Varsity Rowing Team
For midshipmen interested in competitive rowing, the Kings Point Varsity Crew offers a challenging program of head races and sprint competition. Novice, lightweight, heavyweight and women’s boats compete at such events as the Head of the Charles and the Dad Vail National Championships
Derek Hartwick, Head Rowing Coach, led his team to many regattas during their racing season. The 2019 spring racing season brought our KP teams to 9 events, while the fall season added more events.
One of the more famous rowing regattas is the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. This regatta was first held on October 16, 1965 and holds the title of the world's largest two-day rowing event. Raced on the Charles River, 'head' races are a class of regattas generally three miles in length. Boats compete against one another and the clock, which starts sequentially, approximately fifteen seconds apart. More than 11,000 athletes from around the world compete in 55 different race events. According to Coach Hartwick, " The coaching staff is extremely proud of the Men's and Women's performance and expects their efforts to propel and focus our team as we turn indoors and train for the upcoming season."
Derek Hartwick, Head Rowing Coach
Jackie Kleinhans, Asst. Rowing Coach
IN THE NEWS
United States Merchant Marine Academy
Varsity Rowing - Dad Vail Regatta 2021 – Race Report
MCKIM AND ALCORN CAPTURE BRONZE MEDAL
The United States Merchant Marine Academy Rowing Team concluded the 2021 Spring racing season on May 8th in Philadelphia, PA at the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta. As the largest collegiate regatta in the United States and considered to be the National Championship for small Colleges and Universities, the regatta often will often host one-hundred to one-hundred and thirty teams from all over the United States and Canada. This year’s regatta saw only forty teams compete under very strict conditions imposed by the City of Philadelphia in order to prevent any spread of Covid-19 infection.
Despite the constraints and limits of this rowing season, the rowing Mariners recorded one of the most successful and historic Championships in recent years. The Women’s team competed for the first time with an ‘Eight-person’ crew in the Championship and 1st Classmen Connor McKim and Sean Alcorn captured a Bronze medal in the Men’s Double Sculls event.
Our midshipmen arrived in Philadelphia on Friday and were able to practice on the Schuylkill River course before the event began early on Saturday morning. Practicing on the racecourse is key to success since the river conditions change daily, include a slight turn at the 600-meter mark, and varied water conditions throughout the racecourse. This was especially important for the coxswains and bow-persons who have not had the opportunity to test their steering skills on this course.
The usual racing routine of two days of preliminary heats and time trials and finals on the second day, was replaced with the pressure of heats or straight finals on the Saturday. The racing started at 9:30 a.m. with the first Kings Point crew. The Men’s Novice crew of Stroke – Noah Ogburn ’24, 3 – Trevor Johnson ’24, 2 – Adam Dietrich ’24, Bow – Caleb McKenzie’24 and Coxswain – Christopher Davitt ’24 got the team started with a preliminary qualifying race. The crew had a fine performance but with only the top two crews qualifying for the final, a fifth place was not strong enough to advance.
Having just returned from Sea and with only two weeks to prepare for racing in the Men’s Pair (a challenging race for any rower), 3rd classmen Ethan Margot’23 and Matthew Williams’23 were undeterred. When Head Coach Derek Hartwick asked Margot and Williams to give the ‘Pair’ a try, they took to the water with confidence and didn’t look back. With only one race to prepare for the championships, they were able to put together a great race in Philadelphia. With Margot setting an intense pace from Stroke-seat and Williams following that pace while steering a straight course, the pair) brought home a 5th place in the Final. The duo recorded a solid time of 8:22 despite the changing windy conditions on the Schuylkill River.
Under the direction of Assistant Coach Jackie Kleinhans, the USMMA women’s rowing program capped off an historic year by competing at the 2021 Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta. It has been a difficult year for all college rowing programs across the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges and difficulties related to the pandemic, the Kings Point Women’s Rowing program has thrived and for the first time in history, entered and competed with a women’s 8+ at the regatta. The crew competed in the Frosh/Novice 8+ event category with Lauralynne Nissen ’23 at stroke, 7-seat Morgan Fortin ’23, 6 - Abigail Edelman ’23, 5 - Allessandra Swart ’24, 4 - Jillian Lovingood ’23, 3 - Amelia Clark ’23, 2 - Terah Graber ’24, Bow-seat Ashley Gasca ’24 and Victoria Austin ’23 as coxswain. In the Final, the USMMA women lined up against LaSalle, Loyola, and Stockton University. USMMA and Stockton battled all the way down the course with no more than a boat-length difference until the finish. USMMA women finished two seconds behind Stockton and taking fourth overall at the regatta. The race was truly an exciting one, and showcased what top-level rowing truly is; the race isn’t over until the finish-line and the margins can be very close. With only two competitions the Women’s team was able to capture victories over Iona College and Sacred Heart. Coaches Kleinhans and Hartwick are extremely proud of this women’s crew as they have demonstrated the daily commitment necessary to achieve success.
