Can You Say Two National Championship Wins?

Caroline Krantz, Sophie Bell, Callaghan Nickerson, Annika Nelson

Two National Championship wins on June 9, 2024 marks a total of 13 National Championship wins for the programs history book!

The hardware, trophies and pearly whites were on full display on Sunday. The Darien natives and incoming Dartmouth University Freshman Caroline Krantz and Annika Nelson brought home a 2 peat in the 2- race! Together they have raced the 2- at Nationals three times (medaling each year but with a gold medal in 2023 and now 2024). It should be no surprise that the 4- is the exact rowers that won the prestigious Head of the Charles regatta in October. The 4- was led by Caroline and Annika, the bow pair Sophie Bell and Callaghan Nickerson. This was sadly the crews last race all together after nearly two years of racing and training together.

Krantz summarized her 2024 Nationals experience, “The best way to describe today was gritty- being able to win two national championships in one morning was hard but one of the most rewarding experiences. In our pair race, Annika and I’s goal was to finish first with the least amount of effort possible. We were up and out off the start which allowed for us to settle into a competitive but relatively controlled base. We ended up finishing the race first- we were definitely tired and had worked hard, but we had some gas left in the tank for us to attack the four. Annika and I then spent around thirty minutes recovering in Liz’s car with the AC blasting while Sophie and Callie got the four ready to race. In our four race, we were pretty much down by open water until 500 meters to go. Being down for most of the race didn’t scare us though- we were confident that when it was time for the sprint we would be able to push forward. That’s exactly what happened- we took a big push coming through the 500 and in 20 strokes walked through Rye. We ended up finishing first with open water. It was such a fun day being able to accomplish something amazing with my best friends. It was very bittersweet being our last CBC race ever, but I couldn’t have asked for a better last race.”

The Sunday finals racing continued with CBC’s quad finishing 10th in the country! On Saturday’s finals CBC had some strong finishes in the largest National Championship Regatta to date. Both the U17 4+ and U16 4x+ finished 13th in the country! Our strong and mighty U17 4x finished 22nd in the country!

What an incredible academic calendar yearly of racing it has been for the entire CBC squad. If you are interested in joining the team, please feel free to reach out! You could be the next CBC National Champion.

22 Athletes Qualify for Nationals!

Novice 4+ Gold Medalists: stroke seat Layla Sisca, 3 seat Katie Estabrook, coxswain AJ Kompiewska, 2 seat Alexandra Maniatty and bow seat Noelle Basta

22 of Connecticut Boat Club’s athletes have qualified for the USRowing National Championship! 22 athletes represents about a third of the club which will be an incredible presence at the Championship this year.

The Northeast Regionals took place this past weekend, May 18-19 where CBC competed in 9 of the women’s events. Kicking off the racing for our Norwalk based team was our pair (2-) including Caroline Krantz at stroke and Annika Nelson in bow seat. The duo kicked off the weekend strong for the club by winning their heat and ultimately winning the grand final on Sunday by 9 seconds ahead of Greenwich Rowing 2-. This pair will be looking to race hard at Nationals to defend their national champions title from 2023. We are so excited to support them and cheer hard for them. 2 Peat please!

Izzy Khamish led the CBC Varsity 4+ with her stroke Miya Lee, 3 seat Reagan Weneck, 2 seat Sylvia Freidenrich and bow seat Maddy Dodge. In this crews first time racing together, they placed 10th place in the heat on Saturday, securing their seat in the semi final where they completed the course 8 seconds faster than their heat time trial! In the grand final the 4+ finished in 6th place 2 seconds behind the Saugatuck boat. The 2V4x A boat had an undefeated weekend with senior leader and stroke, Charlotte Volz! The crew swept their competition in both the heat and the finals race with significant open water. Charlotte was supported by super star Ellie Lennon, Charlotte Mickelborough and Iso McCoy. Bow pair McCoy and Mickelborough will be returning for their senior year at CBC in the Fall and are more than likely to have a kicker 2024/25 year! In the same event the B boat was led by Kate McDonald in stroke, Riley Cavanna in 3 seat, Holly Hulme in 2 seat and Elle Arnold in bow. In the crews first time racing together, senior leaders Arnold and Cavanna helped the crew secure 4th place in both events this weekend. We are so proud of both crews for representing CBC in the best way and being incredible teammates to one another.

