Mercer Indoor Row For The Cure Results

On March 12 and 13, the Mercer Indoor Row for the Cure went virtual.  Utilizing the Concept2 ErgRace platform, the rowing machines were connected virtually for the event.  Athletes could see their progress as well as the race leader and their closest competition on the monitor of their rowing machine.  While last year’s event included a virtual option, this was the first year that the event was fully virtual.

Eugenia Rodriguez and Devon Reid led the Varsity Girls open and lightweight categories.  Julian Thomas and George Drago won the Varsity Boy’s open and lightweight divisions.  In the Novice races Vivian Teeley and Alvin Tien posted the quickest times. In the 500 meter sprints, Stephen Gamma won the open division with Bella Jaffe taking the Girls Coxswain and Matt Califano posting the quickest time in the Men’s Coxswain division.

Full results can be found here.

The Mercer Indoor Row for the Cure is part of the Row for the Cure series of events that raise money to support the Susan G. Komen’s fight to eliminate breast cancer.

The results for this year’s

Mercer Junior Rowers Collect Over 3,000 Pounds of Food for Local Food Bank

In Janury the Mercer Junior Varsity Girls laid down a challenge to the Mercer Varsity Boys and Novice teams to see who could collect the most food to support the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. The challenge came in the form of a video which can be seen here: Click here to see the video challenge

The complete team stepped up an took on the challenge with amazing results.  A total of  3,104.1 pounds of food and essential items was collected.  The Varsity Girls contributed over a ton of this total with 2,097.8 pounds.  There were followed by the Varsity Boys with 562.5 pounds and the Novices with 443.8 pounds.

“The food drive was a great way to break out of our rowing community bubble and put our team spirit towards helping others.” said Varsity Girls Captain Charvee Dua.  “When everyone was bringing in the food, we would carry the donations into the office one by one so it still seemed very small scale. It was amazing to see just how much food we were able to get with all the teams combined. Seeing every single donation add up to a sum of a little over 3000 pounds of food really embodied how much teamwork matters for this team, and it feels really good to unify and do something incredible for our community when we can’t currently do that “something incredible” out on the race course.”

Congratulations to everyone who contributed! A special thank you to the girls’ team for their work in organizing and challenging everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Princeton National Rowing Association
The Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA), 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, N.J. PNRA is dedicated to providing a venue where athletes of all ages, talents and backgrounds have the opportunity to develop their rowing abilities to their highest potential.  As a United States Olympic Training Site, PNRA is home to the USRowing National Team, as well as scholastic and community rowing programs. PNRA runs the Mercer Junior and Masters Rowing Programs and conducts outreach activities seeking to expand the involvement in rowing in the greater Mercer County, N.J., region.

Happy Holidays from PNRA/Mercer Rowing

We wish you and your family a safe, healthy and relaxing holiday season! 

Thank you for your continued support of PNRA and the Mercer Rowing Programs during these challenging times. We look forward to the new year and seeing you on the shores and on the water at Mercer Lake soon!

With the warmest of holiday wishes,

Kris Grudt, PNRA Executive Director

Hilary Gehman, Dir. of Mercer Rowing Programs

Jamie Hamp, Varsity Boys Coach

Sarah Trowbridge, Varsity Girls Coach

Aidan Hennessey, Novice Boys Coach

Jules Howarth, Novice Girls Coach

Jen Whiting, Masters Coach

Arlynn Baer, Outreach and Inclusion Manager

Mercer Junior Rowers Named to 2020-2021 USRowing Scholastic Honor Roll

Mercer Junior Rowers Theodore Schneider and Devon Reid have been named to USRowing’s 2020-2021 Scholastic Honor Role. Schneider, a Pennsbury High School Student is in his third year as a member of the Mercer Junior Rowing Program. Reid, a senior at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School is in her second year with the Mercer Junior Rowing Program.

Four Mercer Junior Rowers received Honorable Mentions on the Scholastic Honor Role:

Charvee Dua, Plainsboro-West Windsor High School South

Arianna Mancuso, Plainsboro-West Windsor High School South

Kyle Rutter, Plainsboro-West Windsor High School South

Arya Sasne, Plainsboro-West Windsor High School South

The Princeton National Rowing Association and Mercer Rowing congratulate these student athletes on their achievements.

