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Anaerobic Tournament

February 15, 2017

Ann Arbor, MI  – The Anaerobic Tournament is an annual event held as an intrasquad test to measure the physical/mental strength and endurance of our athletes. Because the results are interpreted as strong indicators for team standing and boat placement, separate tournaments are held for novice and varsity rowers. There were, however, seven novice rowers who attended the varsity tournament.

The entire tournament consists of each rower completing six non-consecutive 500 meter pieces (6 x 500 m) as quickly as possible, and at minimum, faster than his given benchmark pace. Benchmarks for the individual athletes were determined by the score achieved on the February 2k test held on the previous Friday. In the subsequent championship heats, the benchmark drops drastically; however, due to the shorter testing distance and the fact that there is no cap on the stroke rating throughout the test*, this benchmark is expected to be (and was) surpassed by all rowers.

Starting the day at 7:00 a.m., the freshmen had their first taste of the Anaerobic Tournament experience. It did not take long for the novices to pick up on the format of the workout, and quickly, four individuals found themselves at the front of the pack. The final four consisted of Adam LeFevre (‘20), Peter Fuchs (‘20), Dan Tiggleman (‘20), and Ryan Truax (‘20). Taking first place was Truax, followed closely behind by Tiggleman, and then Fuchs and LeFevre respectively. As recognized by Coach Russell Giacobbe, the margin separating second and third place was as close as one-tenth of a second!

At 5:00 p.m. the varsity tournament began, and three hard-fought pieces later, four rowers stood as finalists: Sophomores Greg Miller (‘19) and James Pew (‘19), and Freshmen Alexander Bruderer (‘20) and Marc Xie (‘20). Having to complete the final three pieces together to determine the overall winner, Alexander Bruderer took home the winning plaque in an extraordinary display of raw anaerobic mastery and guts. Greg Miller followed Bruderer to take second place, with Pew and Xie in a close third and fourth respectively.

It was noted by Coach Gregg Hartsuff that these four winners composed the youngest finals group in team history, and Bruderer’s win was the first for a novice since Marc Rodriguez in 2002. Congratulations to the finalists and all participants of this wonderfully executed tradition.

The team continues to train indoors, and anxiously awaits Spring Break 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida.

In the meantime, we’re going to power through these final weeks of winter, row hard, and set our sights on big wins this spring.

And as always,


*meaning that one can execute as many or as few strokes per minute as he would like. However, a commonly understood mechanic of the rowing stroke is that a higher stroke rating correlates to a faster overall minutes per 500 meter score.