Important Message for all Mercer Junior Varsity Rowers

Due to the success of the Mercer Rowing programs and growing popularity in the sport of rowing, interest in Mercer Junior Rowing has grown steadily in recent years.  Last year almost 200 athletes participated in the program.  This attendance has strained the program infrastructure, and has made it challenging for the coaching staff to provide a quality experience for all participants.  Early indications for Fall 2017 participation suggest that interest in the program may exceed last years record participation level.

The PNRA staff and Mercer coaches have spent time this summer considering the optimal size for the Mercer Junior Rowing program.  Based on evaluating numerous constraints (including equipment, workout space, coaching resources and water time) it will be necessary to implement a try-out period for the program starting with the Fall 2017 season. This will enable the program to have a squad size that will balance team size and depth, deliver a solid rowing experience for each athlete, and result in the team performance we all expect from Mercer Junior Rowing. 

All athletes interested in the varsity program will be asked to register for a try-out period which will consist of the first two weeks of the season.  During this try-out period athletes will be evaluated on running, erging, and a general fitness test.  After try-outs are held, the coaches will post a list of athletes who will be invited to join the team. Try-outs will be held in August for the fall season and in March/April for the spring season. An invitation to participate in the fall season will not guarantee an invitation to the spring season.

The Fall 2017 try-out period that will run from August 28th through September 8th.   At this time, the try-out period is being implemented for only the varsity teams.  

Payment from varsity rowers for the fall season will be due after the fall roster has been posted at the conclusion of the two week try-out period.

Fall Varsity Try Outs will be held August 28th– September 9th, 2017

Selection will be based on the coaches’ assessment and judgment of the following criteria:

  1. General fitness – Running, body circuits, core, etc.
  2. Flexibility – Prospective athletes should be flexible enough to perform the stroke correctly and efficiently
  3. Attitude and coachability
  4. Overall rowing ability – Skill in the boat, on the ergometer and on land
  5. Erg fitness and weight adjusted number – Examples of this might be a 2k, 5k or 6k, 30″, 5x 5′, 2x 20, 2x5k or 6k
  6. Other articulated criteria related to the athlete’s potential competitive performance. 

If rowers have any questions, they should contact Coach Justin ( or Coach Matt (

Coach Justin