Our Varsity Quad was a boat packed with 4 seniors. Audrey Sears stroked, Lila Seidenberg raced in 3 seat, Ava Weneck led bow pair from 2 seat, and CBC Captain Charlotte Maschoff bowed the boat. This was one of the crowd favorite events of the weekend. The competition was sharp and our girls responded to such pressure. In the Saturday heat race the CBC 4x placed 4th in the time trail, only 1 second off of 3rd place finisher! In the semi final race the crew had a clean 2nd place finish, allowing them to save their legs for the finals race later that day. In the grand final the crew finished in 5th place and earned a seat at the Nationals table by being the next up boat when other crews scratched the event at Nationals. The girls are stoked for this second chance and cannot wait to compete at the Nationals level.

The CBC 4- followed in the 2- and 2V4x footsteps and also swept the competition this weekend in both their heat and finals race. The crew composed of Caroline Krantz, Annika Nelson, Sophie Bell and Callaghan Nickerson is Nationals bound! They are making history and leaving their legacy as they are the first crew to ever win the 4- for CBC. As for our middle schoolers, they won a silver medal this weekend in the grand final. The girls raced in the U16 4x+ and dominated! The coxed quad was led by middle school coxswain, Arwen Leopold. In stroke seat she had Leelee Alix, 3 seat Emily Goertel, 2 seat Catherine Parent and bow seat Noelle Basta. The crews talent is undeniable, especially Noelle as she raced in both U17 and U16 events and earned podium placements in both!

As mentioned in the spoiler, Noelle Basta bowed the Novice 4+ as well and contributed to her boats gold medal! Layla Sisca is a name we have heard often this spring season and without a doubt she was the stroke of this boat. Supporting both Sisca and Basta was Katie Estabrook in 3 seat and 2 seat Alexandra Maniatty. The boat was coxed by AJ Kompiewska who has had a dominate first season with CBC. This event split the heats into 3 categories where first and second place finishers advanced to the final. AJ led her crew to the 2nd fastest time overall in the heat but fastest in her heat. In the grand final on Sunday AJ and Layla finished the race 9 seconds ahead of 2nd place finisher, Narragansett Boat Club. We certainly wish there was an opportunity for this category to race at Nationals but the girls will continue to train at CBC head quarters and move into other racing categories in the near future!

Allison Murray drove the U17 4+ straight to a silver medal on Sunday! Kamryn Morgenstern stroked, rising dev team stars Katie Estabrook (3 seat) and Layla Sisca (2 seat) and seasoned bow Norah Surette rounded out the crew that is heading to Nationals for the second year in a row! The crew proved to race well with competition lined up next to them as they went from a 5th place finish in the time trial on Saturday to a 2nd place finish in the grand final on Sunday. Great work motivating the crew, Allison! Speaking of Nationals bound, the U17 quad is also heading the big race! With Leighton Busby in stroke the crew dominated this weekend. The U17 4x earned a bronze medal at the end of the Regional Championship. This boat was a force with Tanaya Dixit supporting Leighton in stern pair, and Christina Charnin and Katherine Wartels in bow pair. We are so proud of you girls and cannot wait to see you race your hearts out at Nationals! You can do anything you set your mind to.

The U17 8+ was coxed by the youngest of the Khamish sisters, Mishi and stroked by Alexandra Maniatty, 7 seat Sophia Kearns, 6 seat Camilla Calderwood, 5 seat Charlotte Reynolds, 4 seat Catherine Parent, 3 seat Sienna Hoyos, 2 seat Sara Alfieri and bow seat Kristina Prasens. Roughly half of the boat is in their first year or rowing/racing so to race in this advanced category was a big ask but they stepped up to the plate. The crew earned a bronze medal this weekend, in addition to a ton of racing experience! We cannot wait to see how great this group of young rowers will continue to do in our sport, their future is bright. The Women’s youth 2nd 4+ had a strong weekend! 4 seat Melaina Kenin, 3 seat Layla Morris, 2 seat Lucia Noecker and bow seat Gwyneth Horn beat The Winsor School in the grand final whom they had got 2nd place to in the heat race. Melaina led her crew to a 12 second lead in the final against Windsor after loosing to them by 3 seconds in the time trail. WOW! What a way to cross the finish line.

