Mercer Rowing Starts Season Strong at Head of the Housatonic Regatta

October 13, 2017

The Mercer Juniors and Masters competed at the Head of the Housatonic Regatta this on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The crews raced in ideal conditions on the 4.5 mile course at Indian Well State Park in Shelton, Connecticut, and all of the Mercer crews had strong showings.

The Mercer Junior Girls, coached by Matt Carlsen, sent three varsity boats to Connecticut. Their first varsity crew of 8 competed in the 8+ Junior 1V women’s division. Rowers Katryna Niva, Sarah Closser, Elyssa Aronson, Emmanuelle Adamson, Bridget Parker, Kieran Wild, Mia Barkenbush, Sara Hansen and coxswain Maddie Peel finished the course in 14:19.4. Their time earned them a 4th place finish out of 18 boats.

The Mercer Junior Girls had two boats competing in the 8+ Junior 2V division. Their second varsity boat, coxed by Lauren Preston, consisted of rowers Sophie Craver, Julia Berdzik, Catie Vinch-Buck, Morgan Linsley, Jaqueline Armetta, Erin Dobbs, Chloe Couillens, and Eveline Enthoven. Their time of 14:54.7 earned them an impressive first place finish in a field of 20 boats. Following closely behind them was the Mercer Junior Girls’ third varsity boat, who finished in second place with a time of 15:05.2. Rowers Sylvie Tudor, Catherine Dyevich, Caroline Gibson, Erin Heyeck, Kristin Harkins, Olivia Andersen, Maheera Bawa, and Nathalie Verlinde, along with coxswain Helena Wolk, proved that talent runs deep for the Mercer Junior Girls.

The Mercer Junior Boys, coached by Justin Ochal, brought two varsity boats with them to Shelton. Rowers Dana Gajewski, Leon Dang, Evan Kinter, Jack Gallagher, Eli Kalfaian, Herbert De Cokere, Brady Stergion, and Pavel Zhelnin were coxed by Annie Huber in the 8+ Junior 1V Men’s Division. Their time of 13:27.6 earned them a 6th place finish out of a field of 24. The Mercer Junior Boys’ second varsity boat, rowing in the 8+ Junior 2V Men’s Division, finished in the top half of the field in 11th place. Coxswain Lauren Glogoff and rowers Chase Panfili, Andrei Dumitriu, Alex Brodowski, Brian Radvany, Aiden Sarafin, Alex Fradkin, Grant Smith, and John Mongelli finished the course in 14:59.7.

The Mercer Masters, also coached by Matt Carlsen, joined their junior counterparts at the Head of the Housatonic. The Masters Women’s 8+, coxed by Annie Huber, consisted of rowers Kristin Appleget, Sharon Waters, Rebecca Findlay, Terri Gruber McDonough, Cheryl Baldino, Ellen Tormey, Natasha Gajewski, and Cassandra Cohen. They placed 5th out of 9 boats with their time of 15:59.0. The Masters Women’s 4+ was coxed by Lauren Preston. Rowers Kristin Appleget, Cassandra Cohen, Rebecca Findlay, Terri Gruber McDonough finished the course in 18:07.2 to finish 12th out of 14 boats.

The Mercer Masters Men’s 4+, coxed by Maddie Peel, included rowers Miles Truesdell, David Potts, Michael Vaccaro, and Charles Gilbert. Their time of 16:39.0 earned them an 11th place finish in a field of 13.
The top Mercer Junior Rowing Program and Masters crews are now looking ahead to the Head of the Charles Regatta on October 21 and 22. This elite regatta attracts thousands of rowers to Boston each year, and the Mercer rowers are looking forward to proving themselves on the Charles River.

About the Princeton National Rowing Association

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501(c)3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake, Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey. The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated to operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the area through community-based programs. PNRA runs the Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for youth from over 30 area schools and the Mercer Masters Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for adults. The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools.

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-977-1094, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or visit www.rowpnra.org.

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 (jochal@rowpnra.org) or Coach Matt (mcarlsen@rowpnra.org).

Coach Justin

PNRA/Mercer Rowers to Compete at World Rowing Junior Championships

July 11, 2017

West Windsor, NJ – Daniel Stoddard (West Windsor, NJ) and Andrew Hickey (Yardley, PA) have one more competition before they leave junior rowing behind them and join the ranks of collegiate rowers, and it will be the most significant.  Stoddard and Hickey will compete as part of the U.S. Junior National team at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania on August 2-6.  The duo qualified for the team by winning the un-coxed pair event at the Under 19 World Championship Trials at Mercer Lake on June 29.

“It will be an honor to represent the United States in international competition,” said Hickey.  “I can’t wait for the moment at the starting line when we hear the referee announce our boat as ‘U.S.A’,” he added.

Stoddard and Hickey served as senior co-captains for the Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club this spring and competed in the varsity eight with coxswain event at the 2017 Youth National Championships.

“We feel like the pair is our best event,” said Stoddard.  “We have been good friends since we started rowing five years ago.  We communicate well, which is really important in a pair” he added. The pair, also referred to as the 2-, is the most challenging boat for rowers to learn to row because the rowers must handle the tasks of steering and communicating the stroke rate which are the coxswain’s responsibility in most other boats.  One rower, Stoddard, steers the boat with a foot apparatus, and the other rower, Hickey, calls out adjustments to the stroke rate.  The rowers don’t have the benefit of facing in the direction the boat is travelling, as a coxswain would.

Stoddard and Hickey will be accompanied to the World Rowing Junior Championships by their coach, Justin Ochal, who has coached them for the past three years as varsity boys coach at PNRA/Mercer. 

“Coach deserves a lot of the credit for getting us to this point,” said Stoddard.  “Over the years, he has worked with us on technique and conditioning but also has taught us a lot about the mental part of rowing,” added Stoddard.

“Coach always finds opportunities to give us lessons on character, teamwork, and commitment,” commented Hickey. “He really cares about the guys he coaches,” he added.

The pair will continue training at Mercer Lake until they depart for Lithuania.  They are fundraising to help cover the costs associated with competing at a world championship.  More information is available at www.nrf.rallyme.com/rallies/8073. 

Other PNRA/Mercer junior rowers have seen success in competition this summer as well.  Emmanuelle Adamson (Princeton, NJ) and Eli Kalfaian (Millstone, NJ) were invited to be part of the U.S. Junior National Development Team and competed in CanAmMex events at Elk Lake in British Columbia, Canada this past weekend.  Adamson rowed in the girls’ varsity eight with coxswain boat which took first place.  Kalfaian rowed in the boys’ varsity eight with coxswain which also took first place.  Adamson and Kalfaian will return to PNRA/Mercer in the fall and serve as co-captains for the team. 

