911 Hero & Olympic Gold Medal Rower Jason Read Inspires 200 Guests at Celebration of Rowing Banquet

Greensboro, North Carolina – American hero and Olympic gold medal winning rower Jason Read gave the keynote address at the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet held at Sedgefield Country Club on Saturday night and he did not disappoint.

Kiwi Mike Hitchcock

Almost 200 rowers, parents and friends from across the Triad gathered into the Sedgefield Country Club ballroom for what has quickly become the most prestigious social event on the rowing calendar.

High Point Masters rower ‘Kiwi Mike’ Hitchcock, serving as Master of Ceremonies, opened the evening by introducing Greensboro youth rower Benjamin Huitt to give the invocation.

After enjoying a delicious feast, Kiwi Mike then returned to the podium to begin the formal ceremonies, which began with High Point rower Charlotte Curri, who recited “The Oarsman’s Poem” by legendary rowing coach Steve Fairbairn.

Mary Hollingsworth then presented the High Point Parent of the Year award to Conni Curri for her service to the crew. Greensboro parent Julie Higgins then presented the Greensboro Parent of the Year award to Sara Nichols.

Jackie King, last year’s Masters MVP winner and this year’s chair of the Celebration of Rowing banquet, was then invited to the podium to introduce the 2017 recipient – ‘Girl Jeanne’ MacPherson. Congratulations Girl Jeanne – Masters Rower of the Year! Unfortunately, Jeanne could not be at the banquet due to work commitments.

Greensboro coach and 2004 Olympian Lisa Schlenker then talked about the progress of Greensboro Crew and concluded by presenting the Katherine Dickson Award for youth service to Greensboro Crew to MaryBlake Murphy.

Maddie Mullins then presented the Caroline Howard Cup for youth service to High Point Rowing Club to Junior Ognovich. Words can not do justice to the inspiration that Maddie filled the ball room with her theme of excellence and giving to your team mates

Jason Read

Jason Read was then introduced to guests by club founder and High Point Coach Gene Kininmonth, who shared his own personal experience of 911: “As we wondered how we would flee this madness, elsewhere a small number of others were heading straight for it….driving directly into this abyss with full expectations in that moment that the horror would only get worse. Jason Read was one of those few. I am looking forward to hearing Jason’s story from tragedy to triumph this evening.” 

And our keynote speaker did not disappoint.

A volunteer rescue squad fire chief from the age of 21, Read received the call to Ground Zero on the morning of September 11, 2001 shortly after the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York.

Just three years later Jason Read represented his country again, bringing home the Olympic gold as part of the men’s eight rowing crew at the 2004 Athens games.

After his speech, which received a standing ovation from the 200 guests, rowers and parents alike approached the rowing legend to thank him for sharing his story of inspiration.

Greensboro Crew rowers with Jason Read at the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet at Sedgefield Country Club.

Julie Higgins (left) presented the cup for Greensboro Crew parent of the year to Sara Nichols (Ella’s mum) at the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet.

(left to right) Claire Howard, Eduarda Blaschke, Olympic champion Jason Read, Maggie McIntyre, and Kate Messick at the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet.

Katherine Dickson with Greensboro Crew coach Lisa Schlenker and MaryBlake Murphy at Sedgefield Country Club.

200 rowers, coaches and family members attended the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet at Sedgefield Country Club to hear guest speaker Jason Read.

Olympic Rower Lisa Schlenker Joins Greensboro Crew

GREENSBORO, NC – Greensboro Crew has hired Olympic rower Lisa Schlenker, who has previously coached the University of Wisconsin and the United States U23 national team.

Coach Schlenker will have a “signature role” on the club’s youth program and guiding its current coaches.

Schlenker served on ten U.S.A. national teams winning three world championship silver medals during her career as a lightweight rower. In 2004 she represented the United States in the women’s lightweight double scull at the Olympic Games in Athens. Off the water, Schlenker has broken three world records on the Concept II ergometer rowing machine, two of which still stand today in age related categories.

