2017: A Captain’s Retrospective

By Lucy Huitt

Looking back, it seems crazy that Greensboro Crew started only a little over a year

My brother and I had been with High Point Rowing Club for a few seasons when Coach Gene announced that a sister program was to be launched in Greensboro. My first day rowing on Lake Brandt, I was three-seat in a coxed four, and the wooden handle of my oar snapped. That remained a big joke for a while. There were so many
new faces that came along with the new team.

HPG, the combined squad name, draws kids from all over the Triad. Many kids have been adventurous and willing to come try a new sport about which they know very little.

I made a lot of friends that fall season. I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to row with both Greensboro and High Point and build strong friendships in both squads.

Over the course of the year the connection between both teams has grown stronger.

Camaraderie and great sportsmanship are a couple of the wonderful qualities
embodied in the members of HPG. Prior to races, teammates on both squadrons
encourage each other and give helpful tips and advice. After races, team members
help carry other boats and congratulate each other’s performances.

I love our team. Character building is happening all the time as we learn and improve on skills suchas leadership, sportsmanship, and teamwork.

Greensboro Crew has grown and flourished exponentially since its beginning and I,
along with many others, look forward to watching the process continue.

Lucy Huitt is the captain of Greensboro Crew’s youth rowing squad. 

Lucy Huitt with her brother Ben and parents Anne and Parker with Olympic gold medalist Jason Read at the Celebration of Rowing banquet in November.

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 14 events the club entered.

The inaugural duel between High Point and Greensboro was all for fun…OK and maybe a little pride as well : )

Greensboro V High Point at this summers 2017 Uncle Sam Jam.

Greensboro Crew’s masters squad enjoyed new digs for indoor rowing at Revolution Mill this winter.

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.

Greensboro Crew Combines with High Point to Win Medals at Head of the South in Georgia

Augusta, Georgia – Greensboro Crew teamed up with High Point Rowing Club  to race as HPG Rowing at the Head of the South regatta over the weekend.

The combination proved to be a powerful one-two punch for HPG with the combined squads coming away with two victories and multiple other medals on the Savannah River.

HPG won the men’s youth lightweight single sculls and then the women’s youth quadruple sculls title at the prestigious season capping event.

All up thousands of rowers of all ages raced in 725 boats raced down the 5,000 meter Savannah River course in Augusta.

Anna Lewis, Lindsay York, Molly HIlemn, and Emily Winberg won bronze in the women’s quad sculls on the Savannah River in Augusta at the 2017 Head of the South.

William Hundley made history for his HPG club in the opening race of the day when he won the youth lightweight singles title. Hundley sculled his shell with ease down the 5,000m winding river course, finishing in the time of 19 minutes 2 seconds, well ahead of Stanton River Boat Club’s Sanjay Mohka.  Atomic Rowing Club’s Benjamin Marshall rounded out the medals. finishing almost 90 seconds later.

HPG then won a pair of silver medals in the middle school boat races. Silver medals could easily have been gold but for the eight being trapped by the earlier masters singles event and forced to stop on the race course. “The crew raced so fast we caught up to the previous event,” recounted High Point’s skillful navigator Collin Greene after the race. “We were forced to stop. It was either that or mow them down like road kill on the Savannah River.”

Greene commended his crew of stroke Matthew Hronich, Ben Huitt, Stratton Murphy, Keagan O’Connell, Ethan Mangum, Abigail Higgins, Samantha Hogsett, and bowseat Hannah Tooley for remaining cool under the pressures of boat racing on a fast flowing river due to the current. 

HPG Rowing’s middle school four-oared crew enjoyed their best race of the Autumn season to also win silver on Saturday morning. Ellie Schroeder set up the perfect rhythm from stroke seat for her crew of William Thompson, Charles Richards, and Savannah Royals. “We had a great race,” said Charles after the race. “We passed some of the middle school eights so we knew we were in serious contention for medals.”

Katherine Messick, Grace Denenny, Eduarda Blaschke, Corinne Alt, Eva Keel, Claire Howard, Holly Spong and Anna Hicks teamed up to win silver at the 2017 Head of the South in Augusta, GA.

HPG’s next medal was won in the women’s junior novice eights event. The all-Greensboro crew of Margaret McIntyre, stroke Katherine Messick, 7 Grace Denenny, 6 Eduarda Blaschke, 5 Corinne Alt, 4 Eva Keel, 3 Claire Howard 2 Holly Spong, and bow Anna Hicks showed poise and grace as they swept their 60 foot long shell with the river current passing half a dozen other crews during the race. 