About the Princeton National Rowing Association 

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501c3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated to operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the greater Mercer County area through community based programs.  The Mercer Junior Rowing Program provides rowing opportunities for the youth from over 25 Mercer County area high schools. The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools, including the Hun School, Lawrenceville School and Peddie School. PNRA received generous support from JLRacing, Holiday Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott. 

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-977-1094, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or visit www.rowpnra.org.

PNRA/Mercer Rowers Compete at USRowing Youth National Championships

Mercer Juniors Varsity Women’s 8+ at the 2017 Youth National Championship in Sarasota, FL.

June 12, 2017

West Windsor, NJ – The Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club had six boats turn in impressive performances at the 2017 USRowing Youth National Championships at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida on June 9-11, 2017.   PNRA/Mercer’s women’s youth eight with coxswain (8+) finished seventh in the nation by edging out Nashville at the finish line in the Petite Final.  PNRA/Mercer had trailed Nashville most of the race but started walking through their competitor in the final 200 meters of the race.  The PNRA/Mercer 8+ crew finished about four seats up and a time of 6:34.78 minutes.  

“We started our sprint with 400 meters left in the race, which is earlier than we usually start it, but we had to do that to catch Nashville,” said senior coxswain Caroline Galati (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South). “I kept saying ‘Beat the A Final times’ to motivate them, and we got our split down to 1:30 for the last one hundred meters,” Galati added.  A split represents the time required to travel 500 meters or one quarter of the race.  Other members of the PNRA/Mercer women’s 8+ included co-captains senior Celia Varga (Princeton Day School) and Laila Shehab (Hunterdon Valley Central High School), junior Katryna Niva (Hunterdon Valley Central High School), junior Emmanuelle Adamson (Princeton High School), senior Katie Lustig and junior Kieran Wild (both from Council Rock North High School), as well as juniors Mia Barkenbush and Sara Hansen (both from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South).   

First-year coach girls’ coach Matt Carlsen also saw his women’s youth 4 with coxswain (4+) and women’s youth lightweight 8 with coxswain (lightweight 8+) finish 12th and 15th in the nation.  The women’s youth 4+ was a Cinderella story for PNRA/Mercer, as the boat did not qualify for the national regatta during the rainy and stormy Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships in May but received their bid through the petition process.  By winning a spot in the Petite Final, the crew showed they deserved their spot.  The women’s youth 4+ included junior Peri Mishkin (Allentown High School), senior Grace Wonnell (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South), sophomore Sarah Closser and junior Bridget Parker (both from Princeton High School) and coxswain junior Lauren Preston (Notre Dame High School). 

The PNRA/Mercer lightweight 8+ featured senior Sheila Kennedy-Moore (Princeton High School), junior Maheera Bawa (Montgomery High School), sophomore Jacqueline Armetta (Villa Joseph Marie High School), junior Taylor Vierling (Northern Burlington High School), freshman Eveline Enthoven (Princeton High School), sophomore Chloe Couillens (Hopewell Valley Central High School), juniors Julia Berdzik and Erin Dobbs (both from Notre Dame High School) and coxswain junior Maddy Peel (Princeton High School). 

Justin Ochal in his second year as Mercer Program Director and third year as Boys’ Varsity Coach boys was pleased with the performance of his two pairs (2-).  The boys rowed in borrowed boats because their own boats were damaged during a Sarasota thunderstorm when another club’s boats that were not tied down properly were blown onto the PNRA/Mercer boats.  Despite this setback, one pair consisting of junior Evan Kinter (Steinhert High School) and senior Lachlan Mersky (Haddonfield High School) finished eighth in the nation and the other pair consisting of junior Andrew Moss and junior Dana Gajewski (both from Princeton High School) finished 13th in the nation. 

PNRA/Mercer’s men’s youth lightweight 4 with coxswain (lightweight 4+) qualified for the Petite Final as senior coxswain Sarah Brune (Lanoka Harbor, NJ) pushed her crew hard during the qualifying time trial on Friday. For the 2017 Youth National Championships, USRowing altered the regatta format by replacing 2000-meter heats with 1900-meter time trials in the initial round.  Some crews found the new format difficult because their spring seasons featured 2000-meter races side-by-side with the competition. Some regatta spectators missed the competitive drama of side-by-side heats and the opportunity to see crews from different regions race each other. 

Along with Brune, PNRA/Mercer’s lightweight 4+ crew, which finished 12th in the nation, included sophomore Alex Brodowski (Pennsbury High School), senior Enzo Couillens (Hopewell Valley Central High School), sophomore Brady Stergion (Notre Dame High School), and senior Tyler Harris (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North).   

The PNRA/Mercer men’s youth 8+ crew finished 17th in the nation.  The crew included sophomore Jack Gallagher (Council Rock North High School), co-captain senior Daniel Stoddard (West Windsor Plainsboro High School South), senior Chris Silva (Hopewell Valley Central High School), junior Eli Kalfaian (Delaware Valley Regional High School), co-captain senior Andrew Hickey (Notre Dame High School), co-captain senior Carter Levine and freshman Leon Deng (both from Princeton High School), senior Rex Berger (The Hun School), and coxswain senior Kate Takacs (Princeton Day School). 

PNRA/Mercer will begin its summer season soon.  In addition, many of the PNRA/Mercer rowers and coxswains will assist with instructing new rowers at the club’s renowned summer camps for middle-school and early high-school-aged athletes who wish to get involved with rowing.  For more information on PNRA/Mercer summer camps, visit www.rowpnra.org.

 

About the Princeton National Rowing Association 

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501c3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the greater Mercer County area through community based programs.  The Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for the youth from over 25 Mercer County area high schools. The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools, including the Hun School, Lawrenceville School and Peddie School. PNRA received generous support from JLRacing, Holiday Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott.

 

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-977-1094, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or visit www.rowpnra.org.

PNRA/Mercer Rowers Win Bids to USRowing Youth National Championships

Mercer Rowing Program Men’s Varsity 8+ racing at the Mid-Atlantic Junior Regional Championship on Mercer Lake.