Coach Sweitzer did an amazing job training his novice 8+ girls this season! The 8+ was coxed by Mishi Khamish, stroke Leelee Alix, 7 seat Lauren Ring, 6 seat Camilla Calderwood, 5 seat Sophia Kearns, 4 seat Charlotte Reynolds, 3 seat Sienna Hoyos, 2 seat Caitlyn Getty, and bow seat Emily Barnes. The 8+ had a second place finish in their heat miles ahead of their competitors. In the grand final they finished 5th place, racing against crews that had qualified from other heats. Rounding out the Novice category, the team was represented in the double category by Kristina Prasens and Sara Alfieri. The girls finished with the fastest time in their category on Saturday and on Sunday they finished 5th overall. The double was extremely fun to watch and cheer for and we are sure that they will continue to practice in their small boats this summer and be ready for a Nationals placement next year! Practice makes perfect for sure!

We are proud of all boats and extend an extra congratulations to our Regional Champions in the 2V 4x, Novice 4+,Varsity 4-, Varsity 2- and bronze place finisher U17 8+. CBC is heading to Nationals and we hope that you tune in to cheer for us! #goCBC

Ready for their college years

Back Row: Annika Nelson, Charlotte Volz, Sylvia Freidenrich, Caroline Krantz, Callaghan Nickerson, Miya Lee. Middle Row: Ellie Lennon, Riley Cavanna, Lila Seidenberg, Elle Arnold, Charlotte Maschoff. Front Row: Ava Weneck, Audrey Sears, Maddy Dodge.

CBC’s Class of 2024 has left their mark on the Norwalk River! The 14 seniors are wrapping up their high school careers and setting sail on their collegiate careers. In this year’s graduating class we have 4 sets of girls that will be going to the same college! All of the girls will be staying on the east coast with exception of Maddy in California, which means the girls can easily visit each other and their forever home, CBC.

For Darien High School Class President, Charlotte Volz, Boston College (BC) was her dream school! She was so sure she did an Early Decision and heard back quickly in December. Boston is a city that she loves coupled with an amazing nursing program which is the field of study she plans on pursuing. Volz expressed her excitement for all things BC including a highlight, spending 4 years with one of her best friends, Callaghan. Callaghan Nickerson had a lengthy college process but Boston is where she had her heart set and she couldn’t be more excited that she landed right where she wanted to be. Nickerson commented, “The rowing team is amazing, I can’t wait to do the sport that I love in a place that I love, getting a great education all at the same time!” Right across the Charles River Charlotte and Callaghan will find their other best friend, Ava Weneck. Ava will join many of CBC’s alums on the Harvard University list of grads! She is also in awe with the city of Boston and loves that she will be able to pursue her major in STEM. Only 30 minutes away from the City of Boston, Elle Arnold will be calling Holy Cross her new home. She has been dreaming of going to Holy Cross since she was a little girl. Elle shared that she enjoyed meeting the rowing coach and hearing how fond she was of Liz Trond was really helpful in making her ultimate decision.

What is the closest major city to Hanover, New Hampshire? Boston! Which means that Annika Nelson and Caroline Krantz are a short car ride away from reuniting with close friends at any time. Well, that is when they aren’t racing or training on the weekends. The Krantz and Nelson duo is riding together for another 4 years and boy are they excited! Annika is excited to be a part of the Dartmouth Rowing Team’s evolution and bring her CBC and USA Team experience to the team. Over in Ithaca New York, Darien High School teammate, Riley Cavanna will be attending Cornell University (Early Decisioned as well). Cavanna is proud to be following in her older sister’s footsteps and overlapping at Cornell together for 2 years.

Down in the city that never sleeps, Ellie Lennon will be found on the Engineering Campus at New York University (NYU)! Ellie is confident that she will be happy in the big apple as she knew very clearly that she wanted to spend her collegiate years in a major city. On a short Amtrak train ride Ellie can head to Philly and visit her best friend, Lila Seidenberg at Drexel University. Similar to Ellie, Lila is also looking forward to being in a big city and seeing the opportunities that it can provide for her. Seidenberg has her eyes set on exploring the world and experiencing many adventures. Drexel was her perfect fit as she learned through touring and meeting with rowing coaches.

Goodbye to the Northeast and hello sunshine state! Darien High School best friends, Audrey Sears and Charlotte Maschoff are heading south in August. The University of Miami rowing team will be joined by two powerhouses for the next 4 years. Sears found the Umiami campus to be absolutely gorgeous and the coaching staff was super welcoming. Maschoff is super excited to be enrolling in the Business School and overall looking forward to new experiences and friends.

Time to change the time zone, eat cheese and wear red! Any guesses where two of our seniors are heading? That’s right, University of Wisconsin has two new Badgers, Miya Lee and Sylvia Freidenrich. Miya expressed her excitement behind the size of the lightweight team at Wisconsin, “It’s rare and it was one of the biggest factors in my decision!” Lee is also excited for the size of the school and the amount of spirit that it comes with. Sylvia Freidenrich committed to University of Wisconsin what feels like many moons ago and is thrilled to be pursuing her major in physiology. She is the youngest of three siblings but will be setting her path forward in Madison on a great campus and with a great rowing team.