For the complete Scholastic Honor Role: https://usrowing.org/news/2020/10/5/news-usrowing-announces-2020-2021-scholastic-honor-roll.aspx

PNRA/Mercer Hires Sarah Trowbridge as Junior Women’s Varsity Head Coach

Sarah Trowbridge, a 6 time national team member and 2012 Olympian, will be the next Mercer Junior Women’s Varsity Head Coach. Trowbridge will replace Matt Carlsen who accepted an Assistant Coach position with the Duke University women’s rowing team.

“I’m very excited to join the Mercer Juniors’ coaching staff and to contribute to such a long standing successful program,” said Trowbridge. “The combination of an excited and passionate group of athletes, an engaged community of families, and the supportive staff, make me thrilled to work with this team!”

Trowbridge has an extensive coaching career spanning the last 15 years which includes collegiate positions with Georgetown University (Lightweight Women’s Assistant Coach), Yale University (Women’s Assistant Coach) and most recently the Head Women’s Coach at the University of San Diego. Trowbridge was the Elite Program Head Coach at Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia as well the coach of the US Women’s Lightweight Double (bronze medal, 2019 World Championships) and US Women’s Double (6th place at the 2016 Rio Olympics, bronze and silver medals respectively at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships). As a member of 6 senior national teams, Trowbridge has won medals in both sculling and sweep at World Championship events.

Mercer Rowing Program Director, Hilary Gehman stated: “I am so pleased to welcome Sarah to the Mercer coaching staff. She is one of the most well respected coaches in the country and we are extremely lucky to have her join the Mercer community. Her competitive success as an athlete and coach are impressive credentials, but her passion for the sport and for developing each athlete to their potential is what makes Sarah truly stand out. She will be a tremendous asset to the Mercer Junior program.”

Trowbridge graduated from the University of Michigan and currently resides in Rocky Hill with her husband, Bryan Volpenhein and their two children.

New Jersey Governor Murphy Declares June 23 Olympic Day

On June 23, 1894, the modern Olympic Games were founded. The International Olympic Day was introduced in 1948 to commemorate this event. It is now celebrated in over 205 countries around the globe. Governor Phil Murphy added New Jersey to the places celebrating the day by declaring June 23, 2020 as Olympic Day for the State of New Jersey.

In his decree, Governor Murphy, recognizes the achievements of the women and men who have trained on Mercer Lake who have represented the United States in the Olympics bringing home medals from every Olympics since 2004. He also recognizes USRowing, the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) and the Caspersen Rowing Center for their roles in preparing the Olympic and National Rowing Team athletes.
Governor Murphy pointed out the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created and the importance of promoting physical health in these times. As the State of New Jersey continues to open up with individual rowing programs to begin this week, the Governor has declared June 23 to promote 24 hours of digital global exercise.

Mercer County has a long history with rowing and our nation’s Rowing Teams. More Olympic Rowing Team Trials have been held in Mercer County than any other place in the United States. This includes the now famous 1936 Olympic Rowing Team Trials when the University of Washington “Boys in the Boat” earning their right to represent the USA at the Berlin Olympics. The 2004 Men’s Gold medal 8+ trained in Mercer County. The 2008, 2012 and 2016 Women’s Gold medal 8+ trained on Mercer Lake. The Caspersen Rowing Center is also playing a key role as the team prepares for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games which are now scheduled for the summer of 2021.

To produce Olympians, it takes a team that goes beyond the athletes that will be at the Games. For those training at the Caspersen Rowing Center, this team includes the local community, especially those who have contributed to the team’s success by opening up their homes, providing employment opportunities and otherwise supported the athletes. This also includes Mercer County and the Mercer County Park Commission. Mercer Lake provides one of the top rowing venues in the country.

PNRA’s mission is to provide an opportunity for athletes of all ages, talents and backgrounds have the opportunity to develop this rowing abilities to their highest potential. For more information on PNRA and our programs, please visit our website at www.rowpnra.org.

A Statement from the PNRA Board of Directors on Racism and Diversity

The currents of racism and inequality in our country run deep. Our organization wants to actively break down constructs that allow that current to flow, especially in sport. Furthermore, as rowers, we know that the only way a boat can move forward against an unfair current is if we all pull together as one team. We know that we have to challenge ourselves and our teammates to do better, to be better. We have to hold ourselves and our team accountable. Only through respecting and indeed celebrating our differences can we truly come together as a team and win the fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms.

