Fall Varsity Practice and Open House

Hi all! This is just a friendly reminder that practice beginsTomorrow, August 27 from 4-6: 45 pm. for varsity tryouts. 

Additionally, a reminder there is an open house for prospective rowers on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29th from 6:45-8pm. Please encourage anyone you know who might be interested in seeing what the sport is all about to attend!

Thank you and see you all next week!

Mercer Coaches

Labor Day Update

Hello Mercer Athletes and Parents!

We will not be having practice at the BH on Sunday, September 2nd and Monday, September 3rd for Labor Day Weekend. Please look to the respective Varsity Boys and Varsity Girls Facebook pages for workouts to complete on your own.

Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things next Monday!


NK Equipment, Open House, Joan Lin wan Blom Movie

Hi everyone! Hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of summer!

As we begin to prepare for the season, we have a few quick dates and notes we would like to share with everyone.

1. The coaching staff is making an inventory on all the equipment before the season begins. If you have any PNRA/Mercer equipment or supplies please email Coach Justin (jochal@rowpnra.org) and Coach Jamie (jhamp@rowpnra.org) and let them know so we can account for it. We are especially looking for coxboxes, chargers, headsets, and speedcoaches, as we are missing a few!

2. Mercer will be hosting an open house event for prospective novice rowers during the first week of tryouts on Wednesday, August 29th from 6:45-8pm. The coaches will explain more on the first day of tryouts, but please spread the word to anyone who might be interested in coming and learning more about rowing. Novice does not start until the following week, so there will still be time to join!

3. PNRA will be hosting a viewing of Kiss the Joy, the inspirational story of Joan Lind van Blom, the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic medal, on Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd. It will be shown on the apron in front of the boathouse starting at 7:45pm. Cost is $15 for adults and $10 for students, and proceeds benefit the Joan Lind van Bloom Endowment for Women’s Sculling and PNRA’s Outreach Program. Please bring your own chairs and snacks. All are invited and we would love to have you join us!

Small Boat Program

Hello Mercer Parents and Athletes,

This is a reminder that the Small Boat Sculling Program starts tomorrow July 30 at 5:30 AM.

Looking forward to sharing sculling with our athletes!



Philadelphia Youth Regatta 7/21

Good afternoon, Mercer Parents,

Saturday is the Philly Youth Regatta.  Below are the logistics for the event.

LOCATION: The regatta will be held in Philadelphia on the famous Schuylkill River! For information on directions please click here. The address to use for GPS is: 2200 Kelly Drive, Philadelphia PA, 19129 (Address is the St. Joe’s (Gillin) Boathouse).

DROP OFF: All athletes should arrive 2 hours before their scheduled race time. Please drop your athlete off at the Mercer boat trailer, which will be parked in the lot adjacent to the St. Joseph University (Gillin) boathouse. Once an athlete arrives at the trailer on race day we require their undivided attention and focus. Parent presence around the trailer causes a distraction for both coaches and athletes. After your athlete’s race is over and they have been dismissed by their coach they are allowed to be picked up.

PARKING: Be aware that parking is extremely limited and that the section of Kelly Drive along the racecourse (from above the boathouse to beyond the grandstand) will be closed to traffic during the regatta. IN ORDER TO PARK AT THE COURSE, YOU MUST PRINT THIS PARKING PASS AND DISPLAY IT IN YOUR WINDSHIELD.

WEATHER: Saturday is scheduled to be very hot. Please make sure athletes come prepared with sunscreen, water, hat, and sunglasses.

FOOD/BEVERAGES:  If your son is racing, please send him with extra water for the team.  If your daughter is racing, please send an extra box of cliff bars for the team.  Please have your athlete bring his/her own snacks, beverages, lunch.

LINE UPS:  Are posted here 

Cost:  $40  Pay Here

2018 Fall Varsity Information

Hello, Varsity Mercer Athletes and Parents,

The Fall Varsity Season starts on Monday, August 27 at 4:00 at the Boathouse.  Please be on time to practice, and bring running shoes, a water bottle, hat, and sunscreen.  Athletes should be prepared for hot weather.

Practice Times are as follows:
Monday-Friday 4:00 – 6:30pm, Sunday 7:00 – 9:30am.  
There will be no practice on Labor Day, Monday, September 3.

Varsity Team Tryouts:
The first two weeks of practice (including Sundays), August 27 – September 7, will be the try-out period for athletes.  Athletes will be evaluated by running, erging, and general fitness. Please see the Blog for a more detailed description.  The Fall Roster will be posted after the completion of the try-out period. Please register for the tryouts. Once the roster has been released, athletes will be able to register for the fall season.

For those who will be participating in Option 2 for your school please reach out to Coach Justin before you submit the online application.

Mandatory Varsity Parent Meeting:

Saturday, September 15, 9:00 am at the Boathouse

SAT, ACT, College Recruitment Visits:

These are the days’ athletes may schedule tests and college visits.  Athletes must follow the Absentee Protocol for any additional missed practice days.

