2018-08-02 / Sports

Lake Leelanau Rowing Club competes well in Ann Arbor

by Grant McPherson
of the Enterprise staff


THE LAKE LEELANAU Rowing Club practices Saturday morning before their summer regatta that afternoon. Photo: Erik Zehender THE LAKE LEELANAU Rowing Club practices Saturday morning before their summer regatta that afternoon. Photo: Erik Zehender The Lake Leelanau Rowing Club represented northern Michigan with pride yet again on Saturday.

Racing in three lane heats on Argo Pond, nearly 300 boats from 32 Midwest clubs competed on Saturday in over 100 races.

“It’s been very satisfying to see Lake Leelanau RC go from the new kid on the block, to this year being the largest club represented with 33 boats entered,” Club founder Erik Zehender said. “Our juniors did extraordinary well, I think everyone came home with medals.”

The Lake Leelanau Rowing Club medaled in 13 of the 33 boat races entered with youth, masters and visually impaired rowers from Traverse City, Leelanau County and Elk Rapids.

The Lake Leelanau Rowing Club took home two first place medals. The team of Elayna Vas, Jace Boutwell, Parker Cabbage, Emma Ellis, Delaney Cram, Wyatt Sahs, Blake O’Connor, Kaija Homburg and Isabel Baumann took first place in the mixed novice race. Gerald Semambo placed first in the single skull Men’s Open.


MEMBERS OF the Lake Leelanau Rowing Club are all smiles on Saturday after earning medals in their events. Photo: Erik Zehender MEMBERS OF the Lake Leelanau Rowing Club are all smiles on Saturday after earning medals in their events. Photo: Erik Zehender Lake Leelanau also brought home four second place medals. The team of Elizabeth Saunders and Katie Gronek finished in second in the Women’s High School double race. The team of Boutwell, Ethan Slocum, Eli Szumera and Tom Morrison finished in second place of the Men’s novice four person skulls.

The team of Wren Wodek, Irina Oosse, Isabelle Baumann, Lindsey Fleis, Anna Breederland, Elizabeth Saunders, Natalie Heitman, Gronek and Lauren Breederland finished in second in the High School Women eight plus race.

The team of Wodek, Slocum, Anna Breederland, Boutwell, Fleis, Szumera, Morrison, Gronek and Lauren Breederland finished in second in the mixed high school eight plus race.

The team wasn’t finished, as they grabbed four third place medals in events. The team of Wodek, Saunders, Heitman, Gronek and Lauren Breederland placed third in the Women’s High School four plus race.

The duo of Melissa Tolson and Melissa Dow finished in third of the Women’s Masters race. Saunders placed third by herself in the Women’s High School single skull race.

In the Inclusive Visually Impaired race, Melinda Hollands and Jim Gardiner placed third. The other team that competed in the Inclusive Visually Impaired race of Lila Miller and Saunders finished in fourth place.

Heitman placed in fourth of the Women’s High School single skull. The team of Tolson, Dana Fear, Mindy Hawley, Caroline Schaefer- Hills and Shannon Scott finished in fourth of the Women’s Masters four plus race.

“There was a very enthusiastic group of masters represented,” Zehender said. “What takes the cake for me is the success of Lila Miller and Melinda Hollands, two extraordinarily courageous visually impaired rowers.”

In their third year of rowing, the Michigan Club Invitational Regatta was their very first official competition in a USRowing sanctioned event for the two. The duo raced along with their “sighted” doubles partners, Saunders and Gardiner respectively, against doubles from Greater Columbus Rowing Association and Ann Arbor Rowing Club.

“These two are an inspiration to all in our club,” Zehender said. “Our coach Tom Weber and assistant coaches work hard in preparing our athletes for competition.”

Next on the upcoming regatta schedule for the Lake Leelanau Rowing Club will be the Head of the Cuyahoga in Cleveland, Ohio. This regatta will take place on Saturday, September 15.

“Lauren Breederland competed in her last regatta with us,” coach Tom Weber said. “She was our team captain, and I’m really proud of her. She was a big part of our team.”

With the summer drawing closer to it’s end, the autumn season Youth Rowing Parent Meeting will be on Monday, August 13 at 5:30 at the Fountain Point Resort on Lake Leelanau.

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