Upon retiring from international rowing, Schlenker went on to coach rowers at both the international and collegiate levels. At the University of Wisconsin, she served as head coach of the women’s lightweight squad, where her crews won 5 medals at the national championships.

Coach Schlenker. says she is thrilled to be joining the coaching staff and community of rowers in Greensboro. “I hope that my love for this sport will be a vessel of enthusiasm for those choosing to join the Greensboro crew family. No matter what level of experience a rower has, my goals remains the same; learn from others, grow as a person, create lasting bonds and share in the joy of being on the water and pulling as one.”

Greensboro Crew founder and executive director, Gene Kininmonth says the club conducted a 6 month national search for an elite rowing coach. “Coach Lisa is the ideal coach to guide our rowers and coaches in Greensboro. Her lifetime track record of success – both in personally winning championships and guiding others to also do so – is a testament to her commitment to excellence. But just as importantly, Lisa understands that rowing is an opportunity for kids to get outdoors, to relax, and just be themselves. An opportunity to get in great shape and do it in a very safe and healthy way. We are honored that she has joined our rowing club.”

Watch Lisa Schlenker racing at the 1999 World Rowing Championships.

Greensboro Rowers Shine at State Championships

HPG Rowing enjoyed great success at the inaugural North Carolina Youth Rowing Championships. Rowers from the High Point Greensboro club won state championships in 7 out of the 14 events the club entered. Pictured here is the middle school squad or rowers.

High Point, NC – Greensboro Crew enjoyed a terrific day of racing at the North Carolina Youth Rowing Championships at Oak Hollow Lake on Saturday.

Racing with High Point under the HPG Rowing umbrella, Greensboro rowers won state championships in the boys U15 eight-oared event and the Middleschool Division I eight oared event.

Ben Huitt is all smiles after winning his second state championship.

The HPG boys U15 eight led from wire to wire over the 1,500m championship race course, ultimately finishing four boat lengths ahead of Triangle Rowing Club of Raleigh. Phillip Sojka steered his crew of stroke Ben Huitt, 7 Henry Parker, 6 Ryan LaPierre, Jeffrey Shroyer, 4 Isaac Gates, Nate Dorn, Keagan OConnell and bow Sarvesh Venkittu to the winning time of 6 minutes 58 seconds.

HPG finished a close second to Triangle Rowing Club in the girls U15 eight-oared event. Coxswain Ella Nichols encouraged her crew of Claire Howard, Charlotte Curri, Sierra, Heer, Kennedi Ratcliffe, Kate Messick, Abby Higgins, Sydney Briggs and Katie Todd all the way down the race course to earn the silver medal ahead of Asheville.

HPG also took home silver in the girls Division II U15 eights final. The crew, steered by Phillip Sojka was comprised of Maura Toole,  Maddie Van Weerdhuizen, Natalie Earnhardt, Ellie Schroeder, Emma Knapp, Elizabeth Parker, Reagan Labiak, and Lia Peace.

In the Middle school Division I final, HPG Rowing showed power and poise as it raced down Oak Hollow Lake in front of Festival Park. Coxswain Ella Nichols’ straight line course left nothing to chance as her crew of Matthew Hronich, Henry Parker, Ryan LaPierre, Jeffrey Shroyer, James Li, Sierra Heer, Ben Huitt and Grace Denenny rowed away from Triangle Rowing Club and Asheville for gold.

Just moments earlier, High Point Greensboro rowers finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the Division II Middle school race. Triangle won and Asheville finished 5th.

Maggie McIntyre steered her crew of Claire Howard, Sarvesh Venkittu, Tyrus Martin, Nate Dorn, Isaac Gates, Keagan OConnell, Holly Spong and Corinne Alt to the silver medal.