SAT & SAT subject test:  November 3, December 1,2018; March 9, 2019

ACT:  December 8, February 9, 2019

College Visits:  August until the 26th, Sept 8-9, September 15-16, Thanksgiving and Presidents Day weekends.

Fall Varsity Regattas:

  • Tail of the Fish- September 29, 2018
  • Head of the Housatonic – October 6, 2018
  • Head of the Charles – October 20, 2018
  • Head of the Schuylkill October 27-28, 2018
  • Head of the Halloween October 27 (Those not selected for HOS)
  • Philadelphia Frostbite –November 10, 2018
  • Bill Braxton Regatta – November 11, 2018


Please see the Blog for more detailed descriptions of these regattas, costs, travel plans, and who will attend.

Coaches Justin Ochal and Matt Carlsen



Practice Thursday 7/12 and Friday 7/13

Great racing to all crews today at club nationals. This is a reminder that anyone not racing at club nationals tomorrow or this weekend has practice tomorrow and Friday at regular time from 1-3pm. The weekends is off and then the schedule returns to normal next week in preparation for Philly Youth. Thanks and go Mercer!

Club Nationals

Good Moring, Mercer Athletes and Parents.

Club Nationals LINEUPS:  Please click HERE to find the tentative lineups for this weekend.  If there are any changes to these lineups, the athletes will be notified at practice, and you will be notified through the blog.  

As a Reminder: This Regatta is an “away” regatta and there is a trip fee, but we will not be traveling as a team to the event, as the site is reasonably close to where most athletes live. Parents (or the athletes themselves) will be responsible for getting athletes to the regatta site for races. In addition, athletes will be responsible for their own food and drinks. CLUB Nationals Trip Fee

The Cooper River Park is located in Pennsauken, NJ.  The athletes should be dropped off at the intersection of North Park Drive and Cuthbert Drive, in Cherry Hill, NJ  08002. The Camden County Boathouse is located at 7050 North Park Dr, Pennsauken Township, NJ. Directions

Club Nationals Information

Hello, Mercer Parents,

Congratulations to all those who race at IDR this past weekend! What a great showing!

This year Club Nationals is being held on the Cooper River in Camden, NJ July 11-15.  This is a prestigious regatta in which clubs from all over the country compete in events at multiple levels, including U17, U19, Intermediate, and Elite/Senior.  This year the U17 and U19 events will compete from Wednesday – Friday; and the Intermediate and Elite/Senior events from Friday – Sunday. The event is similar to Youth Nationals in that boats move through the progression of Time Trials, Semis, and Finals.  The link for this event is HERE.

This Regatta is an “away” regatta and there is a trip fee, but we will not be traveling as a team to the event, as the site is reasonably close to where most athletes live.  Parents (or the athletes themselves) will be responsible for getting athletes to the regatta site for races. In addition, athletes will be responsible for their own food and drinks.  

The Cooper River Park is located in Pennsauken, NJ.  The athletes should be dropped off at the intersection of North Park Drive and Cuthbert Drive, in Cherry Hill, NJ  08002. The Camden County Boathouse is located at 7050 North Park Dr, Pennsauken Township, NJ. Directions

As we get closer to the event, the coaches will post lineups and rosters, and there will be additional information about where to gather to cheer Mercer on.  




Special Olympics of New Jersey Volunteer Opportunities

Hi Everyone!

Hope you are all staying cool in this weather and looking forward to enjoying the holiday tomorrow!

For the past few years, PNRA/Mercer has partnered with the Special Olympics of New Jersey to help them in running Camp Shriver. Camp Shriver is a 4 week program run by the SONJ focused on teaching new sports and making new friends to positively impact the lives of their athletes.

We are thrilled to have been asked back for another year, and will again be working with the SONJ athletes on Mondays. Camp Shriver is held at the SONJ main facility right off Princeton Pike by the 95 interchange in Lawrence, NJ, and the dates for camp with Mercer this summer will be July 9, 16, 23, and 30. For those of you who have not volunteered before, we run 5 20-25 minute sessions on the erg for the athletes during each session, focused on teaching proper technique and having fun. I need your help in making this possible! There are two sessions each day – 1-4pm and 5:30-8pm. Usually, junior athletes work the evening session and masters focus on the earlier session.

 If you are able to volunteer, please click the link below and sign up for as many days as you can! There are tabs for each day, so please ensure you sign up for all the days you are able. I will be reaching out to everyone who has signed up by Thursday to get ready for this Monday. This is a very rewarding experience and I encourage everyone to sign up for all 4 days if they can, as it helps them form a real bond with the athletes.


 Once again, thank you for your assistance and please email me with any questions! I hope to see many of you next Monday!


IDR Lineups, Schedule and More!

Good evening, Mercer Athletes, Masters, Parents.

IDR LINEUPS:  Please click HERE to find the tentative lineups for this weekend.  If there are any changes to these lineups, the athletes will be notified at practice, and you will be notified through the blog.  