“It was an incredible feeling rowing so fast down the Savannah with such strong, powerful young women,” said Eva Keel. “It feels like yesterday that we introduced rowing to Greensboro. Now we are introducing Greensboro rowing to the world.”

HPG’s next medal came from an all High Point cast of masters rowers in the Masters women’s eight-oared event. HPG finished third in the age handicapped fleet of crews.

Medals for Masters: Mandy Greene steered straight and true to help her crew win bronze at the 2017 Head of the South. The crew was comprised of Jackie King, Erin Sanders, Shelli York, Alexis King, Laura Tanley, Traci Loria, Jeanne MacPherson, and Beverly Snively.

High Point-Greensboro’s next medals were won in the women’s youth quad sculls event. HPG entered two boats in the event, which finished with the first and third fastest times on the day.

High Point has announced plans to send a women’s quad sculls crew to England’s Henley Royal Regatta in 2018 and competition for seats in the boat has lifted the team to winning standards.

Charlotte Curri, Ainsley Fox, Ashley Walker and Junior Ognovich were in the winning crew, setting the fastest time of any female quad scull on the day. The feat earned them the Igor Grinko Plate, which they were awarded ahead of collegiate and adult crews.

High Point quad scullers Charlotte Curri, Ainsley Fox, Ashley Walker, and Junior OGnovich with Kira Grinko (center) widow of the late great sculling coach Igor Grinko, who coached the United States to silver at the 1996 Olympic Games. The High Point scullers were presented with the Igor Grinko plate for posting the fastest women’s sculling time at the 2017 Head of the South.

Emily Winberg, Anna Lewis, Lindsay York, and Molly Hilemn won bronze in the same event, an indication of the strength of the High Point sculling program.

HPG rowers then won bronze in the mixed U16 eight-oared event and in the last race of the day for HPG William Hundley lead his fellow scullers Harry Capizzi, William Scarpa III, and Govind Harish to bronze in the men’s youth quad sculls event.


The club would like to express its gratitude to Holly Messick and Shelli York for their service as parent chaperones to the team during its weekend travels.

HPG’s novice boy’s eight at the 2017 Head of the South regatta in Augusta, GA.

Registration is Open for Youth Winter Indoor Rowing at Revolution Mill

Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Crew is excited to announce a new season of Youth Indoor Rowing for high school and middle school students at its Revolution Mill Indoor Rowing Studio. The purpose of the Youth Indoor Rowing is to foster healthy living in a fun team environment for students through the wonderful sport of rowing. Students will be be prepared for the challenges indoor rowing competition and the spring boat racing season after completing the indoor rowing program.

No prior rowing experience is necessary. 

“The Greensboro Crew indoor rowing program will be led by world record holder and Olympian Lisa Schlenker,” says club founder Gene Kininmonth. “Indoor rowing has taken off as the new spinning and Rowing is low-impact making it safe from the types of head and knee injuries we see in other sports.”

In addition to indoor rowing, students will also participate in strength and conditioning as well as a boxing fitness regimen (which does not involve students hitting each other).

Format: Participants with no prior experience will start with a learn-to-row format on the Concept2 rowing machines.  As technique and stamina improve, a more competitive format will be adopted.

Dates and Times: Each day, Monday – Friday from 4:30pm – 6:00pm (students travelling from further away can arrive later) and at 9am on Saturday mornings. Students are not expected to be at every session. The season begins on Monday November 13 and will go through to February 24, 2018

Attire: Tee shirt, form-fitting shorts, and running shoes are usual attire. Loose fitting shorts will likely catch in the “slide” (where the rowing seat moves back and forth on the rower). Bring a water bottle too!

Address: Revolution Mill, 1100 N. Revolution Mill Drive, Greensboro, North Carolina 27405.

Cost: $275 per participant. No partial refund for missed sessions or weather related cancellations.

More Info: Email contact@greensborocrew.com


911 Hero and Olympic Champion Jason Read to give Keynote Address at Celebration of Rowing Banquet

Jason Read serves as flag-bearer for Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Games.

American hero and Olympic gold medal winning rower Jason Read will give the keynote address at the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet, event chair Jackie King is pleased to announce.

The banquet is scheduled for Saturday, November 18, at Sedgefield Country Club with admission open to the general public.

“Jason Read’s life story is one of unwavering dedication, representing his country proudly and with courage at moments of unimaginable tragedy and great triumph,” says Jackie King.

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.

King says it is an incredible honor to have Jason Read join the Triad rowing clubs for this occasion. “Earlier this year High Point Rowing Club purchased an eight-man shell bearing his name from his alma mater Temple University. None of us knew who he was then. We do now and we are so looking forward to welcoming Jason to North Carolina.”

