Two Athletes Aim for the National Rowing Team

Two of our Manhattan high school students are headed to Chattanooga, TN, for this year’s men’s USRowing Youth Development Camp.  This two-week camp, starting Sunday, is part of the national Olympic Development Program that seeks to identify and develop talented student-athletes from across the country, ultimately putting together the fastest possible high school crews to represent their regions and our country at national and international competitions.

For AJ Hoffman, this camp will be his second.  Last year, the development experience helped him fine tune his technique in both types of rowing—sculling, which involves one oar in each hand, as well as sweeping, which uses only one oar per rower.  This year, he is excited to continue getting better at his sport and most looks forward to making new friends from the different clubs and states represented.

Ewan Wileman will be stepping onto the national stage for the first time at this summer’s camp.  He first decided to apply because he wanted the chance to learn from Olympic team coaches.  Additionally, he most looks forward to rowing with other high-level athletes in eights—the biggest and therefore the fastest boats in the sport of rowing.

Head Coach Grace Ure could not be prouder.  After sending a handful of graduating seniors to D-I programs this fall, she is pleased that the class behind them are continuing to build the team’s competitive culture.  Additionally, she notes that building successful rowers doesn’t happen in a vacuum: “I know it’s tough for families, especially during the summer, to prioritize things like this when you also have to balance work schedules, family vacation, other extra-curricular activities, not to mention other kids.  It means a lot to me to have the support of parents when my athletes have grown to be good enough for an opportunity like YDC.”

The team hosted a scrimmage at home last weekend and will be spending the rest of the summer laying the groundwork for a competitive fall.  New athletes are welcome at any time and are offered two weeks of free lessons when they fill out the free trial registration form on the Manhattan Junior Crew website.