Northville Rowing Club has best showing yet with 3 boats earning medals
Grand Rapids, Michigan – Senior Emily Tatge claimed a gold
medal in the high school women’s varsity single at the Michigan Scholastic
Rowing Championships at Riverside Park on Saturday, May 17. The event included
4 boats and Emily won soundly, finishing 13 seconds in front of the Rockford’s
Sabrina Van Fossen. Tatge will compete in the Scholastic Rowing Nationals next
weekend, after qualifying with a 2nd place finish at the Midwest
Scholastic Rowing Championships last weekend in Nasport, Ohio. The national
regatta will be held in Princeton Junction, New Jersey and will include over
150 high schools and well over 450 entries in 30+ events.
In its 4th year of competition, Northville Rowing
Club has ramped up its recruiting efforts and has a large group of freshman
athletes. The MSRA Championships do not include novice events, so that limited
NRC’s chance at finishing with medals for many of its boats. “There are many
coaches whose teams participate in the MSRA who would like to see novice events
included in the championship,” remarked NRC Director of Rowing Van Papoulis.
“There are teams who don’t compete in this event each year because there are no
The regatta hosts 15 teams from across the state of
Michigan. The most experienced teams tend to come from downriver or the west
side of the state. However, Ann Arbor boasts very competitive teams, as does
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Cranbrook.
Even with the limited experience of the team, NRC had the
most boats finish with medals in its short history. Junior Cameron Ulrich took
silver in the men’s varsity single. Ulrich’s event included 5 boats with steep
competition coming from Crestwood rower Tony Delgreco, who finished only 2
seconds faster than Cameron to earn first place.
Seniors Laki Papoulis and Dilan Varghese rowed to 3rd
place, claiming bronze at what is now their final state championship. Both
charter members of the rowing team, Laki and Dilan have rowed since freshman
year. The competition was quite tough in the men’s varsity double, with 3
semi-final heats competing for a place in the finals. The seniors made it into
the finals with 5 other boats and edged out the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s boat
for the bronze medal.
NRC had 8 boats make it to the finals, including the women’s
varsity single, men’s varsity single and men’s varsity double. The women’s
lightweight 4, women’s lightweight 8, women’s varsity 4, men’s lightweight 8
and men’s varsity 4 also competed in final events.
Russ Miller, who is transitioning to the position of head
coach, is more than happy with these results. “This spring has been a tough
season with the weather keeping the team off the water due to temperature and
winds. Our rowers worked hard indoors over the winter and the practice paid
NRC will experience a loss of 10 rowers this spring as the
seniors graduate. With a team of 40 rowers, that will make an impact. The team
has focused on its recruiting efforts, however, and hopes to see a larger, more
balanced team. “We started visiting the two middle schools last spring,”
explained NRC president Ken Ulrich. “We had some of our rowers take one of our
smaller boats and a rowing machine and let the middle school kids see this
equipment up close. After our visit last spring we saw an increase in
participation from incoming freshman.”
The team will also provide a “Learn to Row” camp this spring, for any Northville students between 6 – 11th grades. The camp will take place at NRC’s practice location at Ford Lake in Ypsilanti. “The beauty of rowing happens on the water,” Van Papoulis said. “For some kids, as soon as they get on the water they are hooked.”
You can learn more about the Northville Rowing Club and its
Learn to Row camp at www.northvillerowing.com.