Historically, CBC has many seniors heading out west for their college years but this year we have one special girl heading there, Maddy Dodge! Stanford University home of the Cardinals will now be home for Maddy. She found a great balance at Stanford for academics and athletics. Dodge smiled big when sharing that she loves that she can row year round and can chose to individually design her major.

Four major cities Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Miami…yes you read that correctly! All 14 seniors are living their dream and we couldn’t be more proud/happy for them. They are wonderful young ladies, smart, fit, kind and caring of others. Congrats Class of 2024!

Hello Saratoga Invitational!

The CBC girls traveled to Saratoga New York on Friday April 26th to compete in the Saratoga Invitational 2 day regatta (April 27-28). This is the last regular season regatta before the Regional Championship Regatta the weekend of May 17th. This years Saratoga Invitational received an exciting 999 boat entries!

Podium Placements:

  • Novice 4x 3rd place
  • Varsity 1x 2nd place
  • Varsity 4+ 1st place
  • U17 4+ 3rd place
  • 2V 4+ 5th place
  • 2V 4x B boat 2nd place
  • 2V 4x A boat 1st place
  • Novice 8+ 3rd place
  • Varsity 2x 6th place
  • Middle School 4x+ 1st place
  • Varsity 4x 1st place
  • U17 4x 2nd place
  • Varsity 8+ 5th place
  • 2V 8+ 6th place
  • 3V 8+ 3rd place
  • 4V 8+ 7th place
  • Varsity 2- 1st place
  • Varsity 4- 1st place

What a great racing weekend! We are so proud of our team and cannot wait for Regionals in a few short weeks!

Novice Boat Takes Fastest Time at Mercer Regatta

The Connecticut Boat Club girls took on windy West Windsor New Jersey this weekend. The team raced in The Mercer Lake Sprints 2 day long regatta and came home with some hardware early in the weekend. For the novices it was the first ‘real’ regatta following some scrimmages earlier in the season but they proved to know exactly what they were doing. Mishi Khamish lined her Novice 8+ boat and raced hometown river neighbor, Maritime Rowing Club down the course. Her rowers were fearless and took the lead finishing with a large gap of 5 seconds ahead and a second place finish in her heat. This 8+ was stroked by Layla Sisca, Wilton Junior Lauren Ring (7 seat), Camilla Calderwood (6 seat), Emily Barnes (5 seat), Caitlyn Getty (4 seat), Sienna Hoyos (3 seat), Charlotte Reynolds (2 seat) and Noelle Basta in bow!

Layla Sisca also stroked our Novice 4+ where she was supported by a boat of 16 year old teammates, Katie Estabrook in 3 seat, Alexandria Maniatty in 2 seat and Sophia Kearns in bow. AJ Kompiewska, Norwalk High School Junior steered the girls to victory (spoiler alert!) in her first season at CBC. AJ, former rower herself transitioned to take the wheel after a back injury in the winter with her former club. In this race, her boat finished with the fastest time in the event: 7:23.25 meaning that second place time held by Row America Rye was 7:30.99 and Greenwich Crew was 7:31.27. The girls enjoyed the racing experience and certainly learned a ton about what it takes to win.

CBC raced a third novice event, Novice quad which is an event where the bow seat does the rowers job plus the coxswains job (as there is no physical coxswain in this category). As racing conditions weren’t ideal, the novice quad stroked by Melaina Kenin, 3 seat Gwen Horn, 2 seat Layla Sisca, and bow seat Holly Hulme. There were 3 heats for this category on Saturday. CBC’s Novice 4x came in 4th in their heat and overall had a faster time than 4 other crews in the category!

The racing continued to the Varsity boats, starting with the Varsity 8+ race. Coxswain Izzy Khamish led her crew down a great heat on Saturday, finishing 2nd in their heat! The finals race for this boat was on Sunday where Senior leader Callaghan Nickerson stroked, supported by Caroline Krantz (7 seat), Annika Nelson (6 seat), Sophie Bell (5 seat), Charlotte Maschoff (4 seat), Lila Seidenberg (3 seat), Audrey Sears (2 seat), and Ava Weneck (bow seat) competed in the A final battling down the course in a seat for seat race with PNRA Mercer. CBC lost the battle by 1 second but had a great performance!

