Vikes Men’s Rowing Year in Review

Vikes rowing men

Western Canadian Rowing Championships

By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
The Vikes men’s rowing team started off their 2015-16 season with a trip to Burnaby, B.C. for the Western Canadian Rowing Championships, where they won the title over rivals UBC after sweeping the open eight, heavy and light coxed fours, heavy pair, light double, heavy and light singles. Second year Brett Larson had a close finish in the men’s single, finishing 0.2 seconds ahead of his UBC counterpart.

After a strong showing in Burnaby, the Vikes hosted another successful Head and Tail of the Gorge from Oct. 24-25 in the Gorge Narrows of Victoria. It was a welcomed digression for the Vikes before returning to competitive action with the Canadian University Rowing Championships on Oct. 31-Nov. 1 in Antigonish, N.S.

As hosts of the CURC in 2014 at Elk Lake, the Vikes narrowly missed out on top spot by four points to UBC. 2015 saw the Vikes finish fourth behind their pacific rivals while Western took home the banner ahead of Brock in second. Fourth year Alex Walker became a four-time gold medalist in the lightweight men’s double, finishing in 6:37.95 alongside teammate Patrick Keane. The pair of Adam Donaldsonand Christopher Marshall brought back the only other medal of the championship for the Vikes with a bronze in 7:00.76.

2016 was also the first year the Vikes hosted the Annual Monster Erg inside the CARSA Performance Gym, helping set a new standard for the event in its 31st year. U-23 and second-year Vike Luc Brodeur posted a three-second improvement on his personal best with 6:01, while fellow second year Mathew Szymanowski pulled 6:10 to rank him second in the category.

The Vikes then looked to reclaim their Brown Cup title from the Thunderbirds in the 24th rendition of the tournament on Mar. 26 after their varsity eight team came out on top at the Elk Lake Spring Regatta earlier in the month on Mar. 5-6. For the first time since 2011, the Vikes men reclaimed their Brown Cup title to increase their overall record to 18-7 in the competition. The victory helped the Vikes carry their momentum into the San Diego Crew Classic a week later, where the men’s lightweight eight claimed second place ahead of some of North America’s best collegiate rowing programs.

Head Coach: Aalbert Van Schothorst (2nd season)
Lightweight Coach: Matt Jensen
Reserve Crew Coach: Torin Rivers
Strength Coach: Kimberly Hawker
Freshmen Coach: Grant Shapka
Novice Coach: Connor McGuigan
2016-17 Key Returnees: Andrew Hendrickson, Adam Donaldson, Patrick Keane, Mathew Szymanowski
2016-17 Key Departures: Elyas Forstbauer, Jacob Koudys, Samuel Hogman

Canadian University Rowing Championships (Nov. 1, 2015 – Antigonish, N.S.)
Mathew Szymanowski, Mark Davies, Sam Horn, Brett Larson, Elyas Forstbauer, Daan Arscott,Christopher Marshall, Adam Donaldson, Jacob Koudys (coxswain) – 4th (5:54.77)
Lwt 1x
Alex Walker – 7th ( 7:36.45)
Brett Larson – 8th (7:32.92)
Lwt 4+
Graham Connell, Alex Walker, Patrick Keane, Andrew Hendrickson, Bailey Kulman (Coxswain) – 4th(6:33.44)
Adam Donaldson, Christopher Marshall – BRONZE (7:00.76)
Lwt 2x
Patrick Keane, Alex Walker – GOLD (6:37.95)

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