May 15, 2017

West Windsor, NJ – In spite of torrential rain on Saturday and associated changes to the racing schedule mandated by USRowing officials, the Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club earned six bids to the 2017 USRowing Youth National Championships by winning medals at the Mid-Atlantic Youth Championships.  PNRA/Mercer boats have been invited to compete in the women’s youth eight with coxswain (8+), the men’s youth 8+, the women’s youth lightweight 8+, the men’s youth lightweight four with coxswain (4+), and two crews in the men’s pair without coxswain (2-) events at the National Championships taking place at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida, on June 9-11, 2017.  Sending six boats to compete in the USRowing Youth National Championships would be a high-water mark for the club, which is led by Justin Ochal in his second year as Mercer Program Director and third year as Boys’ Varsity Coach.  

Hosted by PNRA, the Mid-Atlantic Youth Regional Championships took place on Mercer Lake in Mercer County, NJ this past weekend and featured crews from 42 clubs and schools based in five states and the District of Columbia.  It is one of twelve USRowing regional qualifying regattas held this month leading up to the national championship regatta for high school aged crews. 

Weather conditions on Saturday resulted in a decision by race officials to utilize a single time trial in qualifying events to determine invitations to the Youth National Championships, rather than the usual two-day progression of heats, semi-finals, and finals.  In a time trial, each boat is sent out at a regular interval and races against the clock to secure the fastest time.  The crews with the three fastest times in each event with more than three entries were awarded medals.  

PNRA/Mercer placed first in the women’s youth eight plus coxswain event by a wide margin, despite the challenging circumstances.  “Time trials can be difficult because no crews are around you to help you measure how you are doing,” said co-captain senior Celia Varga (Princeton Day School).  

“The weather conditions were not optimal,” said co-captain senior Laila Shehab (Hunterdon Valley Central High School). “But experiences like that are going to make you a better rower, technically and mentally.” 

“We couldn’t worry about things beyond our control.  We had to lay it all on the line, listen to our coxswain, and row our own race,” added Varga.  The boat was coxed by senior Caroline Galati (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South) and in addition to Varga and Shehab, included junior Katryna Niva (Hunterdon Valley Central High School), junior Emmanuelle Adamson (Princeton High School), senior Katie Lustig and junior Kieran Wild (both from Council Rock North High School), as well as juniors Mia Barkenbush and Sara Hansen (both from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South). 

PNRA/Mercer’s men’s youth 8+ crew experienced an odd turn of events related to its time trial.  When results were posted initially, PNRA/Mercer was announced as the first-place boat. Later, after individual judges’ stop watches were re-evaluated, Gonzaga High School was listed with a time of 6:30.08, just ahead of PNRA/Mercer’s 6:30.29.  Both crews received bids to the Youth National Championships where they are likely to compete against each other once again.  The PNRA/Mercer men’s youth 8+ crew includes sophomore Jack Gallagher (Council Rock North High School), co-captain senior Daniel Stoddard (West Windsor Plainsboro High School South), senior Chris Silva (Hopewell Valley Central High School), junior Eli Kalfaian (Delaware Valley Regional High School), co-captain senior Andrew Hickey (Notre Dame High School), co-captain senior Carter Levine and freshman Leon Deng (both from Princeton High School), senior Rex Berger (The Hun School), and coxswain senior Kate Takacs (Princeton Day School). 

The other medal-winning boys’ crews were the lightweight 4+ which included sophomore Alex Brodowski (Pennsbury High School), senior Enzo Couillens (Hopewell Valley Central High School), sophomore Brady Stergion (Notre Dame High School), senior Tyler Harris (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North) and coxswain Sarah Brune (Lanoka Harbor, NJ), one pair consisting of junior Andrew Moss and junior Dana Gajewski (both from Princeton High School) and one pair consisting of junior Evan Kinter (Steinhert High School) and senior Lachlan Mersky (Haddonfield High School). 

“We’re taking twice as many guys to Nationals this year, in three different boat classes.  It shows how everyone—from the veteran seniors to the underclassmen—is stepping up to make this a big year for Mercer,” commented co-captain Andrew Hickey. 

The other nationals-qualifying boat is PNRA/Mercer’s lightweight 8+ with the crew of senior Sheila Kennedy-Moore (Princeton High School), junior Maheera Bawa (Montgomery High School), sophomore Jacqueline Armetta (Villa Joseph Marie High School), junior Taylor Vierling (Northern Burlington High School), sophomore Caitie Vinch-Buck (The Pennington School), freshman Eveline Enthoven (Princeton High School), sophomore Chloe Couillens (Hopewell Valley Central High School), junior Julia Berdzik and coxswain junior Lauren Preston (both from Notre Dame High School). 

Co-captain Laila Shehab commented on the culture that first-year coach girls’ coach Matt Carlsen has fostered on the team. “A lot of the girls have learned to push themselves farther than they thought they could.  Coach Matt always says, ‘It’s never enough’.  He can joke and have fun, but he’s no nonsense when it comes to racing.  We’re always racing each other at practice.  We push each other. The lightweight 8+ pushes the varsity 8+. They are little beasts. I’m so excited for them to compete at Youth Nationals and have their first experience competing at that level.  It’s such good racing and then they will bring that knowledge back to the club.”  

About the Princeton National Rowing Association 

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501c3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the greater Mercer County area through community based programs.  The Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for the youth from over 25 Mercer County area high schools. The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools, including the Hun School, Lawrenceville School and Peddie School. PNRA received generous support from JLRacing, Holiday Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott. 

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-977-1094, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or visit www.rowpnra.org.

 

Mercer Rowing Year End Banquet!

Mercer Families,

Congratulations to all of the Mercer Junior rowers on the great performances at a challenging Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships!

Please join us to celebrate the Mercer Juniors and all their accomplishments this season! All families are invited to attend the Mercer Banquet on May 16th at 6pm.

We need to provide the Hamilton Manor with the number of people who will attend, so if you have not already registered, please do so! (headcounts are due Monday morning, May 15)

Banquet Details
When: May 16th – 6pm-9pm
Where: Hamilton Manor (30 Route 156, Hamilton Township, NJ 08620)
RSVP: $38 per person – Register here!
Attire: Business casual

We look forward to seeing you there!

Mercer Banquet 2017

Katelin Guregian Joins Princeton National Rowing Association Staff

For Immediate Release

April 21, 2016

West Windsor, NJ – The Princeton National Rowing Association (“PNRA”) is pleased to welcome Katelin Guregian to our team as the Manager of Community Development.    In this position, Ms. Guregian will work to develop a philanthropic base for PNRA, especially to support the expansion of the Caspersen Rowing Center.  Slated to break ground in March 2018, the expansion will more than double the size of the facility ensuring PNRA’s continued role as a premiere rowing center in country.