CBC 2V8+ coxed by Freshman Allison Murray had some tricks up their sleeve. On Saturday they gave the fans a lot to cheer about with their 1st place finish in their heat and then on Sunday they also battled PNRA Mercer closely down the course but took the lead in front of them finishing with a time of 7:04.62 and PNRA Mercer with a time of 7:06.15. This crew is a great mix of upperclassman and younger girls all learning and improving each day! The line up was, Iso McCoy (8 seat), Miya Lee (7 seat), Maddy Dodge (6 seat), Sylvia Freidenrich (5 seat), Ellie Lennon (4 seat), El Arnold (3 seat), Reagan Weneck (2 seat) and Charlotte Mickelborough (bow seat).

Caroline Krantz and Callaghan Nickerson both led the Varsity 4+ this weekend. Callaghan stroked the 4+ in the heat to a first place finish, securing the boat to compete in the A final on Sunday! The stern 4 of the V8+ raced the final with Krantz at stroke and had a strong race in lane 5, in close contact with second place finisher Saugatuck and ahead of Greenwich Crew, Blair, Whitemarsh Boat Club. The U17 quad gained a lot of racing experience in their first time down the course together, Tanaya Dixit (4 seat), Christina Chernin (3 seat), Nicole Busby (2 seat), Katherine Martel’s (bow seat) finished with a time of 8:10.80. Connecticut’s 2V4+ came in with a 3rd place finish ahead of Whitemarsh Boat Club, Lawrenceville, and Litchfield Hills.

The womens Varsity quad event was one of CBC’s strongest this weekend. In their heat, Lila (stroke), Reagan (3 seat), Ava (2 seat) and Charlotte (bow) dominated with a 3 second lead on 2nd place finisher, Narragansett. Securing their invitation to the A final on Sunday, they had a thrilling race to wrap up this event! The crew worked hard for their silver medals (1 second off from being gold medals!) against some very strong sculling programs. 3 seat Reagan shared, “This race was thrilling and a very rewarding experience! Despite the far from ideal rowing conditions, my crew had a terrific race as we had a strong start, and walked through a boat directly to the left of us, securing the second place spot in an extremely close sprint to the finish. It was so much fun to race that boat collectively with some of my closest friends, and my sister right behind me!”

On Sunday in a final only race, the pairs at CBC represented the club well! Callaghan Nickerson and Sophie Bell kicked off the day for the River Rats by finishing 3rd in their heat, a healthy 4 second gap between 4th place finisher, Whitemarsh Boat Club. In the last heat CBC had the other half of the winning Head of the Charles crew, Caroline Krantz and Annika Nelson who finished first in their heat and won a gold medal for having the fastest time amongst everyone in the event!

Next up was the Varsity 4- race where senior leader and Class President, Charlotte Volz stroked the boat to a 2nd place finish! She was supported by CBC Captain Charlotte Maschoff, Ellie Lennon and Miya Lee. Miya commented, “We had a solid start and were within the top 3 right away. We kept our composure through the rocky cross-trail wind and wake. Everyone in my boat stepped up to the task of supporting each other and moving the dial during this race.”

Wrapping up the racing on Sunday, the girls raced in 2 final events (I mean no surprise they raced in 97% of all female events this weekend!) Jiah coxed the U17 8+ boat to a 3rd place finish! The racing conditions were not conditions that the team experiences much on the Norwalk River but regardless, they rose to the challenge and competed. The crew finished 10 seconds ahead of Row New Jersey and 14 seconds ahead of Saugatuck Rowing Club. The 2V 2x race was another great experience for the team as the crew finished 3rd in their heat (3 seconds off of 2nd place finisher) ahead of hometown river neighbors, Maritime Rowing and Norwalk River Rowing.

Congratulations to all crews! CBC is excited to race again this upcoming weekend at The Saratoga Invitational!

2024 San Diego Crew Classic

Back Row: Kate McDonald, Caroline Krantz, Lila Seidenberg, Sylvia Freidenrich, Charlotte Maschoff, Miya Lee, Izzy Khamish. Middle Row: Ellie Lennon, Ava Weneck, Audrey Sears, Maddy Dodge, Elle Arnold, Charlotte Mickelborough, Allison Murray. Front Row: Callaghan Nickerson and Annika Nelson

Back in 2010 when CBC was established we took the San Diego Crew Classic Regatta by storm with two 8+ boats. This past weekend we did it again! The River Rats traveled out West and put on a show for the fans watching live on the beach and the fans live-streaming at home. Both the 1V8+ and the 2V8+ had exciting heat and finals races which had CBC tied at the first 200 meters with top finishing crews and complete dog fights down the course.

