Despite their lake being covered in ice until early this month, a Michigan rowing team from up north beat out teams from the across the Midwest in a bid for nationals.
Katie Gronek and Elizabeth Saunders are rowers on the Lake Leelanau rowing club junior team, and compete together as doubles. Their boat was one of the club's two boats to qualify for nationals
The teams coach Megan Kuehm saw their potential as a team and put them in a boat together. She says qualifying for nationals is a huge achievement, especially considering most of their practice was inside a gym while their lake was still covered in ice.
"I give these guys a lot of credit, what I've noticed with them is they've really learned a lot inside and we carried it outside without there being nearly as many strokes as we would have wanted to make that happen"
Kuehm says the competition will be intense, and they may even compete against future Olympians - but on lake Leelanau, these girls aren't worried - they know first hand what it feels like when hard work pays off.
"Having that feeling of everything you worked for all winter, all summer"