Princeton National Rowing Association Newsletter

Winter 2016

PNRA is dedicated to providing a world class rowing facility and venue where people of all ages and skill levels, novice to elite, can grow and excel in the sport of rowing.  This newsletter is an effort to keep you up to date on the happenings at the Caspersen Rowing Center. Thank you for being a part of the PNRA family. 

Welcome to the Winter Issue of the PNRA Newsletter. While the boathouse is re-emerging from the blanket of snow that fell this morning, we are busy preparing for what will be one of the most exciting years in our organization's history.
Our Juniors are hard at work training in preparation for the 2016 campaign. They are seeking to build on the success of last year at regattas such as our own Mercer Lake Sprints, Youth Nationals and the Canadian Royal Henley Regatta. Our high school seniors are also making commitments to continue their academic and rowing careers in college. They are an amazing group of juniors both on and off the water. I hope that you will take a moment to read the articles about what these impressive juniors up to.
With just 6 months remaining to the start of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the National Team is currently training in Chula Vista, CA. They will return to the Caspersen Rowing Center at the beginning of April to make their final push to the Rio Games.  Everyone one of the women who trained at the Caspersen Rowing Center and raced in a 2015 World Championship brought home a medal - including both the Senior and U23 teams. They are seeking to build on this success in in Rio.  I hope that you will join me in giving your support to these amazing athletes.
Our Masters program is growing. Not only do we have our competitive Masters Rowing program but this winter we have a cardio-erg fitness program. This summer we will again offer one of the areas only Masters Learn To Scull classes.
In 2016, National Champions will be crowned, Olympians and Paralympians will be made and thousands of athletes will have a chance to test themselves on our Mercer Lake Rowing Course. Last year we had over 15,000 seats rowed in competition and our events contributed over $10 million to the area economy. Our events are something to see and to be a part of.  With the support of Mercer County, PNRA's regattas have built a reputation for being some of the premiere rowing events in the nation. This is because we have the best volunteer and staff supporting these events. I hope that you will join us in continuing this tradition.
This year our PNRA rowing family will also be taking significant steps forward in making the Caspersen Rowing Center the preeminent rowing facility in the country. The ground work has been laid for the expansion of the Caspersen Rowing Center. It is now time to take the next steps. Over the next few months we will be asking for your input in this process. The first opportunity will be in conjunction with the Mercer Junior Parents meetings in March. We will also be scheduling additional meetings and information sessions which will be posted on the website.
I am excited about the year to come and I look forward to sharing our excitement with you at the Caspersen Rowing Center.
Kris Grudt,  PNRA Executive Director 
In This Issue
PNRA/Mercer Ergathon
Mercer's Class of 2016
PNRA/Mercer New Events Manager
Mercer's Class of 2016
Mercer's Class of 2016
USA W8+ A Team to Watch
Calendar of Events
News and Notes
Interested in Volunteering?
Register for Spring!

PNRA/ Mercer Ergathon!


Saturday March 12, 2016

11AM - 3PM

 Quakerbridge Mall

What is the Mercer Rowing Ergathon?

All Mercer Rowers (Varsity, Novice & Masters) will be divided into two teams that will compete in a head to head, relay erg competition to see which team will be the first to row 50,000 meters.


Why are we doing the Mercer Ergathon?

1. To raise interest in our sport and in our programs;

2. To raise money to buy new equipment: a new 8+, new oars,

     new doubles and pairs;

3. To build team work by having the Novice, Varsity and 

     Masters all pull together for a single goal!.


Please contribute to Mercer Rowing's Fundraising Efforts!

Come out and support Mercer!