The PNRA Board of Directors

Caspersen Rowing Center COVID-19 Update – May 7, 2020

With Executive Order 133, Governor Murphy opened up County Parks for passive recreation, including boating on Mercer Lake.

The Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) working with the Mercer County Park Commission developed the regulations listed below in order to facilitate the use of Mercer Lake by rowers.

To ensure the safe use of Mercer Lake by rowers who may be able to rower under these regulations, PNRA will have safety launches on the Mercer Lake during the following time periods:

Monday-Friday 3:30-6:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 8:30-11:00 a.m.

While there will be safety launches on the water, per Governor Murphy’s order the facilities at the Caspersen Rowing Center, including bathrooms and locker rooms will remain closed. Also there can no coaching or organized practices or racing on the lake.

PNRA has limited outdoor boat rack storage available. The rack storage fees for use of the racks are $25/month if the person is enrolled in a Mercer program, and $50/month if they are not. If you are interested, please contact Kris Grudt (krisgrudt@rowpnra.org).

PNRA is offering virtual training sessions for both Juniors and Masters. For more information please contact Hilary Gehman (hgehman@rowpnra.org).

People utilizing the above training hours are asked to consider making a donation to PNRA to help offset the costs of having the safety launch on the water. PNRA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Regulations for Rowers Using Mercer Lake Under New Jersey Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 133 Opening State and Local Parks

All activities in Mercer County Park, including in and around the Caspersen Rowing Center and Mercer Lake shall follow the restrictions as described in Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 133 and all rules and regulations imposed by Mercer County and/or the Mercer County Park Commission.

Subject to the above, the following governs rowing activities at the Caspersen Rowing Center and Mercer Lake:
1. Until further notice, the building at the Caspersen Rowing Center remains closed to the public and athletes. This includes the bathrooms, locker rooms, workout facilities, boat bays and offices.

2. Rowers are allowed to use the docks provided the following requirements are met:
a. Employees, visitors and rowers should wear cloth face coverings while in settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age. This includes the parking lot and boathouse aprons, the docks and boat storage areas;
b. Employees, visitors and rowers must practice social distancing and stay six feet apart whenever practicable, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners;
c. The parking lot shall be limited to 50% of maximum capacity at the same time;
d. Gatherings of individuals are prohibited;
e. The only boats allowed are singles 1x or pair/doubles (2-/2x). Pair/Doubles can only be rowed when the both parties in the pair/double are an individual’s immediate family member, caretaker, household member or romantic partners. No shared or rented boats or equipment shall be used;
f. The boats and equipment used during rowing and on land must the personal property of the individual(s) using the equipment and must be used exclusively by that individual(s);
g. No more than 4 people are on a rowing boat dock at one time;
h. No organized practice or activities are allowed; and
i. High touch areas are frequently sanitized.

3. A motor launch may be on the lake at the same time as the rowers, provided:
a. The launch is for monitoring, safety and rescue only – NO Coaching;
b. No more than two people can occupy the launch at any time and the occupants need to practice social distancing and wear cloth face coverings;
c. All common areas of the launch are wiped down and sanitized after each use;

Anybody using the docks at the Caspersen Rowing Center or Mercer Lake does so at their own risk and assumes all liability.

Requirements For Rowers at the Caspersen Rowing Center Under Governor Murphy’s Order 133 Opening County Parks for Passive Recreation

New Jersey  Governor Murphy has opened the State and County Parks and all golf courses in New Jersey beginning tomorrow, May 2, morning. https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-133.pdf

Under this order the following regulations have been established for rowing activities on Mercer Lake:

All activities in Mercer County Park, including in and around the Caspersen Rowing Center and Mercer Lake shall follow the restrictions as described in Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 133 and all rules and regulations imposed by Mercer County and/or the Mercer County Park Commission.

Subject to the above, the following governs rowing activities at the Caspersen Rowing Center and Mercer Lake:

1. Until further notice, the building at the Caspersen Rowing Center remains closed to the public and athletes. This includes the bathrooms, locker rooms, workout facilities, boat bays and offices.

2. Rowers are allowed to use the docks provided the following requirements are met:
     a. Employees, visitors and rowers should wear cloth face coverings while in settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age. This includes the parking lot and boathouse aprons, the docks and boat storage areas;
     b. Employees, visitors and rowers must practice social distancing and stay six feet apart whenever practicable, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners;
     c. The parking lot shall be limited to 50% of maximum capacity at the same time;
     d. Gatherings of individuals are prohibited;
     e. The only boats allowed are singles 1x or pair/doubles (2-/2x). Pair/Doubles can only be rowed when the both parties in the pair/double are an individual’s immediate family member, caretaker, household member or romantic partners. No shared or rented boats or equipment shall be used;
     f. The boats and equipment used during rowing and on land must the personal property of the individual(s) using the equipment and must be used exclusively by that individual(s);
    g. No more than 4 people are on a rowing boat dock at one time;
    h. No organized practice or activities are allowed; and
     i. High touch areas are frequently sanitized.

3. A motor launch may be on the lake at the same time as the rowers, provided:
     a. The launch is for monitoring, safety and rescue only – NO Coaching;
     b. No more than two people can occupy the launch at any time and the occupants need to practice social distancing and wear cloth face coverings; and
     c. All common areas of the launch are wiped down and sanitized after each use.

Anybody using the docks at the Caspersen Rowing Center or Mercer Lake does so at their own risk and assumes all liability.

It is important for all to remember that failure to follow Governor Murphy’s Order and these regulations can lead to the Park and Lake being closed again.

If you have questions about the above regulations, please contact Kristopher Grudt at krisgrudt@rowpnra.org or 609-977-1094.

Mercer Lake Sprints Takes To the Virtual World

On April 18-19 PNRA was scheduled to host the 16th Mercer Lake Sprints in Mercer County Park. However, like it has affected many parts of our lives, the COVID-19 pandemic intervened. In order to still provide an event for our athletes, PNRA changed the event to the Virtual Mercer Lake Sprints. 15 teams ranging from Boston, MA, to Eugene, OR, participated in the virtual event with included events for rowing machines and also running events. The following is a report on the event from the Mercer Junior Novice Women’s perspective as prepared by Novice Women’s Coach Julia Howarth.

Mercer Junior Novice Women’s Coach Julia Howarth

The Mercer Lake Sprints Regatta is a wonderful weekend of racing and despite the restrictions and changes we are currently experiencing, our team was determined to ensure the now virtual regatta was just as competitive and exciting as previous years. The novice girls team really stepped up to the challenge and did an incredible job staying focused in their preparation and on race day!

Our preparation for the race included a benchmark test day, one week prior. Armed with our new benchmarks (and some new PR’s!), we set our sights on the weekend of April 18th and 19th. Leading up to it, we motivated and encouraged each other to continue to train over Zoom. We tapered off the week leading up to the race and the rowers had a virtual team bonding Treasure Hunt the night before the race. The coxes had a Zoom session with Varsity Cox, Audrey, to go over race day coxing. On the morning of both race days we gathered together as a team, like we would on any race day, however this time it was on Zoom. We stretched, went through our usual warm up and wished each other good luck. The coxes broke off into meeting rooms on Zoom with the athletes who have access to an erg and ran through a self pre-written warmup. As a coach, it was incredible to see every athlete on the team be involved and connected despite the distance there is between us all!

The team raced hard and pushed themselves to new PR’s from both the runners and erg-ers! Overall, our team 3K average dropped by over a minute and 30 seconds. Our Novice Second Four who won their event, also beat the averages of the two non-Mercer boats entered into the Novice Four event, and would have come in second if we were able to enter multiple boats into an event!

It was fantastic to have both other Mercer athletes and athletes from clubs in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, and Oregon participate in the virtual regatta. It was really motivating for the athletes to be virtually racing others and to be able to look forward to having the results posted at the end of the weekend. Overall, although it wasn’t rowing on the water of Mercer Lake, enjoying the outdoors and each other’s company it was a very successful weekend of racing! The Mercer Lake Sprints Regatta is a wonderful weekend of racing and despite the restrictions and changes we are currently experiencing, our team was determined to ensure the now virtual regatta was just as competitive and exciting as previous years. The novice girls team really stepped up to the challenge and did an incredible job staying focused in their preparation and on race day!