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Rowing for the Laddie Cup at OLSM

Posted: 6:13 PM, May 10, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-10 22:16:58Z

The sport of rowing is continuing to grow in the state of Michigan!

It's not yet recognized as a sport by the MHSAA, but it should take notice, rowing is on the rise!
 
This past weekend, Orchard Lake St. Mary's showcased the power, and longevity of the sport!
 
There aren't many sports that host over 250 teams and 700-plus athletes for a one day tournament. 
 
But rowing paddles to the beat of its own drum. 
 
"What it is? Rowing is opportunity. It's what you make it, it could be something you do casually or it can be something that takes you literally around the world," Orchard Lake St. Mary's rowing coach Chris Czarnecki said. 
 
This weekend the calm waters of Orchard Lake hosted the 40th annual "Laddie Cup Regatta." During that time, they've seen their fair share of superstars start the sport here, and finish somewhere else. 
 
"We've had numerous national champions, we've had numerous members of the national team representing our country, world championships and Olympics, so for us, it's a really big deal," Czarnecki added. 
 
One recent St. Mary's grad could sky the oar for the USA as soon as this summer, as Ian Silveira remembered his humble beginnings on this very lake. 
 
"I've had the opportunity to go to eight or nine different countries to race for world championships, I look back when I was younger, I never could have imagined that a sport like this would take me that far," Silveira added. 
 
And now it's the next legacies turn, as fathers are now watching their sons' carry on the tradition. 
 
"When he was a freshman in '76, 40 years ago, and I'm a freshman now, it's just kind of cool to see that 40-year span of how the program has changed and expanded," legacy freshman Jason Strzelewicz said. 
 
"I've got two younger sons and it's my hope that I'm in the same spot as Bruno and I'm watching my son go out there and have some of the experiences that I had," Czarnecki said.