Reagan Labiak steered her crew of Kate Messick, Sophie Bene, Abby Shea, Anna Hicks, Aydin Hall, Abby Higgins, Kennedit Ratcliffe and Jamie Atkinson to the bronze.

In a tight finish, Elizabeth Parker steered her crew of Maddie Vanweerdhuizen, Hayden Gentry, Isaac Sparro, Rachel Lesser, Gavyn Azar, Emily Nagel, Natalie Earnhardt, and Roshan Sundaram to the fourth place finish.

Greensboro rowers also race in the women’s novice eight and fours events on Saturday in High Point. Novice events are for first year rowers. The novice 4 rowers also raced in the eight-oared crew comprised of coxswain Ella Nichols, stroke Caroline Dau, Grace Michel, Mary Blake Murphy, Madie Gentry, Kate Cole, Kendall Knight, Hadley Cowan, and bowman Eva Keel.

“Our Greensboro rowers were fabulous on Saturday,” said club founder Gene Kininmonth. “The club has made a successful coaching transition at Lake Brandt and I would like to express my gratitude to coaches Britney Kelley, Molly McDonald, and Patrick Kinsella-McClelland for their contributions to lift this rowing squad to new heights in such a positive manner.”

All our rowers were Oarsome on Saturday. Congratulations to our newly minted state champions and medalists and everyone who participated in their first ever race!

Quackers the Duck made an appearance at the 2017 NC state rowing championships on Oak Hollow Lake.

HPG rowers relax between races at the 2017 state championships in High Point.

The Rowing Clubs of the Triad Cordially Invite You to the 3rd Annual Celebration of Rowing Banquet



Jackie King
Caren York

Michael Brown
EJ Caughlin
Sam Dempsey
Morgan Epling
Gene Kininmonth
Chelsea Klein
Elizabeth Knorr
Maddie Mullins
William Scarpa, III
Charles York

Refreshments with Hors d’oeuvres, Auctions, Dinner, Keynote Speaker, Award Presentations & Triad Rowers’ Hall of Fame Induction

Cocktail attire with ‘team colors’.

B U Y   T I C K E T S

The rowing clubs of the Triad are pleased to announce the 3rd annual Celebration of Rowing banquet, scheduled for Saturday, November 19, at the High Point Country Club.

Co-hosted by High Point Rowing Club, High Point University Rowing, Wake Forest Rowing Club, and Greensboro Crew, the Celebration of Rowing banquet is in its third year of recognizing an appreciation for our sport and our local rowing community. Celebration of Rowing is the one time each year when the Triad rowing community gathers to honor its own and enjoy hearing from a keynote speaker who has made a national impact on the sport of rowing.

This year the banquet will also serve as the occasion to induct Greensboro’s double Olympic gold medalist, Caroline Lind, into the Triad Rowers’ Hall of Fame.

rowing+blazersJack Carlson, author, archaeologist, and national team rower has accepted an invitation to speak at this year’s prestigious gala. Jack is a three-time member of the United States national rowing team. He is also the author of the acclaimed book Rowing Blazers. 

Jack Carlson continues a banquet tradition of introducing world renowned rowing leaders to the Triad. Cutting edge rowing boat maker, Misha Joukowsky, spoke in 2015 and Caroline Lind was the 2014 guest speaker.

B U Y   T I C K E T S 

From left, rowers Adam Alt, Andrew Wright and Charles York pose with two time Olympic gold medal winner Caroline Lind at the 2014 Celebration of Rowing banquet.

From left, rowers Adam Alt, Andrew Wright and Charles York pose with two time Olympic gold medal winner Caroline Lind at the 2014 Celebration of Rowing banquet.

Greensboro Crew Opens First Ever Racing Season at High Point Autumn Rowing Festival with Historic Wins

Greensboro Crew's novice girls crew are all smiles at the 2016 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.

Greensboro Crew’s novice girls crew are all smiles at the 2016 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.