“I’m thrilled to be joining PNRA in the Boathouse Expansion campaign,” stated Ms. Guregian. “The Caspersen Rowing Center is a central part of my life, in regards to my Olympic training as well as my role coaching the Junior Girls. I’m passionate about all of the rowing opportunities at PNRA for masters, juniors, and elite athletes, and am so excited to be part of the future of Mercer.”

As the coxswain of the Winter Park High School Men’s 8+, Ms. Guregian won the 2005 Scholastic Rowing Association National Championship on Mercer Lake.  While at the University of Washington, Katelin steered their men’s team to multiple Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships.  Since 2009, she has been a member of USRowing’s Princeton Training Center.  Katelin has coxed the USA women’s 8+ to two Under-23 World Championships, four Senior World Championship Gold medals and an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  She has also served coach for PNRA’s Mercer Junior Rowing Program.

“We are pleased to welcome Katelin to our organization,” said Kristopher Grudt, Executive Director of PNRA.  “She brings a wealth of knowledge about our sport and a drive which will make her successful directing our development activities.  I look forward to her contributions to not only PNRA but our community.”

 

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501c3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the greater Mercer County area through community based programs.  The Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for the youth from over 25 Mercer County area high schools. The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools, including the Hun School, Lawrenceville School and Peddie School. www.rowPNRA.org

For more information contact Kristopher Grudt, 609-799-7100 x100, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org

The Caspersen Rowing Center Is Open

Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
The Caspersen Rowing Center is open for today. There are icy spots on the access road and in the parking lot, so drivers are asked to drive with extreme care.

Due to the weather and indoor capacity constraints, the Varsity Girls Team will practice 3:45pm-5:45pm and the Varsity Boys Team will practice 5:45pm-7:45pm.

Masters will resume normal practice on Thursday, March 16, 2017

Snow Storm Closure – March 14, 2017

Due to the forecasted snow storm, PNRA and the Caspersen Rowing Center will be closed on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. All activities and practices scheduled for Tuesday are cancelled. Athletes are encouraged to check with their coaches for alternative workouts.

The Caspersen Rowing Center will resume normal operations and practices on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

Mercer Rowing Survey Results

Thanks to the many of you who participated in the Mercer Rowing survey this fall.  Linked here you will find our report on the results.  About half of the Mercer junior families and a majority of current masters participants responded.
In a spirit of transparency, this is the full report, with actual results and anonymous quotes.  We have only omitted the appendix that included all the quotes, which we have read in detail and incorporated in the themes you see here.  Our goal is to present the results to you in a fair and balanced way, describing both positives and negatives plainly-glossing over nothing.
We are currently at work developing a multi-year strategic plan for Mercer, based on these results and the strong foundation we have to build on.
Should you have any comments or questions about the survey, please contact any member of the Mercer Rowing Advisory Committee.  Our email addresses are included below.
Many thanks, and Go Mercer!
The Mercer Rowing Advisory Committee
Kristin Appelget
Dave Kuhlman
Stephen Parker
Jim Stoddard
Jamie Tanguay

Mercer Junior Rowers Finish In Top 10 at C.R.A.S.H.-B. World Indoor Rowing Championships

February 15, 2017

West Windsor, NJ – Three Mercer Junior Rowers finished in the top ten of their divisions of the C.R.A.S.H.-B. World Indoor Rowing Championship on February 13, 2017.  Andrew Hickey led the Mercer Rowers by finishing 3rd with Jack Gallagher finishing 7th in the Lightweight Men’s Division.  Sara Hansen finished 5th in the Lightweight Women’s division to lead the Mercer women competing in the event.  The C.R.A.S.H.-B. Championships bring athletes from around the world to Boston, MA, to compete by rowing 2,000 meters on indoor rowing machines.  2017 marked the 38th year of the C.R.A.S.H.-B. event. 

Mercer Junior Andrew Hickey at 2017 C.R.A.S.H.-B.

Andrew Hickey finished the 2000 meter race in 6:23.9, just under three seconds behind the winner in a Lightweight Junior Men’s field that featured 190 rowers.  Mr. Hickey who is a senior at Notre Dame High School has committed to row for Cornell University next fall. Jack Gallagher (Council Rock North) finished in 6:32.2 to finish in 7th place.  Also representing Mercer in the Lightweight Junior Men’s division was Pavel Zhelnin (Princeton HS) and Evan Kinter (Steinert).  Representing Mercer in the open Junior Men’s Division was Brian Radvany (Princeton Academy) who finished in 41st and Andrew Moss (Princeton HS) 44th.

Sara Hansen finished the race in 7:28.6 to earn a third place finish in Lightweight Junior Women’s field of 107 athletes.  Ms. Hansen is a junior at West Windsor Plainsboro South.  Emmanuelle Adamson (Princeton HS) and Mia Barkenbush (West Windsor Plainsboro South) led the Mercer Juniors in the open Junior Women’s division contingent finishing 23rd and 36th out of almost 200 rowers.  Sarah Closser (Princeton HS), Taylor Vierling (Northern Burlington), Kieran Wild (Council Rock North) and Morgan Linsley (Princeton HS) also competed in the open Junior Women’s division.

“We are very proud of the strong performance by our rowers,” stated Director of Mercer Rowing Justin Ochal. “Most of them set personal records at the event.  It is a good sign as we prepare for our spring racing season.”  The Mercer Juniors open their spring season at the San Diego Crew Classic on April 1-2 in San Diego, CA.  They return home the following weekend to take on Boston’s Community Rowing and Gonzaga High School.

The Mercer Rowing Program is operated by the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) located Caspersen Rowing Center in West Windsor, NJ.  The Mercer program is open to all student-athletes from 8th-12 grades.  PNRA also conducts the Mercer Masters Rowing Program and holds summer learn to row camps for 7th-12th grades. For more information on PNRA’s programs go to www.rowpnra.org.

The Princeton National Rowing Association will host its own indoor rowing event, the Mercer Indoor Row for the Cure, on February 26, 2017 at the Peddie School. All proceeds for this event will go to support breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Central and South Jersey.