As a reminder:  the IDR an away regatta in Philadelphia on the Schuykill River.  You will need to drive your athlete (unless he/she can drive themselves) to this event.  The drop-off location is Gillin Boathouse, St. Joseph’s University:  2200 Kelly Dr, Philadelphia.  You will need to print out a parking pass to enter the drop off zone on Kelly Drive.  The link for the pass, and any other information about this event can be found on the regatta website:HERE.  Your athlete will need to bring snacks and water, as there will be no food provided.  

There will be Mercer tent on Saturday near the Grandstand/finish line where parents can gather and cheer.  Feel free to bring snacks and drinks to share, or just come and enjoy the company!

We are looking forward to some exciting races this weekend!  

Please click on the appropriate link to Register


Independence Day Regatta Information

Hello, Mercer Parents and Rowers,

I hope everyone is having a fun summer so far!  Next weekend is the first regatta of the summer season:  the Independence Day Regatta on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia.  The event spans 3 days, with races on every day. The coaches will post the line-ups and schedule separately. Here is what you need to know:

Please drop your athletes off at the Gillin Boathouse, St Joseph’s University:  2200 Kelly Dr, Philadelphia.  Most phone apps recognize the location if you enter Gillin Boathouse.  It is NOT located on Boathouse Row, so please be sure to check before you get down there.   IMPORTANT NOTES: Philly closes down Kelly Drive, which is the road that runs along the course.  If you have not been to this regatta before, you should give yourself extra time to navigate the detours and crowds.  

Please send water and snacks with your athlete!  There is no planned food or drinks for them.

There will be a Mercer tent and table set up on Saturday, near the Grandstand and finish line (Gillin Boathouse is located near the start).  This will be an informal affair, a place for us all to gather and cheer for our team. In years past, parents have brought drinks, snacks, chairs.  There is no planned food, so it’s up to you whether you want to bring things to share.

Time trials and heats are on Friday, Semis and Finals on Saturday.  Time trials are races that set the boats up for the races on Saturday.  Results are posted by the Grandstand or on www.regattacentral.com.

IDR offers parking passes to display on your windshield so you can get through the barricades, drop your athlete off at the boathouse, and park farther down the course.  If parking along Kelly Drive is full, you will find additional parking up the hill from the course. The link for the parking pass:




Practice 6/18-22/18

Hello Parents and Athletes,

Due to a majority of our athletes still in school for snow days. We have adjusted the practice times for next week. Practice will be 3-5: 30 pm. If they’ll be here by 3:30 (because of school) don’t fill out the absent form for being late. Thank you for understanding


Coaching Staff

JL Team Store and JL Team Outerwear Has Arrived!!


The PNRA Mercer JL team store is now open!.

To place an order, you can go directly to the JL Team Store site through this link:  JL Team Store, or copy and paste the link into the address field of your browser. You can use your own credit card to order required team uniform items as well as training gear. In order to take advantage of the team pricing and shipping, you MUST get your order in by midnight (PST) on 5/30/2018. If you miss the store closing date, you will need to order your uniform as an individual, directly from JL.

Please make sure you receive a confirmation that your order has been placed – if you do not get the confirmation, double check your information and re-submit.

If you have any questions please contact your team administrator.

Contact: Amanda Klaiber-Short

Email:  aklaibershort@rowpnra.org

Phone: 609-799-7100 ext. 106

Planned Delivery Date for Team Uniform & Casual Items: 7/10/2018

Planned Delivery Date for Team Outerwear Items: 7/20/2018


For those that are still waiting for Jl Orders from the Spring please talk to your coach tomorrow about them. Some of the orders have arrived.


Go Mercer!!!

Youth Nationals Trip Information and Roster

Good Afternoon, Parents and Athletes,

First of all, congratulations on qualifying for the USRowing Youth National Championships 2018.  This Regatta is the most prestigious event we enter every year, and it is only open by invitation to qualified crews from across the country.  This year, we are sending more boats than we have ever done, which is exciting, but which also poses some challenging logistics. Here is the roster of athletes going. Please read this entire email; it contains all the information about this event.  If you have any questions, please direct them to our Parent Coordinators: Girls: Jeb Barkenbush at jebarken@gmail.com; Boys:  Jennifer Closser at closserj@gmail.com.



The cost for Youth Nationals is $1,400, and the link is HERE.  This fee covers the cost of transportation to and from the airport, airfare, hotels, transportation in California, meals, boat transportation, lake rental for practice, and fees for entering the competition.  

Location and Timing:

Lake Natoma, Gold River, CA
Racing is scheduled for June 8-10


Travel Itinerary:

Depart Monday June 4
Transportation to Newark:  chartered bus (seats 56); departs the boathouse 3:45pm
United Airline Flight 2411 7:05pm out of EWR (Newark-Liberty); arriving 10:33pm in (SMF) Sacramento, CA.
Return Sunday/Monday June 10/11
UA 342 11:30pm out of SMF; arriving 7:30am EWR
Transportation to Boathouse:  chartered bus; ETA 9:00am


Fairfield Inn and Suites Sacramento Airport Natoma
2730 El Centro Rd
Sacramento, CA  95833


Breakfast will be at the hotel each morning.
Lunch and dinner will be determined by boat, although there will be an emphasis on dinner as a team
Please have your athlete pack dinner/snacks for the ride to the airport on June 4, and money to purchase any addition food at the airport.  Mercer will not be providing dinner June 4.


