By Kristen Loszewski and Cathy Mizgerd/weloveannarbor.com
The Pioneer and Huron High School crew teams faced off at a friendly season-opening scrimmage on the Argo Pond section of the Huron River in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Saturday, September 10, 2022. Both local schools brought their novice and varsity crew teams to compete.
With a lined-up start, boats raced side-by-side, different from the staggered starts of many fall competitions. This led to excitement for the many spectators lining the shores. It also provided an important opportunity for rowers to get comfortable with this style of racing, according to Pioneer Crew Head Coach Scott Menoch. “Saturday went exceptionally well,” Menoch said. “We got in some really good experience.”
“The Pioneer team did a great job, not just on the water, but off the water,” Menoch added. “I think they’re pretty excited about advancing to the next step because of it.”
The head-to-head race pieces totaled approximately 1 kilometer in length for novices and roughly 1.5 kilometers for varsity-level athletes, which is shorter than a typical course length in the fall, but still constructive as an early-season challenge. Times were not recorded, and medals were not awarded for these races. Both high school teams rowed strong, providing ample indication that this season will be competitive and enjoyable for all.
The weather was just about perfect, though heavy cloud cover began to form as the last boats were completing their races. Temperatures were in the high 70s and reached the mid-80s. The wind was light at 2-3 mph.
The Pioneer team welcomed 31 new novices this fall, as well as 53 returning varsity members, including 46 rowers and seven coxswains. Together they make up one of the larger Pioneer Rowing Club teams in recent years.
For its next competitive event, the Pioneer Crew traveled to Orchard Lake, Mich., on September 24, 2022, for a scrimmage hosted by St. Mary’s Preparatory School.