissel, Rausch, Cara Charette and coxie Nina Brown.
The only other local women to medal were Anderson’s Caire Crosmun and Ashley Granica, who placed sixth in the Women’s Double.
Riverview Senior Men's 66kg Four boat of Jamal Davis, Ian Moore, Ryan Welsh, Greg Doss and coxie Emma Russeau finished sixth.
Riverview Senior Men's 66kg Four boat of Jamal Davis, Ian Moore, Ryan Welsh, Greg Doss and coxie Emma Russeau.
Grosse Ile failed to get any boats to the finals, but several close calls left the Grosse Ile coaches feeling encouraged.
Grosse Ile and Riverview each turned in strong seasons this spring and each team will lose just three seniors to graduation.
Downriver high schools and the Wyandotte boat club claimed five titles at last weekend’s State of Michigan Rowing Championships in Grand Rapids.
Roosevelt’s Men’s and Women’s doubles and singles boats swept the competition.
Corneilia Reigler continued her season-long dominance by winning the Women’s Single and then teamed with Sarah Minaugh to win the Double.
Roosevelt’s boys followed suit, with Alex Pappas wining the singles and Pappas and Josh Simons teaming up to win the doubles.
The other local win came from Grosse Ile’s Men’s Lightweight 4 boat, crewed by coxswain Matt Hoying, Lyle Antieau, Ethan Ames, Jack Adams and Donnie Jensen.
Grosse Ile took seven boats to Grand Rapids and all seven of them reached the finals.
“The team dealt with a long day of racing and with elements and did not let it wear them down going into the finals,” said assistant coach Kellie LaPointe.
Grosse Ile snagged a second place in the Men’s Junior 8 and thirds in the Women’s Junior 8 and the Women’s Varsity 4.
Hoying, Antieau, Ames, Josh Mizak, Ray Bodrie, Kyle Karrar, Hunter Pfeiffer, Adams and Jensen crewed the Men’s Junior 8.
Coxswain Heaven Shaman, Holly Scott, Kelly Farrel, Nicole Marek, Emma Alford, Hannah Whitaker, Emma Valiquette, Erica DesJardins and Ally O'Donnel rowed the Women’s Junior 8 and coxswain Kaitlin Karrar, Sam Ralston, Ursula O'Connor, Paige Krohn and Lexi Baxter rowed the Varsity 4.
Anderson scored two places at the state meet with its Women's Varsity Double of Hailey Medvich and Nicole Lafferty taking second place and the Men’s Junior Double of Nate Shivel and Mark Kowalsky finishing third.
Riverview’s Lightweight 4 snagged second-place honors and Riverview’s Women’s Varsity 8 scored a third.
The four-person boat was Haley Reynolds, Zoe Kissel, Norma Lee, Margaret Rausch and Coxie Samantha Warren.
The eight-person boat was Emily Powers, Marianne Horsley, Brittany Jenkins, Autumn Little, Alecia Wendt, Zoe Kissel, Penny Orsargos, Margaret Rausch, and Coxie Emma and Russeau.
What a day last Saturday was for the Roosevelt rowing team as the Bears crowned three champs at the Midwest Meet of Champions in Cincinnati.
The Men’s Varsity Double of Alex Pappas and Josh Simmons; the Women’s Varsity Double of Sarah Minaugh and Corneilia Reigler; and Reiglier in the Women’s Varsity single asll too home first-place honors and wrapped up invitions to the North American Schoolboy Championships in Camden, NJ Memorial Day weekend
Roosevelt also snagged a bronze medal in Cincinnati last weekend when Pampas finished third in the Men’s Varsity single.
“We did an awesome job this weekend,” said Roosevelt Coach Brett Green. “All the boats made huge improvements.”
Riverview scored a gold medal at the Midwest meet when the Junior Double of Marianne Horsley and Emily Powers took first and punched their ticket to nationals.
But Riverview overall team effort had Coach Rich Kesor beaming as 23 of the 42 Riverview rowers at last Saturday’s meet participated in the finals.
“When you have that many boats and that many rowers rowing in the finals on Sunday, you know you are doing well,” he said.
Riverview wound up getting a second-place finish from its Women’s Lightweight Novice 4 of Norma Lee, Zoe Kissel, Samantha Warren, Cortney Armstrong and coxie Nina Brown and a third-place showing from its Women's Junior Quad boat crewed by Marianne Horsley, Autumn Little, Brittany Jenkins, Emily Powers.
The Bucs also scored a fourth-place and two sixth places.
The Anderson team grabbed a pair of third-place finishes as the Women's Lightweight Double of Claire Crosmun and Ashley Granica and the Women's Varsity Double of Hayley Medvich and Nicole Lafferty each claimed bronze medals.