Please have your athlete bring some extra money with them.  There will be opportunities to purchase extra food, t-shirts, etc…  We do plan to take them to local grocery stores so we can have appropriate snacks on hand, but sometimes athletes wish to supplement.

The athletes are in California to compete on behalf of Mercer.  Unfortunately, this means that they will not be able to meet up with parents for lunch or dinner – they will need to remain with their boat and teammates, and to follow the coaches’ plans for preparation and racing.  However, if you are planning to come to Nationals to watch, feel free to reach out to Jeb or Jen – if there are opportunities for you to see your athlete outside of the competition, or to help out, they will let you know.  

Finally, thank you in advance to our chaperones:  Susan Kalfaian, Chip Kalfaian, Els Vandecandelaere, Heidi Appelgate, Ranjit Bawa, Jeb Barkenbush, and Jen Closser.  

Congratulations again, and GO MERCER
Coach Justin
Coach Matt


Next Two Weeks

Hello MJRC/Mercer Parents,

I would first like to say congratulations to all the athletes who raced this past weekend. What a wonderful and exciting weekend we just had! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this regatta possible.  The last day of the Spring Season is this Friday, May 18. Please remember the Banquet is Tuesday, May 22! We look forward to seeing you there.

The Summer Season begins on Monday, May 21 for all athletes who are not attending Youth Nationals.  During the first few weeks of the Summer Season, we will have some programming changes. Mercer Lake is hosting the IRA Championships June 1-3, and some boats will still be training for Nationals.  

For the next two weeks, the schedule will be as follows:
May 21-27, 2018
Monday- Normal practice for everyone
Tuesday- OFF/ Banquet
Wednesday- Normal Practice
Thursday- Normal Practice
Friday- Normal Practice
Saturday- Only Youth Nationals Boats will practice (10:30-1:00)
Sunday- Only Youth Nationals Boats will practice (TBD)

May 28-June 1( Non- Youth Nationals Athletes)
Monday- Memorial Day -OFF
Tuesday- Practice since we took off on Monday
Wednesday- Normal Practice
Thursday-  OFF
Friday- OFF
Saturday – OFF
Sunday – OFF

May 28-June 3 ( Youth Nationals Crews)
Monday – Memorial Day – OFF
Tuesday- Practice since we took off on Monday
Wednesday- Practice at Carnegie Lake
Thursday – Practice at Carnegie Lake
Friday- Practice at Carnegie Lake
Saturday – Practice Carnegie Lake
Sunday – Practice at Carnegie Lake



Mercer Rowing 2018 Naming Opportunities

“Rowing changed my daughter’s life.”

                                   -mercer parent

How many times have you heard that sentiment echoed as you gather with others along the shoreline, waiting for that fleeting glimpse of your child’s boat?

MERCER-MERCER we cheer together. And in that moment, an unspoken bond, that you are a part of something special that changed not only your daughter or son’s life, but yours as well. Then at home later that night, your child’s elation at the results and the determination that they have more to give. You marvel at this newfound grit and dedication. You are profoundly grateful for finding this unique sport for your child.

If this story is familiar, might you want to consider leaving a lasting legacy to honor your experience at Mercer and pave the way for future rowers?

By sponsoring the purchase of new equipment, you can cement your place in Mercer history. In return for your sponsorship, you will be given boat naming honors, an indelible momento. The name is yours to choose. A favorite coach. Your child’s favorite expression. A family name. A poignant memory. A meaningful group accomplishment.

Please see the attached list for the range of naming opportunities. We would welcome a conversation about how you might individually, or with others, help us to ensure that this transformative experience is available to children and families for many years to come.

Thank you for your commitment to Mercer Rowing.


2018 Mercer Naming Opportunities.docx

Go Mercer!

The Mercer Rowing Advisory Committee

Kristin Appelget
Mary Agnes Brodowski
David Kuhlman
Stephen Parker
Jim Stoddard
Jamie Tanguay
Susan Voorhees

Tentative Lineups and Schedule for Mid-Atlantic Regionals Championships

Good evening, Mercer Parents,

This weekend is the Mid-Atlantic Regionals Championships at Mercer Lake.  This regatta is the final regatta of the year for our club, except for those boats who qualify to go on to Youth Nationals.  Congratulations to all the Mercer rowers for all their hard work this year.

Attached here you will find the lineups for this weekend.  Parents, please drop off your athlete at the boathouse, and then proceed to the Marina side to view the races.  The Mercer Tent will be set up both Saturday and Sunday. There will be food for the rowers at the boathouse, but it is always a good idea to pack snacks and water.

It has been a pleasure coaching your athletes this year.

Coach Justin
Coach Matt
Coach Amanda
Coach Jamie


2018 Saratoga Invitational Regatta

Hello Parents,

Our varsity and novice boats will be racing both Saturday and Sunday. This is a great opportunity for the novices to get more racing under their belts and experience an away regatta. This PDF will be your guide to getting ready for this awesome trip!

