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Great Miami Rowing Center in the News

GMRC Hires New Head Coach


Great Miami Rowing Center
Kristen Riekert, Board Co-President, 513-290-7408


JANUARY 21, 2021, HAMILTON, OH – The Great Miami Rowing Center (GMRC) has announced Marc Oria has been hired as head coach for the Great Miami Crew youth race team. Oria is originally from Barcelona, Spain, where he grew up rowing with the Reial Club Mari[m de Barcelona club, earning posi[ons on the Catalunya and Spanish Na[onal Teams as a rower, and later coaching athletes to compete on those teams and beyond, including finalists at the Olympic Games in Brazil.

Oria also just received USRowing Level 3 coaching cer[fica[on, which was developed to create knowledgeable, independent-thinking coaches who are equipped with the vision to lead programs at every level from youth to the na[onal team, as well as to run mul[purpose programs that include outreach, adap[ve, youth and masters athletes. According to USRowing, the course produces coaches with a wide range of knowledge, curiosity and intellect who will become future mentors and coaching educators.

“We could not be happier with Marc’s energy and enthusiasm and his level of exper[se for spearheading our program and helping us grow to our full poten[al,” said Kristen Riekert, co- president of GMRC. “We have nine high schools with roughly 15,000 students within a 12-mile radius of Hamilton, so we know we have tremendous opportunity.”

“The team, parents, and board have all been very welcoming of me,” said Oria. “I’m really looking forward to gefng to know the athletes and to understand their goals as both a team and individuals so we can build a successful program.”

The Great Miami Rowing Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2008 to offer on-water rowing programming for fitness, recrea[on and compe[[on, including both youth and adult levels. During the pandemic, the team adopted safety protocols that follow both USRowing and State of Ohio guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is an[cipated that the team will par[cipate in compe[[ve regaias and/or scrimmages this spring as opportunity allows.

Despite some setbacks from the pandemic and a recent thek of a johnboat from its fenced in boatyard in Hamilton, the team con[nues to have posi[ve outlook and tremendous community support. “We are so grateful for the Hamilton residents and businesses who con[nue to support our club,” said co-president Melissa Sancrant. “When we posted on social media about our stolen boat, the community came together and donated money to help us repair the fence and replace the boat. Now with Marc coming on board, we feel some strong momentum heading into the spring compe[[ve season.”

Spring registra[on is now open with programming available for youth and adult athletes. [anything else here? Fundraisers?] To register for rowing programming or learn more, go to

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About Great Miami Rowing Center

The Great Miami Rowing Center (GMRC) is a 501(c)3 devoted to suppor[ng recrea[onal use of the Great Miami River in Hamilton through high quality rowing programming, infrastructure development and scholarship funding. By using the sport of rowing as a cornerstone, GMRC encourages use of the river for daily sport, yearly events and all types of recrea[on. GMRC and its youth and masters race teams – Great Miami Crew – are a collabora[ve community devoted to the growth and development of athletes of all ages and abili[es, who want to safely use the river for compe[[on, fitness, and recrea[on. More informa[on is available at or on social media plaoorms Facebook, Twiier, and Instagram.

Beach Sprints National Team Trials

JUNE 18, 2021, SARASOTA, Fla. – USRowing will be hosting its first-ever Beach Sprints National Team Trials on Saturday at South Lido Key Beach.
Twenty-eight crews are entered across eight events, four open and four junior, with the event winners earning the right to race at the World Rowing Beach Sprints Finals scheduled to take place September 24-26 in Oeiras, Portugal.
Each event opens with a time trial, followed by a bracket-style, head-to-head racing format.
Great Miami Rowing Center out of Hamilton, Ohio, has the most entries with seven, while The Steward's Foundation out of Tampa has six entries.
In the men's single, six scullers are entered in the event including local product Travis Taaffe, who rowed for Sarasota Crew in high school before heading to Harvard University. He now rows for Gainesville Area Rowing as he attends law school at the University of Florida. Great Miami's Christopher Bak also is entered in the event. It's one of three events in which Bak is competing.
Newport Aquatic Center's Hillary Saeger, a seven-time senior national team member, is one of four rowers entered in the women's single. Saeger has three world championship medals on her flat-water resume and most recently represented the U.S. at the 2018 World Rowing Championships. Like her teammate Bak, Great Miami's Cassidy Norton also is competing in three events on Saturday including the women's single.
Bak and Norton will row together as one of the six crews entered in the mixed double sculls. The duo also will race in the mixed quadruple sculls with Kory Rogers and Brooke Downes, who are also tripling up in racing this weekend. The other mixed quad includes six-time national team member Christine Cavallo from Windermere, Fla. Cavallo has represented the U.S. on junior, under 23 and senior national teams and is trying to add the Beach Sprints National Team to her resume.
In the junior events, four scullers are entered in the junior men's single including three from The Steward's Foundation. Two boats are entered in the junior women's single, junior men's double and junior mixed double.
Racing is slated to start on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with the singles, followed by the quads and then the doubles. The race schedule can be found hereClick here for photos from Friday's practice.