The highlight of the regatta for Kings Point was the fine performance of two of the 1st Classmen.
Connor McKim’21 and Sean Alcorn’21 capped off their college rowing careers with a Bronze-medal performance in the Men’s Double event. While most college rowing is ‘sweep’ rowing (each rower uses one oar) both McKim and Alcorn have honed their sculling (each rower uses two oars each) skills over the past four years. Taking to the water in a Double as often as possible truly paid off for these rowers in what was their final race in Kings Point colors. For the first 1000 meters, the race was very tight between Gordon College, University of Rhode Island and the USMMA crew. As Gordon and URI moved ahead, the Kings Pointers responded and made a move to catch the top crews. McKim and Alcorn held their strong position in the front of the pack and well ahead of the other crews in the race. “We rowed a great race, the best of the season” commented McKim following the race. For their efforts, McKim and Alcorn were only a small margin behind the winners and brought Kings Point honor and Bronze medals in this championship regatta.
Overall, it was a challenging but rewarding year for the Men’s and Women’s Rowing teams. Even though there were very few races, the team performed admirably, established historic precedent and brought home the goods. With a strong 2025 recruiting class and many athletes returning, the Fall 2021 Rowing season looks promising.
FOR PHOTOS OF THIS EVENT
CONOR McKim Shares his Experience at Recent Regatta
ABIGAIL EDELMAN Talks about the Sacred Heart Regatta
INTERVIEW with JACKIE KLEINHANS, Asst. Rowing Coach
The rowing team has been out on the water practicing for the past few weeks. Many of the practices had to be moved inside because the wind and waves were not too friendly.
It looks like the team will have more racing this spring than what was available last fall.
The rowers are excited for the upcoming season. The third classmen have returned from sea and will be re-joining the team. In addition, the team has a good group of plebes in their first year who are looking forward to competing in the novice events. All indications favor one great spring season for KP rowers!
Great news coming out of Philadelphia. The city has approved the Dad Vail regatta, which is scheduled for May 7-8. This is the largest regular intercollegiate rowing event in the United States. In the past, it has attracted over a hundred colleges and universities and has been help annually since 1953.
The first race of the season will take place this Saturday, April 10 at Sacred Heart University, with Fairfield University, Iona College and KP rounding out the teams. KP expects to field at least Men’s Varsity 4 and a Women’s Varsity 4, with the potential of a Novice 4 team, a Women’s 4 and a Women’s Varsity 8.
2021 SPRING SCHEDULE (Tentative)
|Saturday||April 3||Stockton Scrimmage||Stockton University, Atlantic City, NJ|
|Saturday||April 10||Sacred Heart Invitational Regatta||Sacred Heart University, Shelton, CT|
|Saturday||May 1||USMMA/Iona/Manhattan||New Rochelle, NY|
|Sat-Sun||May 1-2||NY State Collegiate Rowing Champs (VIRTUAL)||Saratoga Springs, NY|
|Sat-Sun||May 7-8||Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta||Dad Vail R.A., Philadelphia, PA|
|* KIRLIN||Kolbe||2021||Doylestown, PA||Active|
|* McKIM||Connor||2021||Austin, TX||Active|
|* HESTER||Karena||2022||Hughesville, PA||At-Sea|
|*MAGERKURTH||Kiley||2022||Marble Falls, TX||At-Sea|
|AUSTIN||Victoria||2023||Game Creek, AL||Active|
|CLARK||Amelia||2023||New Cumberland, PA||Active|
|LOVINGOOD||Jillian||2023||Colorado Springs, CO||Active|
|CAROCHI||Joseph||2024||Canon City, CO||Active|
|DAVITT||Christopher||2024||Sun Valley, ID||Active|
|McKENSIE||Caleb||2024||Fort Worth. TX||Active|
|SWART||Allessandra||2024||Spring Lake, NJ||Active|
|* TEAM CAPTAIN|