Trip Dates/Times: Rowers need to be at the Caspersen Rowing Center’s parking lot at 3:45 on Friday, April 28th. The drive to Saratoga is around 4 hours and we will NOT be stopping for dinner, please plan a to-go meal accordingly. Athletes will leave the racecourse Sunday around 5-6 PM and should be picked up in the parking lot (approx. 9:30-10 PM). Rowers will notify their parents when we leave, and give them a 45-minute warning before arrival.

Registration: Because this is not a home regatta, we have to pay for entry fees, transportation, housing, and food. The trip total is $400 and can be paid for here. If this cost is an issue, PLEASE TALK TO YOUR COACH! We do not want the cost of the sport to hamper any child from participating. Your rower must be registered before they leave Friday for the trip.

P.S. – If you do not register by May 13th you will incur a $15.00 late fee

Racing: Please check here for the Tentative lineups and schedule.

What to Bring: Please keep in mind the shared spaces we will have this weekend and try not to over pack! Below is a list of the essentials:

  •   Racing Gear- White Mercer Shirt/Dark Blue or Black Spandex for novice, Unis for varsity
  •   Socks, so many socks. Pack at least 2 pair per day
  •   Underwear/sports bras
  •   Sleepwear/loungewear
  •   Sweatshirt/sweatpants
  •   Rain gear, extra layers
  •   Casual clothing for 2 days
  •   Toiletries- toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo & conditioner, soap, hairbrush
  •   Sunscreen! Hats/visors/sunglasses
  •   Phone and charger
  •   A meal for Friday night and some $$ for snacks/swag at the racecourse
  •   Any homework that needs to be completed over the weekend

Extra Items:

  •   Hair ties and headbands
  •   Small travel games
  •   Specific snacks if you have allergies
  •   *If you have any medications please let your coach know*
  •   Blister tape/bandaids/Neosporin

Contact Information: If any issues arise please reach out to the parent coordinators first and then the coaches. If there is a problem we will reach out to you ASAP.

  •   Amanda Klaiber-Short: 760-223-2064, aklaibershort@rowpnra.org
  •   Jamie Hamp: 716-560-1858, jhamp@rowpnra.org
  •   Jen Closser: 202-360-8683
  •   Jeb Barkenbush: 609-712-3036
  •   Kevin Heyeck
  •   Kurt Kinter
  •   Natasha Gajewski
  •   Kimberly Cushman

Transportation: We have rented 15-passenger vans for this trip. The parent coordinators, Jamie, Amanda, and chaperones will be driving. If you plan on driving up and want to take your child home from the racecourse, please let a parent coordinator and coach know so our head count will reflect that change. The racecourse address is Lee’s Park, 1464 Route 9P, Saratoga Springs, NY.

Lodging: The team will be staying at:

Hilton Garden Inn

125 South Broadway

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

11 minute drive to the racecourse

Food: Please bring a meal for the ride up and money for a short dinner on the ride home after racing on Sunday. All other meals are provided for in the trip costs. Please let your coach know if you have any allergies or special dietary restrictions. It is never a bad idea to pack a couple snacks for the drive and race course!


Weather Forecast: The weather looks mixed for the weekend. Saturday will be a high of 60 degrees but possibly raining, so bring rain gear and a plastic bag to keep your clothes dry. Sunday is cooler with a high of 50 degrees and windy, so additional layers may be needed to stay warm (hats, gloves, etc)

Parents/Spectators: This race is a great opportunity to see some of the most competitive junior teams compete before regionals! If you plan on attending, please note that there are similar rules on race day like we have at a home regatta. Before the race the coach will need the rowers’ full attention and parents should not follow rowers to the trailer. After their race, the coach will debrief their rowers and then release them back to the parent/food tent. We appreciate parents following these rules; it helps their athlete’s focus and keeps parents safe from rogue boats and oars moving around. We also don’t mind parents spending time with their athletes as long as there is not an activity planned with the team.


Saratoga Invitational 2018

Mercer Parents and Athletes,

Congratulations to all the athletes who competed this weekend at Mercer Sprints!  It was our first regatta of the season where our whole team competed together, and we entered in nearly 30 events.  We had a strong showing, and are looking forward to the next races.

On Friday, April 27th, select varsity and novice athletes will depart for the Saratoga Invitational in Saratoga Springs, NY.  The tentative roster is here. The final roster and trip fee will be posted by Wednesday. Below is the information about the event.


There will be one van per boat.  The novice coaches will be transporting their athletes; parent volunteers will be driving the varsity vans, and serving as chaperones for the regatta.

The vans will leave the boathouse no later than 4:30pm on Friday, April 27.  The athletes, coaches, and chaperones will be staying together at the Hilton Garden Inn in Saratoga Springs both Friday and Saturday night.  Racing is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. The vans will depart the course on Sunday by 5:00pm and return to the boathouse. ETA will be around 9-9:30.

All information regarding arrivals will be posted on the Parents’ Facebook Page, so please follow that feed for updates.  