For more information click here


 Caspersen Rowing Center after Winter Storm Jonas  - More pictures are available on PNRA's FaceBook page.
Have You Seen the Green?

green sign announcing a public hearing is posted in the parking lot near the Caspersen Rowing Center.  The sign announces the final step in receiving the approval of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to expand the Caspersen Rowing Center.  This expansion will provide critically needed space for our programs: Increased erg space; locker rooms and storage for school bags and back packs; indoor space for the big and small boats currently on racks behind the building; an indoor rowing tank; and on site physiotherapy space.   The increased space will allow us to expand our programs so we do not have to limit the number of athletes during the winter.  Access to this winter training can aid in the college recruitment process.

On Wednesday, February 24, 7:00pm, the NJDEP will hold a public hearing at the Boathouse at Mercer Lake (the former Marina building) to receive comments from the public on our project.  We invite you to represent the Mercer Rowing Family at this hearing and make your support of the project known.

PNRA/Mercer Welcomes New Events Manager!
Please welcome Hilary Gehman to the PNRA staff!  In this position, Ms. Gehman will coordinate PNRA's regattas, summer camps and corporate rowing events.
A two time Olympian, Ms. Gehman was also a successful collegiate coach, most recently leading the Cornell Women's program to a silver medal finish at the Ivy League Championship in 2011.  Hilary began her rowing career at Colby College before moving to Portland, OR where she both rowed for the Station L Rowing Club and Coached for Lewis and Clark College.  She made the US National Team in 1999 and competed in the quadruple sculls in both the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics.  While a member of the National Team, Hilary served as the Novice Women's Coach at Georgetown University.  In 2004 she moved to Cornell University first as an assistant coach before taking the helm as Head Women's Coach in 2007.
For more details click here 
Mercer Juniors Travel to Augusta, Georgia for Winter Training
In late December, 36 Mercer Juniors traveled to Augusta, Georgia. Significant rainfall caused the current on the Savannah River to be very strong and water levels were very high but our athletes were up to the challenge!   We were able to get in some great training and have some fun as well! In addition to rowing, the Juniors also went bowling and were able to do some cross training, taking in both a spin cycling and a yoga class. Both coaches Ochal and Baranoski thought the trip was a success and a great way to get some valuable on-water training time in the winter!

For more details about the trip read the Day 1Day 2, and Day 3 blog posts!

Mercer's Class of 2016
As the Spring season draws closer, our seniors have begun to make their final decisions for colleges! Here is a current list of athletes and the schools they have chosen to attend:
  • Kevin Borup - Columbia University
  • Caitlin Cleary - Brown University
  • Jason Fluerial - Cornell University
  • Kate Hickey - Stanford University
  • Elieen Hu - Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
  • Colleen Gillis - University of Miami
  • Elise Gorberg - Boston University
  • Jenna Kugel - The United States Coast Guard Academy
  • Kathryn Miller - University of Pennsylvania
  • Rachel Mumau - Clemson University
  • Glorianna Perrotte - University of Miami
  • John Tanguay - Columbia University
US Women's 8+ is One of the Teams to Watch in Rio
After winning their 10th straight Wolrd CHampionship in 2015, Sports Illustrated named the US Women's 8+ as one of the teams to watch at the 2016 Rio Olympics.  Sports Illustrated's Christopher Chavez interviewed rower Meghan Musnicki and coxswain (and MJRC Novice Coach) Katelin Snyder about their goals in for the upcoming season and Olympics.

Calendar of Events

  • February 21: Peddie Erg Challenge
  • February 24: Caspersen Expansion Public Hearing
  • February 28: Crash Bs Indoor Rowing Sprints
  • March 7: First day of Varsity Practice
  • March 12: Varsity Parent Meeting - 9am at the Boathouse
  • March 12: Ergathon - 11am at Quakerbridge Mall
  • March 19: Novice Parent Meeting - 9am at the Boathouse
  • April 2:  CRI, Gonzaga Varsity Tri Meet
  • April 6 & 7: Para Olympic Trials
  • April 9 & 10 - Knect Cup (Collegiate)
  • April 16 & 17: Mercer Lake Sprints Regatta (Varsity and Novice)
  • April 23 & 24 - Saratoga Invitational - Saratoga, NY (Varsity)
  • May 7 & 8 - Mid-Atlantic Regionals (Varsity and Novice)
  • May 14: MAPL Championship Regatta (Mercer Novices)
  • May 15: MAAC  Championships (Collegiate)
  • June 2 - 5: IRA Championship Regatta (Collegiate)
  • June 9 - 12 - Youth Nationals (Select Varsity Crews)


For a complete listing of events planned for the Caspersen Boathouse, please go to the Calendar at the PNRA website.