High Point, North Carolina – Greensboro Crew marked its first ever Opening Day of a season at 2016 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival in front of thousands of rowers and spectators at Festival Park on Oak Hollow Lake on Saturday.

After a brief delay to the start of racing due to early morning fog, spectators thronged the banks of the lake to watch almost 450 rowers in 151 boats from 20 different clubs, universities and high schools from as far away as Annapolis, MD to Atlanta, GA.

Greensboro Crew, in its first season of rowing boated a larg fleet of crews in youth novice and middle school events and Masters (adults) eights events.

The head racing course for the Festival is one of the most unique in rowing in that it requires the crews to steer around multiple turns including a 180 degree turn ‘Around the Duck.’ The ‘duck’ is an inflated rubber duck almost as tall as a three story building. Unfortunately, the duck tipped over for afternoon racing but this didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the rowers.

HPRC – 2016 Fall Regatta from Carolina SkyWorks on Vimeo.

Greensboro began its day with Masters racing, where High Point (average age of 50) showed a dashing display of skill and stamina to win the Burton Whicker Cup over Greensboro’s less experienced oarsmen (average age 38). Greensboro’s Masters women (average age 47) finished in a close 5th place in a strong field of crews from High Point, Raleigh and Belmont.

With some racing experience under their belts, Greensboro Masters then turned around later in the afternoon session of boat racing to win the Mixed Masters eights, and the Masters Maiden Eights events in convincing fashion.

Greensboro Crew founder Gene Kininmonth said he was extremely proud of the accomplishments of the squad. “In 7 weeks these rowers went from not knowing how to row, to completing a 3 mile race course.  They took home medals in the Mixed Masters 8+ and the Mixed Maiden 8+ and should be commended for their efforts!”

Greensboros masters mens crew rowed in the clubs first race at the 2016 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.

Greensboros masters mens crew rowed in the clubs first race at the 2016 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.


Sneak Peek Week is Here! Middle and high school students can try rowing for just $10


Come try out youth rowing!

If you are in grades 7-12 (rising), and maybe looking for a Fall sport? Come give rowing a try. Three days of rowing for just $10. It is that easy! No experience necessary but you should be able to swim as a safety precaution.

WHEN? 4:15pm to 6:00pm on Monday, August 15th, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.

WHERE? Lake Brandt. Use 5945 Lake Brandt Rd, Greensboro, NC 27455 as your GPS guide. This will bring you to the park entrance. When you enter the park, our boats are located to the right end of the park.

COST? Just $10!


Also, be sure to have a parent sign the waiver and swim form certifying that you can swim. These can be downloaded on this page. Bring these forms with you and your $10 payment.

Also bring the following:
• flip flops (we walk the boats into the water)
• water bottle
• dress in close-fitting shorts/t-shirt (Loose clothes get caught in the sliding seat of the boat).

Questions? Just email our wonderful coach, Gene Kininmonth contact@greensborocrew.com – “Row for the G!”


Greensboro Crew Sets Fall Race Schedule


Lake Brandt, North Carolina – Greensboro Crew has set its Fall boat racing schedule, the program’s founder Gene Kininmonth is pleased to announce.

“Our future rowers and parents should particularly take note of the two important upcoming events, which are the Open House and subsequent parent meeting at Lake Brandt,” Coach Gene. These two events will play a vital, informative role for our new families.”

Greensboro Crew is a community rowing program open to adults of all ages and youth ages 12+ attending any Triad area high school. The team is currently accepting new members. 

Crew Open House
Saturday, August 13, 9am-12pm.
Lake Brandt, Greensboro

First Day of Autumn Rowing
August 15, 2016
Lake Brandt, Greensboro

Crew Parent Meeting
Saturday, August 20 at 10am
Lake Brandt, Greensboro

Greensboro/High Point Rowing’s Anniversary Row
Saturday, September 10 at 8am
Bridge to Bridge Race & Potluck Brunch
Oak Hollow Lake, High Point

High Point Autumn Rowing Festival
Saturday, October 1st
Oak Hollow Lake
High Point, North Carolina

Head of the James
Saturday, October 8
Robious Landing
Midlothian, VA

High Point V Greensboro
Saturday, October 22
Lake Brandt
Greensboro, North Carolina

Note, the clocks change 1 hour on Sunday, November 6 and midweek afternoon practice is moved to the Jamestown Indoor Rowing Studio after this date.