first-ever beach sprints national team trials selects eight boats for Portugal

JUNE 19, 2021,  SARASOTA, Fla. – USRowing selected eight crews to represent the U.S. at the 2021 World Rowing Beach Sprints Finals today at the first-ever Beach Sprints National Team Trials on South Lido Key Beach.
The winners earned the right to race at the World Rowing Beach Sprints Finals scheduled to take place September 24-26 in Oeiras, Portugal.
With four open events and four junior events on the schedule, The Stewards Foundation's Britt Wotovich became the first official team member by winning the final of the junior women's single sculls in a 3:40.8. Each event opened with a time trial, before moving to a bracket-style, head-to-head racing format. Wotovich finished second in the time trial of the junior single but was able to handle the conditions better in the final, coming out on top by over a minute.
Wotovich secured a second spot on the team with a win in the junior mixed double sculls. She teamed up with Brian O'Leary, who won the junior men's single sculls, to win the junior mixed double by a little over five seconds in a 3:17.0 ahead of Great Miami Rowing Club's Annalie Duncomb and Evan Mead.
"It was a lot of racing today, but it was all worthwhile," Wotovich said. "The waves were a little bit large compared to what we are normally used to, which is flat-water rowing, but we managed them well."
In his final of the junior men's single, O'Leary clocked a 3:09.5 for an 18-second victory over The Steward Foundation's Michael Garcia.
"I'm really excited for it," O'Leary said. "It's something I've never done. I've never really excelled in any sports like I have in rowing. I've just started, and I've taken off with it. I really love it, and I want to do it for a long time. I'm excited to go to Portugal."
Great Miami Rowing Club swept the two open single events. On the women's side, Cassidy Norton finished second in the time trial behind Newport Aquatic Center's Hillary Saeger, a seven-time senior national team member in flat-water rowing. Norton then recorded a one-second victory in her semifinal over Oklahoma City High Performance Center's Elizabeth Hinley, before coming back to win the final over OKC HPC's Brooke Downes by just under two seconds in a 3:40.4.
For Norton, it was a bit of a surprise to earn a spot in the single in Portugal, having just finished high school and just raced at the Youth National Championships last weekend in Sarasota.
"This was my first coastal competition, and this was also my first time trying out for anything national or international, so I didn't really expect to get a place (on the team) my first time," Norton said. "I was thinking maybe in the coming years or maybe with a team member or in the quad, but I ended up here, which is really exciting.
"My first thoughts were like, 'Oh my God, that didn't just happen.' I was kind of in disbelief a little bit. I was really thankful that I was given this opportunity."
Great Miami's Christopher Bak won the final of the open men's single sculls, defeating Great Miami teammate Michael Treblicock in the final. Bak finished third in the time trial before defeating Pensacola Coastal's Marc Rounsaville in the heat, top seed Kory Rogers in the semifinal and then Treblicock.
Bak clocked a 2:58.6, seven seconds ahead of Treblicock, to win the final.
"It's been something since 2012 when I first went to the sport of rowing that I've been striving for – to make Team USA," Bak said. "After countless tries, it feels really good to be on the team, and I'm welcoming it with open arms."
In the open mixed quadruple sculls, the New Orleans composite crew of coxswain Bennett Rossell, John OlbrysChristine CavalloHannah Huppi and John Huppi won the final in a 2:32.7, 2.5 seconds ahead of the Great Miami boat that included Rogers, Downes, Norton and Bak. The Great Miami boat won the time trial, but the New Orleans composite boat was able to run a cleaner race in the final to earn the victory.
"It's super cool, so different from any type of rowing that we've ever done before," Olbrys said. "The boat's so much heavier, the chop is what you don't want, but that's what we're here for. It's so strange but so cool at the same time."
For Cavallo, the victory made her a seven-time national team member, having already represented the U.S. on the junior, under 23 and senior national teams in flat-water rowing.
"It's so different," Cavallo said. "My biggest takeaway from the second I got in the boat was realizing how much time I've spent in sprint racing on a 2,000-meter course with a very, very clear time standard to hit, and here, I'm sure there is a time standard somewhere, but it changes by the shoreline, by the wave conditions, by the wind conditions, whether or not you hit the wave.
"I went into it like the time trial means nothing because that wave is not going to be here ever again, so all of those variables are just managing the externalities better than you otherwise could. That's where it is so different and cool."
As with many of today's competitors, Rogers and Hinley were racing multiple boat categories throughout the day and they finally punched their ticket to Portugal with a victory in the last race of the day – the open mixed double sculls.
The duo posted the fastest time in the time trial, bested Newport Aquatic Center in the semifinal, and then won the final over Downes and Treblicock by over 20 seconds.
"With everything being so brand new for all of us, it's really cool to be the first ever," Hinley said. "To have our names be the ones digging the ground for us is really exciting. We're all ecstatic and excited to see where it goes from here, especially for America because it's such a new sport, so we'll see where it goes."
In the final of the junior men's double sculls, Rose City Rowing Club's Aidan Ehrismann and Joshua Li won the final in a 3:05.3. The race was tight through the turn, but Rose City was able to pull it out over the back half of the race.
"It's definitely surreal," Ehrismann said about making the team. "Even with nationals being nationals, it didn't click in my brain how big it was and then this is like a whole other level. No words."
For most, this weekend's racing was their first experience with Beach Sprints racing and a great camaraderie was formed amongst all the athletes, especially the juniors.
"A lot of the coastal rowers who are juniors here have little experience because costal rowing is just a very new thing for juniors," Li said. "We're all in the same boat, we're all on the same level. It's just great getting to know each other and make sure that everyone is comfortable and make sure everyone feels like we're not here by ourselves."
For complete results from today's racing, click here.

Contact Us: Great Miami Rowing Center

PO Box 1035 Hamilton OH 45012

Phone: (513) 857-2494