CBC’s 1V8 was led by the dynamic duo, Varsity Coxswain Izzy Khamish and Stroke seat Callaghan Nickerson. This was Khamish’s first time down the course but quickly got up to speed on the lay of the land. Nickerson is in her senior year at CBC and heading to Boston College in the Fall, which means it is unlikely that she will ever race at the San Diego Crew Classic again as a result she made sure to empty her boats tank every race. Callaghan was supported by 7 seat Sophie Bell, 6 seat Lila Seidenberg, 5 seat Annika Nelson, 4 seat Caroline Krantz, 3 seat Charlotte Maschoff, 2 seat Maddy Dodge and Bow seat Ava Weneck.

The San Diego Crew Classic is for many crews (definitely the East Coast crews) the first race of the spring season. It is a sprint race meaning it is a 2000 meter buoy course (like you see in the olympics) with eight boats lined up across from each other. This year San Diego provided some great racing weather on both Saturday and Sunday, lots of sunshine and a slight breeze. With the water launch at this race it is ideal to have warmer temperatures.

Our 2V8 was a boat led by High School Freshman, Allison Murray who studied the race course ahead of traveling and executed flawlessly. Murray had the support of her stroke seat Iso McCoy (High School Junior) who has had a lot of Varsity race level experience. The rest of the powerhouse squad consisted of 7 seat Miya Lee, 6 seat Audrey Sears, 5 seat Sylvia Freidenrich, 4 seat Ellie Lennon, 3 seat Elle Arnold, 2 seat Kate MacDonald, bow seat Charlotte Mickelborough.

Head Coach Liz Trond shared her thoughts on the weekend, “It was a great weekend of competing, learning and racing. Both boats really understood what National level speed is at the beginning of the season, and equally as important, it was a great weekend of teamwork and team bonding. I feel that this group of 18 athletes has set up Spring 2024 to be a great season.”

On Saturday’s heat races, both boats secured their spot in the Sunday A Final race. On Sunday our 1V8 raced at 11:50am in lane 7 stroke for stroke with Norcal Crew, Capital Crew and Holy Names Academy. The crew finished in 6th place ahead of both Norcal and Holy Names. CBC only made two changes to this years 1V8+ line up, Izzy and Lila. With this event being the most subscribed to event of the weekend, the improvement from an 8th place finish last year to a 6th place finish this year is a significant jump up. Senior leader and future Drexel Dragon, Lila Seidenberg commented,”One of my favorite things about rowing is the sense of camaraderie and our boat meetings always get me pumped up for the race. Everyone in the boat is always on the same page and has the same expectations going into the race which allows me to get excited and stay excited. Our signature hands in, ‘4-3-2-ONE’ is the last bit of assurance that we are ready to crush whatever comes our way!”

The 2V8 raced shortly after at 12:22pm in lane 8 coming off a first place start in the final and then hanging for the first half of the race with Newport and Saugatuck Rowing Clubs. As the finals race continued to unfold Murray led her crew with grit and poise as kept her foot on the gas and competed side by side with Oakland Strokes, Marin Rowing and Norcal Rowing. After an exciting 7 minutes and 44 seconds the raced ended with a strong 7th place finish for CBC. In this final CBC was one of two East Coast crews competing, all other crews were West Coast based and have been on the water training for a good amount of time. Sylvia Freidenrich from 5 seat weighed in on her experience this weekend, “We planned to have an aggressive start for both races. We definitely worked through the first 1250 meters of each race well, but lost steam towards the sprint. All in all, we exceeded our expectations of how we thought we would perform, and we are excited to work through the portions of the race we need to improve on!”

CBC is back on the East Coast and will be lining up to race this weekend at the Nereid/Port Scrimmage. Here we go CBC! Cheers to a healthy, successful and happy Spring 2024 racing season!

Pleasure to meet you Mr.Governor

Head Coach Liz Trond, Callaghan Nickerson, Caroline Krantz, Governor Ned Lamont, Annika Nelson, Izzy Khamish, Ava Weneck, Charlotte Maschoff, Sophie Bell, Novice Team Coach Jim Sweitzer

You guessed it! Connecticut Boat Club received honorable recognition from Connecticut Governor, Ned Lamont, on Wednesday, January 31st in Hartford, CT. The team was invited as Governor Ned Lamont’s guests as he recently learned of the girl power that this team fosters and the numerous gold medals that the team has won over the years. CBC is a small but mighty all girls rowing program that was only recently established in 2010. The invitation to Governor Ned Lamont’s office took place during an afternoon meaning that not all of the girls could take off school and attend. Two coaches, Trond and Sweitzer, were in attendance, along with the 2023 Head of the Charles Champions (Khamish, Nickerson, Krantz, Nelson and Bell) and two senior leaders (Weneck and Maschoff).