Hilton Garden Inn – Saratoga Springs

125 South Broadway

Saratoga Springs, NY  12866


Athletes should bring their own dinner, snacks, and water for the ride up to Saratoga on Friday, and money to purchase dinner on the way home on Sunday.  Breakfast both Saturday and Sunday will be at the hotel, and lunch will be provided at the course both days at the Mercer Tent. Dinner will be catered at the hotel on Saturday night.  


The trailer, tent, and launch area for the race is at Lee’s Park, adjacent to the course.  Parking is available for $15. The Mercer Tent will be set up along the course. This is where everyone will gather for food and to cheer on the athletes, so if you are planning to attend, we look forward to seeing you there!  

Lee’s Park

1464 Route 9P

Saratoga Springs, NY


In past years, the weather has been cold, windy, and rainy.  Athletes should pack extra layers and be prepared for all conditions.  Athletes may want to bring extra money for the regatta as well – many of them like to buy t-shirts.  If you have any questions, please contact either Jeb Barkenbush at jebarken@gmail.com, or Jen Closser at closserj@gmail.com.



Mercer Lake Sprints!!

Hello Parents,

Mercer Lake Sprints are TOMORROW!!! Please have your athletes here at the appropriate time their coach wants them at the Caspersen Training Center. If you are volunteering tomorrow please drop them off before your shift starts. We will not be able to retrieve any atheltes that will be on the other side of the lake. Please check here for any updates on the lineups. Check here for any updates about the regatta.



Mercer Lake Sprints

Good afternoon, Mercer Parents and Athletes,

Mercer Sprints will be held this weekend at Mercer Lake.  A few items to be aware of for the weekend:

ATHLETE DROP OFF:  Please drop athletes off at the boathouse and proceed to the opposite side of the lake for spectating.  After your athlete’s race is over, and they have been dismissed by their coach, you can return to pick them up.

MERCER TENT:  There will be a Mercer Tent set up on the Marina side of the lake, where we can gather and cheer.  This is always a fun place to be, with lots of food, and Mercer families and alumni cheering! Parents, please watch the races from the Marina side, NOT the Casperson side:  the coaches and the athletes need to focus on the races without distraction.  Thank you in advance for honoring this request.

ATHLETE INFORMATION:  Novice athletes are asked to arrive wearing the white Mercer racing shirt and black spandex. Varsity athletes are asked to have their Mercer Uni for racing.  Please make sure athletes have appropriate layers for the weather, and extra snacks and water. There will be food on the boathouse side for the athletes, but many of them will be at the boathouse for much of the day, and they should come prepared with extra food and drink. If you have not yet done so, please sign up to help with the food for the parent’s tent and the athletes.

VOLUNTEERS:  If you have not yet done so, please sign up to volunteer HERE.  We host Mercer Sprints, and our volunteers’ help is invaluable. Please sign up!

LINEUPS:  Lineups will be posted by Wednesday this week.

Mercer Sprints is the first big regatta of the spring when all our athletes get the opportunity to race.  It is also a great way for the Mercer community to come together, meet new people, and enjoy two full days of racing.  Thank you for helping make this event a success.


Varsity Practice Saturday and Sunday

Hello Parents,

Just sending out a reminder about practice this weekend. Due to the Knecht Cup, we will be having practice at Carnegie Lake.  Saturday and Sunday. Saturday 1-3:30 pm and Sunday 8-10:30.  We will launch from the finish line area, which is on Route 27 between Poe Rd and Dodds Lane.


GO Mercer!!!

Thank You!

Good afternoon, Mercer Parents,

This weekend was a great opening start to the spring season!  Much of this success is due to the efforts of our parents.  I would like to extend a special thanks to the following people, who helped make this weekend run so smoothly:  

CRI Chaperones, who drove in traffic, brought food, and took care of our athletes in Boston:

Els Vandecandelaere

Chip and Susan Kalfaian

Dave Gallagher (the late van!)

Rose Barkenbush

Jill Morrison

Jen Closser

Hostess gifts for all the Mercer athletes in Boston:

Helene Gallagher

Feeding our athletes on their way to Boston:

Jim Armetta

Taking care of all things Neczypor in Camden:

Jeb Barkenbush

Thank you all.

Go Mercer!

Coach Justin

Boston Racing Information

Parents of Athletes going to Boston,

Please be sure to pack for the weather – bring layers!  It will be cold in Boston, and we will be racing earlier in the day.

The 5 early vans will be departing promptly at 1pm.  Please arrive at the Boathouse by 11AMso we can load the trailer, and be ready to go.

The late van will be leaving promptly at 3:30.  Dave Gallagher is driving.  Please arrive at the Boathouse by 3:15pm so they can be ready to go.

Jim Armetta has kindly provided lunch for the ride up to Boston for all athletes, and CRI is providing dinner for the athletes in the EARLY vans.  The athletes in the later van can bring their own dinner, or they can stop briefly on the ride up to Boston.

Parents who are going up:  the best viewing will be from Magazine Beach along the Charles River.

We are looking forward to this weekend!


