Crew: Ann Arbor High School Crew Teams Row Strong at the Midwest Championship

By Cathy Mizgerd and Kristen Loszewski

Pioneer, Huron, and Skyline high school crew teams from Ann Arbor competed on Saturday and Sunday, May 14–15, in the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship on the Kathryn Bennett Race Course at Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan. The teams were among 48 clubs from seven states that together entered 498 boats in this two-day series of time trials, semifinals, and final competitions.

Teams raced in preliminary qualifying time trials on Saturday morning. Of all those entered, the fastest eight boats were then slated to advance to grand finals, scheduled for Sunday. Some races also led to petite finals for the second tier of eight boats, depending on the total number of boats entered in the time trials. Many boats were originally scheduled for semifinal competitions on Saturday afternoon, though some of these were postponed to Sunday due to weather.

The race course consisted of 1,500 meters along the northwestern edge of the 1,200-acre Kent Lake. Of the 17 boats that Pioneer entered in the regatta, 11 advanced to grand finals and four to the petite finals. Four Pioneer boats in the grand finals received medals. In addition, victories in the petite final races helped Pioneer to a 9th-place finish for both the men’s varsity 4-seat and the men’s junior 8-seat and a 10th-place finish for the men’s varsity 8-seat. The field of competitors included the strongest and fastest rowers from across the Midwest.

Conditions on Saturday morning and early afternoon were sunny and bright, with a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit in Milford at 8:00 a.m., when the first Pioneer boat started to race, increasing to 82 degrees in the afternoon. Visibility was good from the Maple Beach shoreline, where spectators cheered. Thunderstorms halted racing at approximately 2:30pm; competition resumed at 6:27pm with 12 semifinal races Saturday evening.

The remaining 10 semifinals were rescheduled for Sunday morning, when conditions were again sunny and bright, with a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit at 8:00 a.m. Temperatures rose to 86 degrees Fahrenheit by 3:00 p.m., when racing concluded. The breeze was light throughout Sunday, with winds from the west/northwest at 1-5 mph.

The Pioneer High School men’s and women’s crew teams return to Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan, on Saturday, May 21, 2022, for the State Championship Regatta, hosted by the Scholastic Rowing Association of Michigan.

Women’s Second Varsity 4+ with a time of 6.06.3: Abby Stephans, Aicha Sanogo, Anne Stroud, Shuyi Xu with Cecilia Fortson as coxswain

Women’s Varsity 4+ with a time of 5.50.2: Emma Bassett, Grace Kennel, Lillian Davidson-Walshe, MK Coolican with Allison Miller as coxswain

Men’s Second Varsity 4+ with a time of 5.38.2: Rob Duke, Owen Rozek, Gabe Raux, Daniel Ko with Charlie Herz as coxswain

Women’s Novice 4+, with a time of 6.33.0: Catherine Neal, Emmanuel Davis, Astrid Becker, Madeline Houston with Maia Rivette as coxswain

Petite Finals (9th overall)

Men’s Varsity 4+ with a time of 5.30.7: Evan Guzek, Will McKarns, Gabe DeAlmeida, Grayson Hobrecht with Anna Kaganov as coxswain

Men’s Junior 8+ with a time of 5.02.8: Joe Clynes, Gavin Bassett, Rowan Higgins, John Gronewold, Brendan Kracht, Will MacQueen, Foster Dugan, Max Metzger with Charlie Herz as coxswain

Petite Finals (10th overall)
Men’s Varsity 8+ with a time of 5.05.3: Joe Clynes, Will McKarns, Rowan Higgins, Gabe DeAlmeida, Evan Guzek, Gavin Bassett, Foster Dugan, Grayson Hobrecht with Anna Kaganov as coxswain

Women’s Novice 4+ Boat Rows for Bronze

MAIN PHOTO: Men’s 2nd Varsity 4+ Celebrates