Coach Jim Sweitzer commented on the day sharing how great of a day it was along with, “Our governor was super friendly and asked intriguing questions about our team and sport which lead to wonderful in depth conversation. The girls certainly appreciated being in the Capitol building and admired the separation of power inside of the building. It’s ironic that the group of girls that were present will be eligible to vote either this year or next year for the first time, therefore meeting Mr. Lamont was a great opportunity for them to be better informed of the candidates running.”

Coincidently, Ava Weneck, one of CBC’s senior in attendance wore her Harvard University sweater, which happens to be where she will be attending school starting in the fall of 2024. Governor Ned Lamont couldn’t help but notice Ava’s sweater and shared with the group that he also attended Harvard University. This ‘no way moment’ was a fun ice-breaker!

For Varsity coxswain, Izzy Khamish, it was an extra special day as she got the invitation from Governor Ned Lamont to sit in his chair after he immediately recognized her as the coxswain amongst the group of girls. “Representing our team at the capital was a tremendous honor and motivates me as a junior in high school. I’m excited to further contribute to the team’s success and leave my mark in the coming years. Both Governor Ned Lamont and Senator Bob Duff were incredibly gracious, and their recognition of our achievements this fall and in past years, as well as the overall importance of women in sport and the value of rowing, was particularly moving” Khamish expressed with enthusiasm!

The CBC squad was also invited to Senator Bob Duff’s office after their visit with the governor. Coach Sweitzer shared that the girls were engaged in conversation throughout the day and that meeting the senator was the perfect way to end such a great afternoon. Sweitzer shared, “I learned for the first time that our senator is a Norwalk High School graduate! He resides in Norwalk which I thought was so special being that our boathouse and water time is based in Norwalk.”

The rest of the team received tons of texts with updates and pictures. Everyone as a whole is extremely excited for the recognition and support that the team is receiving. Now more than ever it feels like the 11 National Championship wins in a 14 year time spam that this non-profit, all girls team has won is spreading to a wider audience. CBC’s achievements being shared across the state and to our State Leadership brings a lot of happiness to the CBC Board Members and the Coaching Staff as everyone works very hard together to maintain the level of excellence and achievement of this club team.

Huge thank you again to Governor Ned Lamont and Senator Bob Duff for inviting us to the capitol building and making us feel so welcomed. We cannot wait to see you again and share more of our successes!

The Girls in the Boat

Maddy Dodge, Darien High School (left) and Ava Weneck, St Lukes School (right)

The Boys in the Boat movie has drawn a wonderful spotlight on the intensity, devotion and sportsmanship that it takes to be a rower. Without spoiling the movie, there were several great quotes referencing the sport that were made, for starters in the opening speech made by Washington Head Coach, Al Ulbrickson “not everyone is meant to row.” Knowing what he meant as he was selecting an 8 man boat out of 30+ possible men, I have to say this resonates differently at CBC. Connecticut Boat Club is a rowing club that welcomes all girls committed to the sport. If CBC ever says “not everyone is meant to row” it is surely more in the context of understanding that not every girl is willing to make the sacrifices needed to be a high performance rower. One thing that was great to see was how we as a sport have evolved from wooden oars, wooden boats and laced foot stretchers! (Thank you so much to our partner, Vespoli!)

I don’t think any rower would argue when Coach Ulbrickson said, “Stroke after stroke, it’s called swing when all eight are rowing at such perfect unison…most crews never find it but when they do- rowing is more poetry than sport”…because it’s true. The only thing that adds to that is when the rowers in the boat are friends because when your friends are rowing with you, or should I say fighting for a top place finish, you find another gear because your mate is counting on you in that moment. The friendship that the Class of 2024 has is a coaches dream. CBC’s Class of 2024 will be a group of young women impossible to forget for many reasons. Two of those reasons are Ava Weneck and Maddy Dodge.