CRI Parents Information

Good afternoon, Mercer Varsity Parents,

This Friday, three boats from each of the varsity teams will be traveling to CRI to scrimmage against CRI and Greenwich on the Charles River.  As CRI is hosting our athletes and providing dinner, there are a few changes to the departure schedule.

PLEASE NOTE:  The plan is to leave Casperson Boathouse at 1 pm.  We understand that several athletes are in school this week.  Five of the six vans will be leaving at 1 pm. One van will be leaving at 3:30 to accommodate those kids who cannot get to the boathouse for the earlier departure.  PLEASE LET JEN CLOSSER KNOW ASAP IF YOUR CHILD WILL BE TRAVELING AT THE LATER TIME.  You can email Jen at closserj@gmail.com or text at (202) 360-8683.  There are only 15 spots in the late van, so, please, if your child can travel with the earlier group, that would be greatly appreciated.  


Departure:  Athletes should arrive at the boathouse at the regular practice time of 11:15 am.  5 vans will depart for Boston at 1 pm. Lunch will be provided. If your child is missing school Friday, please have them let the coach know so they can get notes for their teachers/school.  

Note for the Late Van:  these athletes will need to stop for dinner en route.  The expectation is that they will arrive around 9/9:30 at CRI, when they will meet with their host families.

Arrival time is expected around 7 pm at the CRI Boathouse, 20 Nonantum Rd, Brighton, MA.

CRI will be providing dinner for our athletes arriving at 7, hosting them overnight, and bringing them back for racing on Saturday.



Racing is scheduled to start at 10:30 am, and will conclude by 1:30 pm

The athletes will then load the trailer, and all six vans will depart from CRI

There will be lunch provided onsite

We will post on the Parents FB page the ETA for arrival back at Casperson

A few important notes about traveling.  In addition to bringing the Mercer uni, all athletes should wear their travel shirt.  Please pack for the weather, and please pack snacks. The drive to Boston takes about 6 hours, and we do make stops, but your child may want extra food.  The kids do not need to bring sleeping bags or pillows, but they should bring comfortable clothes to wear when they are not racing.

As of now, the plan is to race in either the Basin or the Powerhouse Stretch of the Charles River.  If you are planning to go to Boston to watch, the best viewing is from the Riverside Boathouse, 769 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, or the MDC Pool, 719 Memorial Drive.  The weather may create some last minute changes, so please refer to the Parents FB page for maps and additional information.

We will be traveling in vans, with one boat per van.  Thank you to the parents who volunteered to chaperone:  Jill Morrison, Rose Barkenbush, Dave Gallagher, Chip and Susan Kalfaian, Els Vandecandelaere, and Jen Closser.

And thank you to Jim Armetta for providing lunch for our athletes on Friday.

The cost for the Regatta is $140. You can pay here

We will also have practice on Sunday at 7:45-10:30.


Coach Justin

Coach Matt

Spring Break Schedule and More

Hello PNRA/Mercer Parents,

I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather!  Below you will see the practice times for Good Friday through next week.  Most schools have Spring Break next week, and we are trying to take advantage of this time, especially as we have had so many snow days.  However, some schools do not have their Break next week. If that is the case, your athlete should go to school – they are not required to come to the earlier practice, and they will not be penalized for missing the first session. The coaches will be giving those athletes who have school workouts that they can complete before school to be on the same page as everyone doing the double rows.  The Novices’ schedule will not change, practice will remain Monday-Friday, 4-6 PM. Please fill out the absence sheet if you will not be able to attend practice!

Varsity Girls Schedule:

Friday: 11:45am-2:15pm

Saturday: 8:00am-10:30am

Sunday: OFF

Monday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; Second Session: 3:45pm-6:15pm

Tuesday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; Second Session: 3:45pm-6:15pm

Wednesday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; Second Session: 3:45pm-6:15pm

Thursday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; Second Session: 3:45pm-6:15pm

Friday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; 1:00pm-2:00pm Loading Trailer; 4:00 Departure for Boston

Saturday: CRI Race in Boston

Sunday: 7:30am-10:30am Re-rigging and practice at the Boathouse

Varsity Boys Schedule:

Friday: 11:45am-2:15pm

Saturday: 10:30 am- 1:00pm

Sunday: OFF

Monday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; Group 1: 3:45pm-5:45pm; Group 2 5:15-7:30

Tuesday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; Group 1: 3:45pm-5:45pm; Group 2 5:15-7:30

Wednesday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; Group 1: 3:45pm-5:45pm; Group 2 5:15-7:30

Thursday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; Group 1: 3:45pm-5:45pm; Group 2 5:15-7:30

Friday: First Session: 11:15am-1:00pm; 1:00pm-2:00pm Loading Trailer; 4:00 Departure for Boston

Saturday: CRI Race in Boston

Sunday: 7:30am-10:30am Re-rigging and practice at the Boathouse

We will be posting the roster of who is going to the CRI and who is going to the Steve Neczypor Regatta this Friday. Please be on the lookout for the trip fees; they will be up soon. You will have 22 days to register your athlete before the trip fee will incur a $15 additional late charge.