About the Princeton National Rowing Association

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501(c)3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake, Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated to operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the area through community-based programs.  PNRA runs the Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for youth from over 30 area schools and the Mercer Masters Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for adults.  The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools. PNRA received generous support from Killarney’s Publick House, JLRacing, Bai, Holiday Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott.

 

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-977-1094, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or visit www.rowpnra.org.

Princeton National Rowing Association To Host The Nation’s Only Indoor Row For The Cure

February 9, 2016

West Windsor, NJ – The Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) is teaming up with the Row for the Cure and the Peddie School to host the nation’s only indoor Row for the Cure.  Athletes race each other on Concept 2 indoor rowing machines with all of the proceeds from the event benefiting breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Central and South New Jersey.  Racing begins at 9:00am on Sunday, February 26, at Peddie’s Ian H. Graham ’50 Fieldhouse.

The Row for the Cure was created by Kathy Frederick in 1993 in Portland, Oregon, after she unexpectedly lost a close friend to cancer. “I saw the Race for the Cure on TV, and I wanted to contribute, but I’m not a runner,” said Frederick. “Since my sisters and I have put on events since we were children, fighting breast cancer by founding Row for the Cure® seemed natural.” 

The Mercer Row for the Cure takes the event off of the water and into the gym on indoor rowing machines. PNRA Events Manager Hilary Gehman describes how the event got up and running. “I ran into Kathy at the USRowing Convention and we started talking about opportunities for a Row for the Cure event at Mercer. The regatta schedule on the lake is pretty packed so I asked about having an indoor event. She was very encouraging and has given me tremendous support to get this off the ground. I’m excited to make the Mercer Indoor Row for the Cure an annual event!”

The Mercer Indoor Row for the Cure will include categories for Junior, Collegiate, Open, Masters, Novice and coxswains as well as a team relay.  All races will be 2,000 meters except the Coxswains and Junior Novices who will race 1,000 meters.

Athletes interested in competing in the Mercer Indoor Row for the Cure can register on RegattaCentral at https://www.regattacentral.com/regatta/?job_id=5023.

 

About the Princeton National Rowing Association

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501(c)3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake, Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated to operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the area through community-based programs.  PNRA runs the Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for youth from over 30 area schools and the Mercer Masters Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for adults.  The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools. PNRA received generous support from Killarney’s Publick House, JLRacing, Bai, Holiday Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott.

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-977-1094, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or visit www.rowpnra.org.

Del Val wrestling’s old-fashioned ways produce state title (Mentioning Mercer Junior Eli Kalfaian)

Lehigh Valley Live article on Del Val wrestling’s old-fashioned ways produce state title mentions Mercer Junior Rower Eli Kalfaian: http://highschoolsports.lehighvalleylive.com/news/article/-3596329867152441544/del-val-wrestlings-old-fashioned-ways-produce-state-title/

 

Matthew Carlsen and Amanda Klaiber-Short Join Princeton National Rowing Association Staff

For Immediate Release

West Windsor, NJ

September 12, 2016

The Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) is pleased to announce the addition of Matthew Carlsen and Amanda Klaiber-Short to the Mercer Rowing Program coaching staff.  Mr. Carlsen joins the program as the Women’s Varsity Head Coach and Master’s Head Coach.  Ms. Klaiber-Short joins the staff as the Novice Rowing Coordinator and Novice Girls Coach.

Matthew Carlsen

matt-carlsenMatthew Carlsen joins the Mercer Rowing Program coaching staff after coaching at Saint Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio.  Coach Carlsen started the rowing program at Saint Edward in 2012. Since then, the program has grown to over 70 athletes and enjoyed increasing levels of success.  In 2015 the Saint Edward Men’s Junior 8+ placed 1st at the Scholastic National Championships (SRAAs) and in 2016, the Saint Edward Men’s Varsity 8+ placed 3rd at SRAAs.

Coach Carlsen began his rowing career in high school as a coxswain.  He continued his rowing career at Miami University of Ohio where he served as team captain for three years.   He graduated in 2012 with a degree in Marketing and Decision Sciences from the Farmer School of Business.

Amanda Klaiber-Short

amanda-klaiber-shortAmanda Klaiber-Short attended the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) where she was a member of the rowing team for four years. Ms. Klaiber-Short graduated from UCSB in 2013 with a degree in Psychology.  After graduation she was an Assistant Coach at ZLAC Rowing Club in San Diego, CA and most recently served as an Assistant Coach at Camp Randall Rowing Club in Madison, Wisconsin.

PNRA is pleased to welcome both coaches to the PNRA Mercer Rowing family.

 

About the Princeton National Rowing Association

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501(c)3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake, Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated to operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the area through community-based programs.  PNRA runs the Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for youth from over 30 area schools and the Mercer Masters Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for adults.  The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools. PNRA has received generous support from University Orthopaedic Associates, Harry’s Army Navy, JL Racing, Resolute Racing Shells, Wells Fargo Advisors-Gould Group, Red Roof Inn, Hampton Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott.

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-977-1094, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or visit www.rowpnra.org.

Rowers James, Gleim look golden

The lightweight pair of Kyle James and Jack Gleim of Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club won a gold medal in the Under-23 category at the 134th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, the premier summer event for rowers in North America.

The victory at Henley marked the pair’s first international win. James and Gleim will represent the United States in the lightweight pair event at the 2016 Under-23 World Championships, August 21-28 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

To read the complete article, click here.

Justin Ochal Promoted to Mercer Rowing Program Director

August 12, 2016

We are pleased to announce that Justin Ochal has been promoted to the position of Mercer Rowing Program Director. In this role, Justin will lead and oversee all Mercer Rowing programs and will manage all members of the Mercer Rowing coaching staff.  Justin will continue in his role as the Head Men’s Team Coach.

Among his initial responsibilities, Justin will be leading the search for a new Head Women’s and Masters Coach, Novice Rowing Programs Coordinator/Coach, and assistant coaches.

Please join us in congratulating Justin on his new position.

Mercer Lake Algae Bloom

Mercer County Park and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reported that there was a bloom of algae on Mercer Lake this past weekend (Aug 6-7, 2016).  While this type of algae bloom can produce toxins that are dangerous to humans, the toxins in the algae bloom on Mercer Lake was below the levels that are considered harmful to humans.    The initial bloom on the lake has subsided.   

Mercer County Park and the NJDEP are monitoring the lake for additional algae blooms.  At this point in time there are no reported blooms and the lake is open for general use.  PNRA is in close communication with Mercer County Park  and in event of a new bloom developing, we will take appropriate action which could include suspension of rowing activities. 

