Northern Michigan Outdoors: Students from Traverse City and Leelanau County high schools and middle schools are invited to try out and train this fall for a place on the new, fully sponsored 2014 Lake Leelanau Juniors Rowing Team. Tryouts and on-water practice times this fall are M-Th 5:30-7:00 beginning Monday 9/9 and ending with our large, 3rd annual high school regatta on 10/27, which several hundred rowers from downstate schools attend and which Daniel James Brown, author of New York Times Bestseller "The Boys in the Boat" will be keynoting with a pre-regatta Fountain Point fireside about the Team USA victory in the 1936 Olympics. Possible additional regattas in Grand Rapids on 9/28 and Lansing on 10/20 may also be considered if boats with sufficient skill level have been formed.
Up to six 8's will be sponsored based on a first-come, first served basis. See photo below. An "8" is a 60 foot rowing shell with 8 oarsmen on sliding seats and a coxswain. When rowed properly, the boats are very fast. Plans are to have northern Michigan high school girls "A" and "B" boats, a girls middle school boat, high school boys "A" and "B" boats, and a boys middle school boat, all fully sponsored. Including coxswains and spares for each boat, there is capacity for up to 60 high school and middle school student athletes. Criteria for selection is a high level of respectfulness and appreciation for the privilege of participation, outstanding team sportsmanship, leadership, athletic ability, commitment to attend practices and commitment to race in the April/May spring racing season.
Traverse City West, Traverse City Central, Traverse City St. Francis, Glen Lake, Suttons Bay, Leland and St. Mary's are all already represented or have rowers who have graduated and moved on to college teams; one 2013 TC West graduate received a rowing scholarship to a Division 1 school. Head Coach Mike Stemo has years of experience and started the Grand Rapids Rowing Association. Several Assistant Coaches also have many years of experience to contribute. Although high school rowing in Michigan at downstate schools typically costs in the range of $1,200-$1,500 per year, per student, in Northern Michigan all equipment and coaching for students will be provided at no cost in the remainder of 2013 and in 2014 thanks to the sponsorship of Fountain Point and the dedication of volunteer coaches. Fountain Point is a high performance training facility for the University of Michigan and Michigan State University rowing teams, as well as high school rowing teams from downstate who come up to train and race. There is an active on-site masters club of adult rowers and scullers. For more information about rowing on Lake Leelanau, watch this LIAA-produced youtube video "A Day in the Life of a University of Michigan Rower" – filmed at Fountain Point.
Questions can be directed to Erik Zehender at 231.866.0877.
Fountain Point is located at 990 S. Lake Leelanau Dr., Lake Leelanau (about 20 minutes north of TC West, just up Bugai Rd.) A pre-practice homework/study area is also available for students traveling by bus.