Mercer Coaches

Varsity Registration

Good afternoon, Mercer Parents and Athletes,

Congratulations to the athletes for their efforts yesterday, and for contributing to the Row for the Cure!

Spring Season begins today.  You should have received an email about the changes in the schedule for this week.  Beginning March 19th, we will start the regular spring schedule.

All Mercer Varsity athletes who attended tryouts this past week are officially invited to the Mercer Varsity Team.  Please register your athlete for this season here as soon as possible, on March 26th the registration fee will increase by $15.

A reminder that the Spring Parents Meeting will be this Saturday, March 17th at 9:30 AM at the Boathouse. 

We look forward to seeing you there.


Practice Updates March 12-18, 2018

Hello PNRA/Mercer Parent,

We will be going back to the winter hours next week due to the weather forecast.

Varsity Girls
Monday: 5:30-7:45pm @ BH
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: People that have signed up for Cross-Fit: Go to Cross-Fit 6:30-8: 00 pm / People that did not do winter training  will come to the BH @ 3:45 and we will end at 5:45 pm
Thursday: 3:45-5:45pm @ BH
Friday:  5:30-7:45pm @ BH
Saturday: TBA
Sunday: TBA

Varsity Boys
Monday: 3:45-5:45pm @ BH
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 3:45-5:45pm @ BH
Thursday: People that have signed up for Cross-Fit: Go to Cross-Fit 6:30-8: 00 pm / People that did not do winter training Meet at the BH@ 3:45 and we will end at 5:45 pm
Friday:  3:45-5:45pm@ BH
Saturday: TBA 
Sunday: TBA

Novice Girls & Boys
Tuesday:  Girls: 3:45-5:45pm ; Boys: – 5:45-7:45pm
Wednesday: Novice Girls: 5:45-7:45pm
Thursday: Novice Boys: 5:45-7:45pm
Sunday: TBA

8th Grade Development Team

The 8th Grade Development Team will be starting on March 19th.

Thank you for your understanding


Thursday, March 8th, Practice Update

Hello PNRA/Mercer Parents,

Due to limited space at the Caspersen Rowing Center, the varsity girls will have normal practice today.

The varsity boys who DID NOT DO Winter Training will not have practice today. Those that signed up for Cross Fit will have it tonight 6:30-8: 00 pm

All Novices should have received an email from Coach Amanda.



Varsity Tryout Week Schedule

Hello PNRA/Mercer Parents and Athletes,

Below you will find the tryout schedule for the VARSITY boys and girls, March 5th – March 11th.

Monday: 3:45pm-6:15pm @ BH
Tuesday: People that completed winter training have off / People that did not complete winter training: 3:45pm-6:15pm @ BH
Wednesday: People that have signed up for Cross-Fit: Go to Cross-Fit 6:30-8:00pm / People that did not do winter training Meet at Princeton Football Stadium @ 3:45pm and we will end at 5:45pm
Thursday: Regular practice @ BH 3:45pm-6:15pm
Friday: Regular practice @ BH 3:45pm-6:15pm
Sunday: ROW FOR THE CURE / This is a mandatory part of tryouts. If you have not registered yet, please do so as soon as possible.

Monday: 3:45pm-6:15pm @ BH
Tuesday: People that completed winter training have off / People that did not complete winter training: 3:45pm-6:15pm @ BH
Wednesday: 3:45pm-6:15pm @ BH
Thursday: People that have signed up for Cross-Fit: Go to Cross-Fit 6:30-8:00pm / People that did not do winter training Meet at the BH@ 3:45pm and we will end at 5:45pm
Friday: Regular practice @ BH 3:45pm-6:15pm
Sunday: ROW FOR THE CURE / This is a mandatory part of tryouts. If you have not registered yet, please do so as soon as possible.


Coach Matt and Coach Justin

Crew Bus in Princeton Area

Spring season will start on March 12th (subject to change), with Varsity try out starting on March 5th.

Our crew bus will leave Princeton High School every weekday during the season at 3:15 PM. It will stop on North Post Road & Clarksville on the way to the boathouse to pick up West Windsor rowers who need a ride to the boathouse. After practice, the bus will return from the boathouse to PHS.

The cost per rower depends on how many rowers we have, whether the rower rides one way or round trip, and whether the rower is on varsity/novice/8th Grade Development team. Any family with two or more rowers may get discounts. I calculate the cost per rower once the bus participation settles down.

The bus is open to all rowers; we typically have rowers from Princeton schools including PHS as well as Montgomery schools. Cranbury rowers who attend PHS and West Windsor rowers typically take the bus one way to the boathouse.

Our bus driver Ed went to Princeton High School when he was kid and he has lived in this community most of his life. He was driving for Princeton Charter School when parents hired him privately to drive a large carpool. He came highly recommended by generations of parents. We did not do a background check. I will make a copy of his driver license, insurance and bus registration. Parents please make a decision to participate or not.  We don’t represent Mercer, PNRA or any school.  

If you are interested, please contact yulifan@gmail.com with the following information:

Rower’s name, girl/boy, Varsity/Novice/8th Grade, Round trip/One Way, email, phone #