Algae blooms occur in stagnant water near the shore of the lake.  It is characterized by what looks like blue or green paint poured in or on the water.  Not all blooms produce toxins that are harmful to humans or animals.  Disturbing a bloom causes the toxins to be released and the toxins are local to the bloom.  On Mercer Lake, the bloom was on the south side of the lake near the dam.  There has been no algae bloom or activity reported on the rowing course in the middle of the lake or on the north side of the lake where the Caspersen Rowing Center is located. 

More information on algae blooms can be found in the following flyer issued by the NJDEP which can be found here.

 Kris Grudt

 

Honest mistake leads to passion for coxswain Holgado

By Rich Fisher, Mercerspace.com

During the summer after her eighth-grade year at Pond Road Middle School, Sydney Holgado’s mother, Leilani, decided to register her daughter for a beginner’s rowing camp. But Leilani got a little mixed up with her Princetons.

So, instead of Holgado participating in the Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club program, she attended the much-higher caliber Princeton University Elite camp.

For more . . .

MERCER JUNIORS FALL 2016 PROGRAMMING

Fall 2016 Programming Schedule:

Fall Varsity Start Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Note: Land only September 7, 8, 9; On-water starting September 12

Fall Varsity End Date: Friday, November 18, 2016

Fall Novice Start Date: Monday, September 19, 2016

Fall Novice End Date: Monday, November 14, 2016

Fall Parents Meeting

Varsity: Saturday, September 17, 2016, 9:00 am @ Boathouse

Novice: Saturday, September 24, 2016, 9:00 am @ Boathouse

2016-2017 Fall & Spring Practice Times:

Varsity – Monday-Friday 3:45pm – 6:15pm (additional practices at coaches’ discretion)

Novice – Monday-Friday 4:00pm – 6:00pm

 

Fall Racing Schedule 

Head of the Housatonic – Shelton, CT – October 8th, 2016

Who is racing: Top 2-3 Girls and Boys Varsity boats

Where: Shelton, CT

When:  (tentative schedule)               

9:40 AM Men’s HS/Junior JV 8+

11:30 AM Women’s HS/Junior JV 8+

11:50 AM Women’s HS/Junior 4+

1:15 PM Men’s HS/Junior 8+

2:40 PM Women’s HS/Junior 8+

3:10 PM Men’s HS/Junior 4+

Travel Plans: All participating Mercer athletes will depart from the boathouse for Shelton, CT on the morning of Saturday, October 8th @ 5:30am.  We will be taking a 54-passenger bus for this trip. Athletes will return after racing on Saturday.

Notes: Coaches will announce who is going to the race by the end of practice on Friday, September 30th. Boating decisions will be made in accordance with the policies outlined in the Guide to Boat Selection that can be found here.

Estimated Cost: TBA

 

Head of the Charles Regatta – Boston, MA – October 21st-23rd, 2016

Who is racing: Tentative: 2 Varsity Girls 8+, 1st Varsity Boys 8+ (Depending if our bid entries are accepted Varsity Girls 4+ and Varsity Boys 4+)

Where: The Charles River, Boston, MA

Race Website: www.hocr.org

Travel Plans: All Mercer athletes will depart from the boathouse for Boston on the morning of Friday, October 21st. We plan to get to the course in the afternoon to rig the boats and have a practice row. We will be taking four 12-passenger vans (driven by parent volunteers). Athletes will return after racing on Sunday.

Tentative Race Times (all on Sunday, October 23rd):

Youth Men’s 8+:  10:23 am

Youth Women’s 4+:  12:07 am

Youth Women’s 8+:  1:01 pm

Travel Note: The Head of the Charles is a unique event. It is very hard to obtain an entry through the open lottery system. The only way to avoid the lottery and guarantee an entry for the next year is to finish in the top half of your event. In 2016, for the second time in the history of the club, Mercer has three guaranteed entries — three in the youth 8s.

The second unique aspect of the Charles is that it is an incredibly difficult course to navigate for a coxswain. There are a couple of extreme turns, six bridges, and many boats to pass along the way. Therefore, we want to make sure our coxswains are prepared.

We want to ensure that we have the best possible chance of finishing in the top half of each race, so future Mercer rowers have the opportunity to participate at this great event.  We believe it is crucial for us to have the ability to get athletes out on the course for a row on Friday and have our coxswains attend the coxswain clinic on Saturday as it will help them be relaxed and prepared for the race on Sunday.

Hotel Details: PNRA has secured rooms at the Boston Marriott Newton for athletes and coaches.

Hotel Address:  Boston Marriott Newton, 2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA  02466

Dinner Friday :  Will be decided by the boat

Dinner Saturday:  Bertucci’s Newton Corner

Lineups/Selection: Lineups and events will be tentatively announced by Wednesday, October 12. While there is a possibility one or two seats may change after this date, the majority of athletes will know the lineup and the event they are racing by this date. Final lineups will be announced by Saturday, October 15th.

Estimated Cost: $400

 

Head of the Schuylkill  – Philadelphia, PA – October 29-30, 2016

Who is racing: Top Boys and Girls Novice 8+

Where: Schuylkill River – Philadelphia, PA 

Tentative Race Times (all on Sunday, October 30th):

Men’s High School Eights (Frosh/ Novice)- 10:35 am

Women’s High School Eights (Frosh/ Novice) 10:50 am 

Transportation: Athletes will provide their own transportation. Athletes should be at the trailer at least two hours before their scheduled race time.

Notes: Coaches will announce who is going to the race by the end of practice on Wednesday, October 19th. We would really like to have all novice athletes race, but race participation will be decided by factors listed here.

 

Head of the Halloween – Mercer Lake, NJ – October 29th, 2016

Who is racing: All Varsity and Novice Athletes who are not racing at The Head of The Schuylkill

Where: Mercer Lake – West Windsor, NJ

When: 10:00 am until around 1:00 pm

What to wear: The best Halloween costume of your life (that you can row in)

About the race: Head of the Halloween is a fun intra-squad race. We try to create boats that contain two varsity girls, two varsity boys, two novice girls, and two novice boys. We then race over a 1000m course. Last year there were two heats and a final. Parents are encouraged to come watch and partake in a small Halloween party after the racing.

