While most Oklahoma sports fanatics are tailgating and rooting for their favorite high school football teams this Fall, Tulsa Rowing Club Juniors (TRCJ) will proudly represent our great city and state for the 9th year at the world’s largest 2-day rowing event. The Charles River in Boston is where over 300,000 spectators will gather to watch more than 9,000 athletes from around the world compete at the 48th Head of the Charles (HOCR) on October 20-21, 2012.
Rowing teams, or ‘crew’, must place in the top 50% to receive a guaranteed entry to the prestigious HOCR for the next year. Because TRCJ Head Coach Neil Bergenroth attended and rowed for Boston University, taking athletes to participate at the HOCR serves as a significant ‘homecoming‘ experience. The daunting 3.2-mile course requires maneuvering 7 bridges, wickedly sharp corners and many other rowing shells crowded on the Charles River.
The 2012 HOCR line-up includes the following Tulsa athletes from five different high schools.
Ronnie Baker (Bixby)
Mason Fuller (Cascia Hall)
Katie Grantham- Coxswain (Booker T. Washington)
David Maxwell (Edison)
Alex Mears (Cascia Hall)
Riley Price (Cascia Hall)
Evan Sack (Booker T. Washington)
Jonah Seely (Booker T. Washington)
Anthony Vitali (Cascia Hall)
John Carstens – Alternate (Holland Hall)
TRJC Making History in 2013
In July of 2013, Tulsa Rowing Club Juniors will make history as the first high school crew from Oklahoma to participate on the international stage at the Henley Royal Regatta in the United Kingdom. This regatta started in 1939 and is a longstanding tradition in international rowing.
Tulsa Rowing – The Basics, Challenges and Potential
Since 2002, Tulsans increasingly glimpse rowers gliding down the waters of the Arkansas River’s Zinc Lake in a variety of skulls (boats). Tulsa’s river often looks like a scene from an Ivy League School recruiting video because of TRCJ’s Head Coach Neil Bergenroth who has ‘grown’ the program from 10 to more than 60 athletes.
TRCJ consists of male and female athletes who participate in 5-6 days a week of grueling on and off-water training and adhere to specific nutrition habits during the 9-month rowing season. This rigorous conditioning is an imperative commitment for athletes to achieve the superior physical shape that is necessary to maintain perfect form, speed and precision as they compete against other ‘crew’ across the United States.
Over $500,000 worth of rowing equipment owed by the club resides at the Tulsa Rowing Club Boathouse, a modest facility where the program operates from limited resources compared to such rowing clubs as Oklahoma City. “Limited resources” for Tulsa Rowing Club Juniors refers to their budget as well as the inconsistent availability of water in Zink Lake. Thus, these high school athletes, coaching staff and families must frequently travel to the Port of Catoosa in order to conduct valuable training on the water.
Supporting Tulsa youth via such programs as the growing sport of rowing means supporting Tulsa’s future. Rowing is a life-long activity that contributes to the overall health of the community. Tulsans need only to look down the turnpike to Oklahoma City where support of this growing sport and river development proves significantly lucrative. Oklahoma City’s ongoing endorsement of rowing translates into a ‘healthier’ community in terms of millions of dollars in annual revenue and the invaluable investment in its youth and future.
Make Dreams Come True: Help TRCJ get to the U.K.
TRCJ is working equally hard to raise funds so it can proudly represent Tulsa in the United Kingdom and compete at the Henley Royal Regatta.
To support TRC Juniors fundraising efforts, send checks payable to:
“Tulsa Rowing Club Juniors (TRCJ)”
Address: Debbie Vinyard, Treasurer, 1006 West Taft St. #360 Sapulpa, OK 74066