The Princeton National Rowing Association, a 501c3 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 greater Mercer County area through community based programs.  PNRA runs the Mercer Junior Rowing Program which provides rowing opportunities for the youth from over 30 Mercer County area high schools. PNRA also runs the Mercer Masters program, giving adults the opportunity to participate in rowing, from learn to row through a competitive team.  The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as The College of New Jersey, the Hun, Lawrenceville and Peddie School's rowing Teams.




Your gift is tax deductible!
For more information contact Kris Grudt 

What's New?

PNRA  Named US Rowing Club of the Year

PNRA/Mercer was voted as the US Rowing Club of the Year for the second time in 5 years! The success of our rowing programs and regattas contributed greatly to the award.  

Among the reasons cited In bestowing the award on PNRA/Mercer is the performance of  the Mercer Juniors: the Varsity finishing 2nd in the Women's 8+, 3rd in the Women's Lightweight 8+ and 11th in the Men's 8+ at USRowing Youth Nationals;  nine Canadian
Henley golds; and a 3rd and 7th place finish in the Youth Women's and Men's events, respectively, at the 2015 Head of the Charles!  Our regattas at Mercer Lake have been called among the best in the country with over 15,000 seats  rowed in PNRA's regattas during 2015.  

THANK YOU to all the rowers, parents, coaches, volunteers and everyone else who made PNRA/Mercer such an outstanding place this past year!

Mercer Teams Continue Winter Training
Throughout the winter months all programs have been putting in a lot of meters on the erg! January was Concept 2's Virtual Team Challenge month. PNRA/Mercer finished 20th out of 461 teams in the world! Internally, the varsity girls program racked up the most meters and freshman Jack Gallagher finished 1st with 433,293 meters!
Adult Cardio Erg 
Looking for a way to get back into shape?  Join PNRA/Mercer's adult cardio erg class Monday, Wednesday and Fridays 8am - 9:30am. No experience necessary! For more information on the Masters Programs please contact Susan Voorhees or visit the Masters Blog 
Save the Date!
Among rowers and coaches, PNRA's regattas are at the top of the list.  The number one reason for this is our amazing group of volunteers. This upcoming spring season will be one of PNRA's busiest. Please save the dates for the following regattas where we will need the most help!

Mercer Lake Sprints
April 16th - 17th

Mid Atlantic Regionals
May 7th - 8th

MAAC/CAA Regatta
May 15th

IRA Championships
June 2nd - June 5th

US Rowing Youth Nationals
June 9th - June 12
Interested in volunteering?
Registration Links
Registration is now up for spring season and novice camps! Follow the links below to sign up!

Support PNRA with your Amazon purchase!

Are you planning to buy that special someone  a Valentines gift on Amazon?  Did you know you can make that person's day and support PNRA at the same time?  Use Amazon Smile  and  0.5% of qualified purchases will be donated to PNRA.
Amazon Smile is an easy way to contribute to your favorite charity.  Name the Princeton National Rowing Association as your charity and then shop on Amazon as normal.

Its fast, easy and PNRA will benefit!

In the the PNRA Store
Olympic Training Site Merchandise!
Items can be found online and in the PNRA office. 
Nike Dryfit Olympic Training Center Top
Quick Links
Our Sponsors


Sponsor PNRA, our Programs and Regattas! Get valuable exposure to our rowing community.  We are now signing up sponsors for 2016.  If you or your company are interested in in our sponsorship benefits contact Kris Grudt at 


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