 

Frostbite Regatta & Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta  – Mercer Lake, NJ – November 12th & 13th, 2016

Who is racing: First 4-5 Varsity boats, plus all novice boats that safely can compete

Where: Mercer Lake – West Windsor, NJ

Race Times: For the Braxton, 1st Varsity 8s and 4s have heats in the morning with finals in the afternoon. JV (2-5 boats) and novices have finals only in the afternoon. Times are not posted, but below is the schedule from last year. Expect times to run within one hour of last year’s times.

2016 Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta, Sunday Nov 13

Schedule: (Tentative)

Heats

8:00  Women’s HS Varsity 4+ (Braxton Family Trophy) Heat – Top 6 Places to Finals

8:15  Men’s HS Varsity 8+ (Coletta Family Trophy) Heat -Top 6 Places to Finals

8:30  Men’s HS Varsity 4+ (Rafferty Cup) Heat – Top 6 Places to Finals

8:45  Women’s HS Varsity 8+ (Theresa Braxton Trophy) Heat – Top 6 Places to Finals

Finals

10:40  Women’s HS Novice 4+ Final 1        12:10  Men’s HS Novice 8+ Final 5
10:46  Women’s HS Novice 4+ Final 2 12:16 Men’s HS Varsity 8+ (Coletta Family Trophy) Final     
11:04  Women’s HS Varsity 4+ Final (Braxton Family Trophy) 1:58  Men’s HS Novice 4+ Final 1
11:10  Men’s HS JV 8+ Final 1 2:04  Men’s HS Novice 4+ Final 2 
11:16  Men’s HS JV 8+ Final 2        2:10  Men’s HS Novice 4+ Final 3
11:22  Men’s HS JV 8+ Final 3 2:34  Men’s HS Varsity 4+ (Rafferty Cup) Final
11:28  Men’s HS JV 8+ Final 4        2:40  Women’s HS JV 8+ Final 1
11:34  Men’s HS JV 8+ Final 5 2:46  Women’s HS JV 8+ Final 2
11:40  Men’s HS JV 8+ Final 6        2:52  Women’s HS JV 8+ Final 3
11:46  Men’s HS Novice 8+ Final 1 2:58  Women’s HS Novice 8+ Final 1
11:52  Men’s HS Novice 8+ Final 2        3:04  Women’s HS Novice 8+ Final 2  
11:58  Men’s HS Novice 8+ Final 3 3:10  Women’s HS Novice 8+ Final 3
12:04  Men’s HS Novice 8+ Final 4 3:16  Women’s HS Varsity 8+ (Theresa Braxton Trophy) Final

Race Notes: Unlike most of our fall racing, this race is a 2000m sprint. This race will mark the end of the fall racing season.

Estimated Cost: TBD

 

Mercer Challenge – Mercer Lake, NJ – Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Who is racing: All varsity and 1-2 boats of novice athletes

About the race: This race is an intra-boathouse race among Mercer, Peddie, and Lawrenceville. Varsity athletes will race around the lake while novice athletes will race shorter distances. The race will be run during our normal practice time.

PNRA/Mercer Rowers Win Henley Gold

August 8, 2016

West Windsor, NJ – The lightweight pair of Kyle James and Jack Gleim of Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club won a gold medal in the Under 23 category at the 134th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, the premier summer event for rowers in North America. The victory at Henley marked the pair’s first international win. James and Gleim will represent the United States in the lightweight pair event at the 2016 Under 23 World Championships, August 21-28 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.1DSP6288_pm 200 - U23 Men Ltw 2- Final

“We wanted to compete at Henley to work out the kinks before the World Championships, race more crews, have fun, and win Henley gold,” said James, who will be a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gleim will be a senior at Marietta College in the fall. The pair won by more than three boat lengths with a time of 6:48.28 in the 2,000 meter race.

Gleim appreciated the learning opportunities provided by the progression from the heat to the semifinal to the final at Henley. “In our heat, we went against the plan we had set with our coach and switched our oar clams at the starting line. This made our oars heavier than needed and as a result, we didn’t get a rhythm going in the headwind. In the final, we stuck with our plan and our coach’s advice and had a much better race. At Worlds, I’ll be sure to have complete confidence in our plan and preparation,” said Gleim.

James and Gleim rowed together at PNRA/Mercer during their years at Princeton High School and West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South respectively but hadn’t rowed together for three years before reuniting to train with Coach Skip Kielt as part of PNRA/Mercer’s Under 23 Summer Rowing program. Gleim was the catalyst for the creation of the pair. Determined to find a pair partner to make a long-shot run at qualifying for the World Championships, he had his former PNRA/Mercer teammate high on his list. The two had rowed together in a varsity 8 with coxswain in the Grand Final of the 2012 USRowing Youth National Championship Regatta.

“Jack called me in February and suggested that we try to qualify for the World Championships as a lightweight pair, and I turned him down!” said James. Gleim did not give up on James, though. By May, James had recovered from an injury and was preparing to compete at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association’s National Championship Regatta in Wisconsin’s lightweight 4 with coxswain boat. “I changed my mind and committed to row with Jack. In college, you train so much and race just a little. There are more opportunities for racing in the summer.” One of those racing opportunities was the 2016 Under 23 World Championship Trials on July 18 -22 at their home course in West Windsor, NJ where the pair’s enthusiasm for racing resulted in victory and the opportunity to race again as representatives of the United States.

James and Gleim are in the process of fundraising to help cover the costs associated with competing at a world championship. More information is available at nrf.ralleyme.com.

About the Princeton National Rowing Association 

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501(c)3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake, Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated to operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the area through community-based programs.  PNRA runs the Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for youth from over 30 area schools and the Mercer Masters Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for adults.  The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools. PNRA received generous support from Killarney’s Publick House, JLRacing, Bai, Holiday Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott.

 

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-977-1094, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or visit www.rowpnra.org.

Mercer’s U-23 Lightweight Men’s Pair (2-) is heading to the World Championships in RotDSCN2383terdam!!

Rowers Jack Gleim and Kyle James, coached by Skip Kielt, qualified for the World Championships on July 21 by winning the trials event on Mercer Lake.  The World Championships will take place August 21-28, 2016 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

If you are interested in helping the Men with financial support, a rally me page has been set up for them through the National Rowing Foundation:  https://nrf.rallyme.com/rallies/4343/usau23lm2  The Lightweight Men’s 2- is a non-funded event for the USA Team which means that the Men have to finance their trip themselves.  Please support Jack and Kyle as they represent the USA, PNRA and  Mercer Rowing at the 2016 World Rowing Championships.