2016 Head of the Hooch
Saturday & Sunday, November 5-6
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Head of the South*
Saturday, November 12
Augusta, GA
*select crews only


Rowing is Coming to Greensboro

Greensboro, NC – The founder of High Point Rowing Club is working with Greensboro city officials to start a new rowing program at Lake Brandt for adults and youth ages 12-18. Gene Kininmonth, who founded High Point Rowing Club in 2012 says the new rowing program will be called ‘Greensboro Crew’ and is expected to kick off in just a few weeks.

“Lake Brandt is an ideal venue for rowing and it is within close proximity to a significant number of private and public schools in Greensboro,” says Kininmonth. “Many of High Point Rowing Club’s members are residents of Greensboro and nearby Summerfield and Oak Ridge, so clearly there is demand for the sport. It makes sense for the city to have a rowing program.”

Factor in that since Title IX, the sport of choice of college athletic directors to counter football is women’s rowing. So, there is huge demand at universities for high school students with rowing experience and until now Greensboro high school students have been denied access to one of the most lucrative sports for getting into college.

“Rowing coaches from across the nation are already visiting Greensboro high school athletes that are playing sports such as swimming and track and trying to recruit them to row,” says Kininmonth. “The demand for athletes is huge. Imagine how many more opportunities for Greensboro students there will be with an actual rowing team in the city.”

Greensboro Crew will be open to students age 12 – 18 attending any public or private school in the Greensboro/Summerfield/Oak Ridge areas.

Here’s a look at what rowing looks like in High Point.

Parents or students interested in rowing should contact Gene Kininmonth at contact@greensborocrew.com or by calling (336) 257-9009.

Learn to Row!

Learn to Row classes will take place in January at Oak Hollow Lake in High Point for students ages 14 – 18 attending any Greensboro area high school.

The classes will be held on the weekends of January 19-20 and 26-27 at 1pm each day. Cost per participant for all sessions is $50. All participants must have their parents verify in writing that they can swim. A parent of each participant must attend the first class.

Email contact@highpointrowing.com to sign up for the classes and to receive further updates. All classes will be subject to weather conditions and may be rescheduled.

The rowing classes will be instructed by Coach Gene Kininmonth, an internationally acclaimed coach, who has coached prestigious collegiate rowing programs such as the University of Southern California and George Washington University.

Kininmonth’s last collegiate race was as coach of the USC crew that raced Canada in the final of the Grand Challenge Cup at England’s Henley Royal Regatta, an event now famous for its feature in the movie blockbuster The Social Network.

History to be made at Lake Brandt on Saturday

Greensboro, NC – History will be made on Saturday morning when the first rowing crews ever to grace the waters of Lake Brandt are launched at 9am.

High Point Rowing Club will be launching rowing crews comprised primarily of members of its team residing in the Greensboro/Summerfield area in an effort to promote rowing in the city.

“Half our High Point team lives in Greensboro or Summerfield,” says High Point Crew founder Gene Kininmonth. “Since there is such obvious interest in the sport of rowing in this area, it only makes sense that we assist the City of Greensboro establish a team here.”

Greensboro Crew will initially focus on a scholastic youth rowing program which will provide rowing opportunities to high school students ages 13 and up.

Interested students should email contact@highpointrowing.com for details on how to join the Crew.

No experience necessary!

Kininmonth says Lake Brandt was chosen as the new home for the Greensboro Crew for its large expanse of beautiful waterways surrounded by a tall tree line that offers protection from winds making it ideal for rowing.