Jason Read (standing) served as a rescue squad chief at Ground Zero on 911. Less than three years later he won gold with the USA men’s eight at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.


B U Y   T I C K E T S

The Celebration of Rowing banquet is in its fourth 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.

Read will follow a illustrious line of guest speakers in recent years who have each had a national impact on the rowing community:

2014 Caroline Lind, 2X Olympic gold medalist
2015 Misha Joukowsky, Resolute shells
2016 Jack Carlson, Rowing Blazers
“The Celebration of Rowing banquet is a special night for rowers,” says the event chair Jackie King. “It is about coming together to celebrate the sport we all love and for many of us a sport that has held a profound transformational effect on our lives.”

Double Olympic gold medalist Caroline Lind was inducted into the Triad Rowers’ Hall of Fame at the High Point Country Club on November 19, 2016.

Almost 200 rowers and their families gathered at High Point Country Club for the 2016 Celebration of Rowing banquet.

Greensboro Crew middle school rowers enjoy the festivities at the 2016 Celebration of Rowing banquet.

Greensboro Rowers Shine at 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival

The Duck looked resplendent in the morning sun at the 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival until winds lifted it from its anchors and sent it hurtling down Oak Hollow Lake with rowers in pursuit.

High Point, North Carolina – Greensboro rowers enjoyed an epic day of racing among a record 500 rowers and an estimated 1,500 spectators at Festival Park at Oak Hollow Lake on Saturday for the 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.

The annual regatta, hosted by High Point & Greensboro Rowing Clubs, attracted a record number of participant entries from youth, collegiate and adult rowing clubs across the southeast region.

Boat racing at the rowing festival was a 4,500 meter time-trial in 42 boat classes defined by size of boat, age, and experience level. Boats race across Oak Hollow Lake and around a giant inflatable rubber duck some three stories high.  The penalty for crews not racing around the duck was instant disqualification.

Brisk 15 mile per hour winds at the start of racing, however, lifted the duck from its anchors and sent it flying down the lake.

Mayhem ensued, as the first round of crews, fearing possible disqualification, began chasing the duck down the lake at full speed.

The giant duck soon ended up on land by Centennial Avenue and rowers were directed back on the race course.

“The winds blowing the duck away certainly messed up timing and results for the first two rounds of racing,” said regatta co-chair Mandy Greene. “But in hindsight it may add to the lore of this regatta, which continues to grow in leaps and bounds.”

Race organizers quickly restored the race course. The duck was quickly deflated but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm among the rowers which remained high. 

High Point – Greensboro rowers, racing as HPG Rowing, led the medal table at the conclusion of racing with 8 gold medals. Raleigh based Triangle Rowing Club finished in second place with gold medals. Asheville were just behind with six gold medal wins.

The College of William & Mary from Virginia led the medal table for universities with six first place finishes. NC State won 3 golds. Wake Forest University were third on the medal count. The local student club program from High Point University declined to participate on Saturday.

Raleigh Rowing Center picked up 6 first places in the adult or Masters division races. Carolina Masters won three gold medals.

For Lisa Schlencher, Greensboro Crew’s new head coach, the weekend was an outstanding success. “Our rowers came prepared to race. We focused on getting everything right off the water as well as in racing. We are seeing progress.”

Greensboro Crew was strongly represented as HPG in the women’s masters event at the 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.


Triangle youth rowers carry their 60′ long shell to the dock at the 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.

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.

Back to School Sneak Peek Week Coming Up at Lake Brandt: Youth ages 12 – 19 can try rowing for one week free!


Whether you are going into grade 7 in middle school or a high school Junior, you may be looking for a new sport . If so, then this is your chance to give rowing a try for free. Five days of rowing at Lake Brandt – you can come to one practice or all five.

Just register and show up. It is that easy!

FREE SNEAK PEEK WEEK: August 28 – September 2, 2017 from  4:30pm to 6pm.

This summer up to 60 high school and middle school students will be part of our rowing program at Lake Brandt. This Sneak Peek will give you a great intro on learning about rowing to see if the sport is for you.

No experience necessary but you must be able to swim as a safety precaution if you join the team. Participants must be at least 12 years of age.

WHAT? Sneak Peek Week is one week of learning to row for FREE, where students will learn the technique needed for rowing in racing boats on the water.

WHEN? 4:30pm to 6pm on Monday, August 28 though Saturday, September 2. (Note the lake is closed on Tuesdays, so no rowing then)

WHERE? Lake Brandt Marina: 5945 Lake Brandt Rd, