Volume 75 | January 2024

Caspersen Rowing Center Happenings
Visit our Website at www.rowpnra.org
Providing a venue where athletes of all ages, talents and backgrounds have the opportunity to develop their rowing ability to their highest potential.

Boys in the Boat Movie Showing

The Princeton National Rowing Association recently organized a group movie screening of the film The Boys in the Boat at the Princeton Garden Theatre on Sunday, January 7. In attendance at the sold out theater were members of the Mercer Junior Rowing Club and their families, Mercer adult rowers, as well as Mercer coaches.

Set against a backdrop of the Great Depression, the film chronicles the remarkable journey of the University of Washington’s rowing team. From humble beginnings during tough economic times to their triumph in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, it is a captivating historic tale of sportsmanship and determination.

While the film took some liberties with the story of the 1936 Washington Crew, our local rowers know that in Princeton they are walking in the footsteps of this great crew. In 1936, the Olympic Trials were held in Princeton on Lake Carnegie with the Boys staying at the Princeton Inn and walking the streets of the town. The Poughkeepsie Regatta depicted in the film is now better known by its official name, the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships (IRA Regatta), and will be held on Lake Mercer in June 2024.

In the spirit of the film's themes, the rowers left the cinema inspired, ready to face their own challenges on the water, and grateful for the opportunity to come together as a community.

The Ultimate Team Sport

from Tom Weil, Rowing Historian

The Boys in the Boat demonstrates, but does not adequately or often enough state, the following truth about rowing:

Rowing is a team sport.

But it is not a game.

Unlike baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, or other team sports, it does not have “players” making a series of “plays”.

Team rowing is, at its heart, simply the ultimate hard work of individual athletes striving to simultaneously execute a nuanced and complicated action in an extremely coordinated fashion that is virtually identical to the same act being carried out by each other athlete in the boat over 200 times in a row (over the standard Olympic distance) without any coaching or breaks, better than its opponents can do exactly the same thing.

No member of the team can win the race for everyone else.

Any member of the team can lose the race for everyone else.

That’s it.

Rowing is basically simultaneously identical hard work.

Rowing is the ultimate team sport.

Concept2 Virtual Team Challenge

Do you need motivation to keep that New Year's Resolution going?

Are you working out on a Concept2 machine (RowErg, BikeErg or SkiErg)? Join the PNRA/Mercer team for the Concept2 January Virtual Team Challenge.

You must have a Concept2 logbook and join the PNRA/Mercer team by January 16.

Email Hilary with questions!

8th Annual Rowing Cares - Mercer Indoor Challenge:

March 2nd at The Peddie School

(formerly the Indoor Row for the Cure)

Mark your calendars! PNRA/Mercer will host the 8th annual Mercer Rowing Cares Indoor Regatta (formerly the Indoor Row for the Cure) on March 2nd, 2024.

The event will take place at the Peddie School in the Ian H. Graham '50 Athletic Center. Register HERE for in person or virtual competition.

Proceeds from the event will go to the YWCA Princeton’s Breast Cancer Resource Center and Cancer Research Institute to further cancer research across the country.

Can't make it to the event? Donate Here!

USRowing U19 Talent ID Camp

February 11th @ Caspersen

More information and registration available at usrowing.org

Erg Sales Now Available

We are now accepting reservations for erg sales for this spring. All units are sold AS IS and will be available in late March or early April 2024. All machines are 2.5-3.5 years old and are the black RowErg/Model D with a PM5 monitor and are $725. Any minor maintenance or small parts replacement will be covered by PNRA. Please email Jamie at jhamp@rowpnra.org to ensure your place is reserved! Please let us know if you have any questions!

Mercer Spotlight

Coach Jackie Armetta

Jackie (on left) with Peri Mishkin '18 at the Columbia/Northeastern scrimmage

Jackie Armetta was co-Captain of the Mercer Varsity Girls team in the 2018-2019 season. This past fall, she returned to Mercer as an Assistant Coach with the Varsity Girls. We caught up with Jackie to ask her more about her rowing career.

How did you first get involved in rowing?

I began rowing in the Fall of 2014 after doing a Learn to Row camp at LaSalle College High School where my two older brothers were students and camp counselors at the time. I had so much fun at that camp, that I decided I had to row for a club. 

What teams/clubs have you rowed for throughout your rowing career?

I began my rowing career in 2014 at Swan Creek Rowing club in Lambertville, New Jersey. While Swan Creek created an excellent foundation for rowing, I quickly realized I wanted to be a part of a more competitive team and joined Mercer in the spring of 2015. In 2019 I began college and the next phase of my rowing career began. I attended Barnard College and rowed on the Columbia Women’s Rowing team. 

What are some of your most memorable rowing moments?

One of my most memorable rowing experiences was winning the women’s U19 8+ category at Canadian Henley in 2019. It was my last race as a Mercer rower and the experience of winning with some of my closest friends is unforgettable. 

Do you have a favorite workout? Least favorite workout? 

My favorite rowing workout was 4x2k with increasing rate throughout. This workout was a staple at Columbia, and I found it to be both challenging and rewarding. I always felt confident at the start line of a race knowing the mileage we accomplished with this workout alone. 

My least favorite rowing workout was 20x 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off. This workout was dubbed “20 minutes of fun,” but in my opinion was anything but fun. 

What is it like to come back to Mercer and coach?

As a Mercer athlete, I had older generations coaching me including Rena White ’15, Caroline Galati ‘17, and Geena Fram ’15. I always found that these older generations had a niche understanding and wisdom being that they were once in my shoes. I enjoy being a mentor for the new generation of Mercer athletes in the same ways I was once mentored. After being an athlete for 9 years, transitioning to a coach has been a surreal experience but making that transition at Mercer has made it both enjoyable and easy. 

MJRC Open House!

February 24th @ Caspersen

Interested in learning more about rowing for your high schooler? Come to the Caspersen Rowing Center to meet the coaches, get some basic instruction on the "erg" machine and talk to some current Mercer Junior Rowers.

Saturday, Feb 24 12:30 - 2:30pm

Caspersen Rowing Center

1 South Post Rd

West Windsor, NJ

Please rsvp to Hilary

MJRC & Summer Camp Registrations

Registration for the spring season of the Mercer competitive program is available beginning Monday, January 15. Register HERE for the Varsity or Novice competitive spring season.

The Learn to Row Summer camp registration is available on Saturday, January 13! Spots fill up quickly, so don't wait to register!

The summer camps are open to (rising) 7-12 graders and teach the fundamentals of rowing in a fun learning environment.

Session I

June 17-21, 2024 Level 1

Session II

June 24-28, 2024 Level 1 and 2

Session III

July 8-12, 2024 Level 1 and 2

Session IV

July 15-19, 2024 Level 1 and 2

Session V

July 22-26, 2024 Level 2

Learn more and register HERE.

Save the Date

Boating Safety Class - March 17

Are you a Mercer parent/fan who wants the best spectating experience for the home races on Lake Mercer?

Are you hoping to apply to be a Head Coach at the Mercer Summer Learn to Row Camps?

Then you'll need your New Jersey Boater's Safety certificate!

There will be a Boater's Safety course offered at the Caspersen Rowing Center on March 17 from 10:30am - 6:30pm.

Email Hilary to get more information and put your name on the list!

We're all in this together!!

Your support today will make a difference.

Click here to donate now.

Thank you.

Mercer Team gear is still available - hats, scarves, umbrellas, shirts . . .

Show your Mercer Spirit!

Contact Hilary Gehman

PNRA is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit corporation. We are grateful to all who support our mission and could not do it without you! We gladly accept gifts of appreciated stock and corporate matching gifts. Have questions? Contact Kris at krisgrudt@rowPNRA.org

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