Often times when we think of rowers we think of tall athletes and sure, there are advantages to being taller in the sport of rowing but it is not a requirement. Many of CBC’s best athletes have been on the shorter spectrum and have not only excelled at the high school level but have been top of their rowing class in college. Two examples are CBC alums, India Knight who rowed 4 years at Columbia University and Kendra Schutts who rowed at University of California, Berkeley. As both Dodge and Weneck look to finish their high school rowing career they are setting sail to embark on their college careers. Ava will be joining the Harvard-Radcliffe rowing team in the fall of 2024 and Maddy will join the Stanford rowing team in the fall as well! With both Division I athletes finishing their first chapter of rowing they had a few insights to share:

“I started my rowing career in 7th grade when my mom found a flyer for CBC’s two week summer rowing camp. I am 5’6 and personally the only time I have felt disadvantaged by my height is when I am honing my skills. It is imperative that my technique on the water reflects that of a 6 foot rower. Though I have less leeway to make mistakes on the water, I see it more as a challenge than a disadvantage, and it’s something I work on every day. My Truest, best friends are from rowing, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. By nature of this sport, you can’t help but forge strong, loving relationships with the girls around you. I know without a doubt, these girls will be my bridesmaids in my wedding!” Ava shared with enthusiasm as she reflected on how she fell in love with the sport, the one of a kind friendships she has established, and the hard work she puts into every training.

Maddy shared how she started rowing in a similar way to many: she had tried every sport and had an athletic foundation but wanted to try something new. Along came a friend of her parents and suggested rowing! Similar to Ava, Maddy is also 5’6 and feels that rowing has allowed her to always have something to work towards, also leading to experiences she never imaged. She shared, “The feeling of crossing the finish line with your teammates knowing you put in your all is always so invigorating regardless of the result. For much of my rowing career, I honestly never noticed my size or weight in comparison to my teammates. I was too busy focusing on my technique, competing to my best ability, and just having fun!” Dodge has been hooked on rowing ever since attending one of Development Team Coach Sarah’s practices in 8th grade. She most recently finished 10th at the Head of the Charles race. Her boat raced against 50 other boats and started back in 31st place (wow that’s a big jump!).

As we reflect on the Boys in the Boat movie, we certainly are wishing for the regatta shoreline train to make a come back to 2024 racing! I mean, wouldn’t it be amazing to follow every Spring season race from start to finish?! Just like that Washington Crew, our crews at CBC, ‘The Girls in the Boat’ have been rewarded in more ways than one by this sport. Weneck closed with, “In the sport of rowing, reward is only granted by hard work and determination. Through the sport of rowing, I haven’t only gotten stronger physically, but my mental fortitude has strengthened as well. The progression of rowing is not linear, and rowers will inevitably have ups and downs. It is through adversity that I’ve learned the most about myself as a rower.”

News 12 Connecticut Team of the Week

Congratulations to Connecticut Boat Club on their incredible 2023 accomplishments! News 12 Connecticut put a well deserved spot light on the team this week. CBC has been crowned Connecticut’s team of the week! As the year comes to an end all of CBC’s year long accomplishments have been resurfaced and celebrated throughout the team and state wide!

The team is looking forward to a great winter training season and getting back to spring racing in a few months! Keep a look out for CBC this spring season via our Instagram and Facebook pages! @connecticutboatclub

Link to the News 12 video:

Mayor Rilling Honors CBC with the 2023 Sports Award

Norwalk’s Mayor, Harry Rilling spent quality time with CBC rowers on Tuesday December 6th at the Norwalk based Boathouse. Mayor Rilling presented the rowing team with the 2023 Sports Award following the teams major 2023 accomplishments. Such accomplishments include, first place finishes at the Regional Championship and National Championship Regattas in the spring season, 9th place finish at the World Championship race in Paris, first place finishes this fall season at the Head of the Charles and Head of the Fish Regattas.

Senior leader, Callaghan Nickerson (stroke seat in the Head of the Charles winning boat) expressed how much it meant to have the Mayor of Norwalk honor the team, “Having our hard work be acknowledged means a lot. It is a privilege to represent Norwalk and it’s incredible to know that we have the support of the Norwalk community.”

Mayor Rilling expressed his gratitude to CBC for representing Norwalk and helping put Norwalk on the map. He continued his speech by recognizing CBC’s Head Coach, Liz Trond and her one of kind athletic and coaching accolades. Everyone that knows Liz knows that she is the heart and soul of CBC and the true definition of an incredible coach.

CBC is an all girls powerhouse team! The team is extremely inviting to all girls in middle and high school that want to learn how to row. CBC was established in 2010 and since then has won 11 National Championship wins. If you are interested in learning more about the sport or getting started, feel free to reach out! All contact information is available via