Five high school seniors at Atlanta Junior Rowing Association (AJRA) have committed to row at prestigious college crew programs. All five currently row with the AJRA Varsity Women’s squad, coached by Jordan Smith and Lauren Smeeding.
Pictured left to right are:
Samantha Morton (Alpharetta HS) – Boston University
Amy Pitzel (Chattahoochee HS) – University of Tulsa
Ariane Fong, coxswain (Westminster Schools) – Princeton University
Kira Koziak (Walton HS) – University of Miami
Amelia Herrera (Roswell HS) – University of Louisville
Congratulations to these athletes and their families! Click here to read our full release.
Saturday, April 23rd, Nashville Juniors hosted both AJRA and Chicago Rowing Foundation for a full day of racing, giving many AJRA rowers the chance to race two or even three times down the course. The tri-meet provided great opportunities for competitive races, for gaining valuable experience, and for a sun-filled day at the lake!
With some of the strongest teams from the Southeast and Midwest regions in action, each program took a few wins and traded pieces back and forth. A big highlight for AJRA was a win in the Men’s Varsity 8+ by less than two seconds over Chicago, continuing to build on a strong spring season for the whole program.
Winning crews: Men’s Varsity 8+, Men’s 2nd Varsity 8+, Women’s 3rd Varsity 8+, Men’s Lightweight 8+, Men’s 1st Novice 8+, Men’s 2nd Novice 8+, Men’s Varsity 4+, Women’s 2nd Varsity 4+, Men’s 2nd Varsity 4+, Women’s Lightweight 4+, Men’s 2nd Novice 4+, Men’s Varsity 2x
The Atlanta Junior Rowing Association (AJRA) recently announced the promotion of Sarah Low to the newly created position of Executive Director as part of an effort to align the organization to best meet the goals, mission, and vision of the AJRA.
Ms. Low began duties as Executive Director in March, overseeing AJRA programming, staffing, logistics and communications. She has been with AJRA since 2012, coaching several crews and most recently serving as Program Director. Under her leadership and guidance AJRA rowers have earned 12 Southeast Regional Championships, two top ten finishes at the Youth National Championships, and an undefeated season for the Novice Men’s 8+ crew in the 2014-2015 season.
To read the rest of our exciting news release, please click here!
Come see us in downtown Roswell tonight at Alive in Roswell! AJRA will have a tent set up along Canton Street as a part of the city’s family-friendly event. Alive in Roswell is held every third Thursday evening, from 5pm to 9pm, from April through October — come see sat the AJRA tent for stickers, summer camp information, and learn-to-erg sessions!
Saturday, April 16th, AJRA traveled to Clermont, Florida to race in the Florida Sprint League Championship regatta. This race is a unique opportunity to race some of the fastest junior rowing teams in Florida, using a three-round race progression to provide intense one-on-one match ups. This year, however, strong winds and thunderstorms were threatening the whole weekend, so the regatta was condensed to a finals-only schedule, racing up to 8 boats across in a winner-takes-all format.
Battling strong winds, whitecapping waves, and very tough conditions, AJRA boats competed at the highest level and posted excellent results. For the first time in club history, the women’s varsity 8+ won their event at FSL with an open water victory. The men’s varsity 8+ finished second to Winter Park by less than 2 seconds, and both the men’s and women’s 2nd Varsity 8+’s won their events as well. AJRA also raced 9 other events, posting top 3 results in every category, along with wins in the men’s 4th and 5th Varsity 8+’s.
AJRA Executive Director Sarah Low was proud of the team performance, both on and off the water. “It was a hard regatta for all teams involved, with challenging weather and last minute schedule changes, and all AJRA rowers really stepped up ready to compete. Our novice squads held composure and learned a lot about racing through tough situations, and our varsity squads posted the strongest FSL results in years. Additionally, it was great to see the camaraderie on the dock as boats were coming back in from racing — rowers from all teams helping get boats safely out of the water and working together to move quickly.”
On Saturday, April 2nd, AJRA traveled to Tallahassee to race Capital City Rowing and Stanton Riverbank in a tri-meet. In just the second racing opportunity of the spring season, both varsity and novice crews stepped up to a strong challenge and gained valuable racing experience.
Due to the size of all teams, most races had two AJRA entries, providing for strong intrasquad competition and some familiar faces at the starting line. Additionally, the varsity crews went out for a second round of racing, providing a similar racing experience to larger regattas with heats and finals on a quick turnaround.
Women’s Head Coach Jordan Smith was pleased with his team’s results, saying, “On the women’s side, we saw some dramatic improvement on the novice squad, showing clear progress from where they were two weeks ago. For the varsity crews, we saw them begin to put more of the pieces together. Overall, I’m really happy with where we are for early April, and am looking forward to see us continue to develop speed and consistency.”
The men’s team had a very successful day, defeating CCR in a sprint race for the first time in several seasons. Men’s Head Coach Rob Canavan added, “The varsity men overcame adversity today, and swept the men’s events to win the three-team regatta. They fought through multiple injuries and illnesses to perform well today, demonstrating depth on the team. We will look to increase the stroke rate over the next few weeks to find additional speed at the Florida Sprint League Championship.”
Keep an eye on AJRA’s Facebook page and Twitter account for photos and results as they are available. Many thanks to CCR coaches, rowers, and parents for hosting the regatta in Tallahassee, and providing opportunities for great racing for all crews. Go AJRA!
Event Winners: Men’s Varsity 8+, Women’s Varsity 8+, Men’s Varsity 4+, Men’s 2nd Varsity 8+, Men’s 3rd Varsity 8+, Men’s 4th Varsity 8+, Women’s Open 4+