Long Lake rowers shine on the Mississippi

By Karen Berrell
FOR THE PIONEER

LLRC’s Sean Donlin, left, (Wayzata High School) and Jack Marquis (Orono High School) navigate strong currents on the Mississippi River in the Men’s Junior Double Race. (Submitted Photo)
LLRC’s Sean Donlin, left, (Wayzata High School) and Jack Marquis (Orono High School) navigate strong currents on the Mississippi River in the Men’s Junior Double Race. (Submitted Photo)

Rowers from Long Lake Rowing Crew (LLRC) didn’t have to travel very far for a great day of competitive racing on Saturday, Oct. 1, when they joined 21 teams from across the upper Midwest at the 37th annual Head of the Mississippi River Regatta.

The event, hosted by the Minneapolis Rowing Club, featured races in youth, collegiate and adult categories and was held at the University of Minnesota boathouse.

Saturday’s racecourse began at the Minneapolis Rowing Club and wound upstream along the scenic shores of the Mississippi River, past River Flats Park.

Rowers navigated bridges, channel markers and other obstacles along the 3-mile course. A significant current and high water made for a challenging course, but LLRC rowers posted impressive results.

Danika Brockman, a senior at Orono High School, took first place in an all-LLRC field in the women’s junior single race, with Natalie Steine, a senior at Wayzata High School coming in second. Third place went to Ava Winkels, a sophomore at Orono High and fourth went to Reinnen Pfleider, a freshman at Wayzata High School.

Several LLRC men placed in their races as well, with a first place finish going to Drew Mitchellette (sophomore at OHS) and a third place finish for Andy Berrell (sophomore at OHS) in the men’s junior single race.

A number of LLRC’s former junior rowers who now row for collegiate programs competed in the collegiate category at the regatta. They represented both the University of Minnesota Women’s rowing team and the St. Thomas Men’s and Women’s rowing teams.

LLRC has one more regatta on their schedule for the 2016 fall season. They will be travelling to Rockford, Illinois for the Head of the Rock Regatta on Sunday, Oct. 9.

LLRC is also sending 4 junior rowers to the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is the largest 2-day regatta in the world, with more than 11,000 athletes rowing in over 1,900 boats in 61 events. It will attract tens of thousands of spectators to the famous Charles River on October 22-23.

Long Lake Rowing Crew provides a safe, inspiring and educational opportunity for people of all ages to learn, enjoy and excel in the sport of rowing, for both competition and recreation. LLRCrew is a volunteer-driven, non-profit club committed to knowledgeable instruction, personal and competitive achievement, and the well-being of its members and the greater Long Lake community. For more information, visit www.longlakerowing.org.