 

Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) Board Establishes Mercer Rowing Advisory Committee

July 8, 2016

The PNRA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the creation of a Board committee that will focus on the direction, programs and staffing of the Mercer Rowing Club.

PNRA has a multi-faceted mission, which includes:

  • Providing a world class training facility for our nation’s elite and Olympic athletes
  • Building opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing
  • Conducting top level regattas and events on one of the nation’s premiere rowing venues
  • Expanding rowing in Mercer County through community based programs

The Mercer Rowing Club plays a crucial role in achieving this mission, in that the club provides opportunities for both junior and masters rowers from Mercer County and throughout the region to learn, and then excel in, the sport of rowing, Additionally, Mercer provides critical volunteer support to the many regattas and events conducted by PNRA. After a series of discussions this spring across the Mercer Rowing Club community, the Board concluded that due to the growth and success of the Mercer programs in recent years, the creation of a committee focused on Mercer programs within the PNRA organizational structure would enable both PNRA and Mercer to flourish into the future. The PNRA board has directed that the newly established Mercer Rowing Committee:

  • Will dedicate time to Mercer specifically in the areas of structure, staffing, budgeting, communication and transparency,
  • Members will also be members of the PNRA Board, ensuring clear communication and unified governance: we will thrive together,
  • Will include both active Mercer families and alumni to provide a both current and longer-term focus

The overall goal is to continue to build upon and amplify the success of the Mercer programs while preserving the structure, organization and interdependence that benefits the whole of PNRA.  The committee will serve as a focal point, independent voice, channel of communication and sounding board for Mercer within the PNRA Board, and will undertake longer range financial and organizational planning for Mercer than has been done in the past.

As the Mercer Rowing Committee begins work clarifying responsibilities, setting financial plans and undertaking near-term organizational planning for the ‘16/’17 Season,  they will be reaching out to club participants (rowers, parents, alumni and coaches) for input and suggestions. This early feedback will also serve as the basis for development in the coming year of a five year master plan for club. Additional information about the committee is available on the PNRA website.

Initial members of the committee are Kristin Appelget (kristin93@alumni.nd.edu), Jamie Tanguay (JBTanguay@verizon.net), Stephen Parker (sdp31@icloud.com), Jim Stoddard (jamesstoddard@verizon.net) and Dave Kuhlman (davekuhlman@verizon.net).  Please join the Board in thanking them for devoting their time and expertise to this important effort.

 

PNRA/Mercer Rowers Compete at USRowing Youth National Championships

June 13, 2016

Girls 8 2016 Youth Nationals

West Windsor, NJ – The Princeton National Rowing Association’s Mercer Rowing Club sent three boats to compete at the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships held on Mercer Lake, June 10-11 and all three finished among the top twelve crews in the nation. In the largest ever Youth National Championship regatta ever held, more than 1700 athletes representing 178 clubs and high school rowing programs from 30 states raced 411 boats down the course on Mercer Lake to compete for national titles in eighteen events.

  • The PNRA/Mercer varsity girls 8 plus coxswain boat finished fourth in the nation and featured senior captain Kate Hickey (Notre Dame High School), sophomore Sara Hansen (West Windsor Plainsboro High School South), senior Caitlin Cleary (Princeton High School), junior Laila Shehab (Hopewell Valley High), junior Katie Lustig (Council Rock North), sophomore Bridget Parker (Princeton High School), senior Rachel Mumau (Millstone Township), sophomore Mia Barkenbush (West Windsor Plainsboro High School South)and senior coxswain Colleen Gillis (Freehold Township High School). The girls are coached by Steve Baranoski in his first year with PNRA/Mercer.

 

  • The PNRA/Mercer lightweight girls 4 plus coxswain boat finished eighth and featured senior Elise Gorberg (West Windsor Plainsboro High School North), junior Celia Varga (Princeton Day School), senior Eileen Hu (West Windsor Plainsboro High School South), junior Sheila Kennedy-Moore (Princeton High School), and senior coxswain Sydney Holgado (Robbinsville High School).

 

  • The PNRA/Mercer boys varsity 8 plus coxswain boat finished eleventh in the nation and included junior Andrew Hickey (Notre Dame High School), senior Jason Fleurial (Princeton High School), senior co-captain John Tanguay (Hopewell Valley High School), junior Carter Levine (Princeton High School), junior Grant Barthelmes (Ranney School), junior Daniel Stoddard (West Windsor Plainsboro High School South), freshman Jack Gallagher (Council Rock High School North), senior co-captain Kevin Borup (South Brunswick High School) and junior coxswain Sarah Brune (Lanoka Harbor, NJ).

Windy conditions at the course presented a challenge for rowers and led to a change in the regatta schedule. All races were compressed into two days, rather than three days. Also, the progression was changed so that the first round of races became more important. The top three finishers in the first round of heats qualified for the semifinal round to compete for places 1-12 in the nation.

“All three of our boats handled the new progression well and qualified for the semifinal,” said PNRA/Mercer Director of Rowing, Justin Ochal. “The girls 8 really came together and put in three really solid races in the two days.” For the third consecutive year, the PNRA/Mercer girls 8 with coxswain boat competed in the grand final among the best six boats in the nation.

“The boys’ 8 field was the strongest we have seen in the last five years said Ochal. “It’s hard to do two 2Ks within five hours, but we saw twelve crews getting down the course in less than 6 minutes, 10 seconds in the A and B finals.”

“I believe the PNRA/Mercer boys’ 8 over-performed relative to their strength this weekend,” said Ochal. “This shows you what kind of character our guys have. They handled themselves very well.”

For many rowers, the Youth National Championship Regatta is the last regatta of their high school careers. “It was truly a rewarding time to sit there on the line with top crews in the nation next to me,” said PNRA/Mercer senior Rachel Mumau, a member of PNRA/Mercer’s fourth-place girls 8 plus coxswain boat. “I was so proud to have been part of this boat at my last Youth Nationals,” she added contemplating the significance of the moment.

About the Princeton National Rowing Association 

The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501(c)3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake, Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey.  The Princeton National Rowing Association is dedicated to operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the area through community-based programs.  PNRA runs the Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for youth from over 30 area schools and the Mercer Masters Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for adults.  The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools. PNRA received generous support from Killarney’s Publick House, JLRacing, Bai, Holiday Inn and Residence Inn by Marriott.

For more information, contact Kristopher Grudt, tel: 609-977-1094, krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or visit www.rowpnra.org.