Grosse Ile had a number of boats reach the semifinals Saturday and one, the Men’s Lightweight 4, reached the finals.
That boat, crewed by coxswain Matt Hoying, Lyle Antieau, Ethan Ames, Jack Adams and Donnie Jensen, finished sixth.
The Michigan state championships are this weekend in Grand Rapids.
Several boats, including the Women’s Lightweight Doubles from Riverview and Anderson and Riverview’s Women’s Junior Double, will go to the 192-team Stotesbury Cup in Philadelphia. More than 5,000 rowers will compete in that meet.
It took a behemoth like Ann Arbor Huron to knock Riverview out of the top spot at the 41 annual Wyandotte High Schools Rowing Regatta on the riverfront in Wyandotte Saturday.
Racing on smooth, flat water all day long, Class A Huron won the overall title by a mere nine points over much smaller Riverview.
Huron’s 100-plus member team outnumbered the Bucs by more than 2-to-1.
All in all, we performed well,” said Riverview Coach Rich Kesor. “There were a few events in which we didn't perform at our best and let a few races get away from us.
“Ultimately, those lost points meant the difference between winning the cup and finishing second.”
Riverview won three events – Women’s Novice 8, Women’s Varsity Quad and Women’s Novice Lightweight 4 – and also had three boats finish second and three more finish third.
As a team, the Riverview women were second and the men third.
Riverview’s Women's Novice 8 was Norma Lee, Zoe Kissel, Cara Charette, Kate Nelson, Savannah Liveoak, Emily Pisarzewski, Samantha Warren, Courtney Armstrong and coxie Nina Brown.
Riverview’s Women's Lightweight Novice 4 was Norma Lee, Zoe Kissel, Samantha Warren, Courtney Armstrong and coxie Nina Brown.
The Bucs’ final winning boat was the Women's Quad crewed by Emily Powers, Marianne Horsley, Autumn Little and Alecia Wendt.
The second place boats were the Men's and Women's Lightweight 4s and the Men's Junior 4. The third place boats were the Women's Novice 4, Women's Double, and Men's Lightweight 8.
It was not just Riverview’s rowers who fared well among local teams. In all, Wyandotte Boat Club member teams won 12 gold medals.
Grosse Ile had a fine day at the Wy-Hi, winning four times.
Grosse Ile’s winning women’s boats were the Varsity 4 of coxswain Kaitlin Karrar, Sam Ralston, Ursula O’Connor, Paige Krohn and Lexi Baxter and the Women’s Novice 4 of coxswain Heaven Shaman, Hannah, Whitaker, Emma Alford, Nicole Marek and Emma Valiquette.
Winning for the men were the Junior 8 of coxswain Matt Hoying, Lyle Antieau, Ethan Ames, Josh Mizak, Ray Bodrie, Kyle Karrar, Hunter Pfeiffer, Jack Adams and Donnie Jensen and the Lightweight 4 of Hoying, Antieau, Ames, Adams and Jensen.
“We’re learning a lot right now and want to get better from week to week,” said Grosse Ile assistant coach Don Fekete, “It is nice working a group of athletes who are focused on improving and doing things the right.”
Anderson scored a pair of wins.
Duplicating their win from the Hebda Cup a week ago was the Titans’ Women’s Lightweight 4 of Claire Crosmun, Selena Meskos, Alyssa Quillen and Ashley Granica.
Anderson’s Women’s Double of Crosmun and Granica finished first, nipping Hebda champ Roosevelt by .28 seconds. The Wyandotte boat was rowed by Cornelia Rieger and Sarah Minaugh.
Roosevelt got wins from its Men’s Double of Josh Simmons and Alex Papas and its Women’s single rowed by Rieger, as well as another second from its Men’s Varsity 4.
Carlson also had a gold-medal finish, winning the prestigious Men’s Varsity 8.
Alex Theeck, Brandon Price, Trevor Lazarski, Kyle Brunell, Sean Pacheco, Devin Lang, Matt Diehl, Logan Farrington and coxie Josh Pruchniewski crewed the winning boat.
It was the first time Carlson has ever won the Men’s Varsity 8 at the Wy-Hl and the first time a Wyandotte Boat Club boat has won it since at least 1997, according to Coach Dennis Schooley.
The win was made all the more impressive by the fact that half of the Varsity 8 boat – Theeck, Price, Lazarski, Farrington and Pruchniewski – had to jump out of the third-place Lightweight 4 and get ready quickly to row in the eight-man race.
All five local crews are now off this weekend to Cincinnati for the two-day, 50-team Midwest Scholastic Championships on Ohio’s Hasha Lake.
Boats at the Midwest Championships are vying for berth in the National Championships in Camden N.J. May 26.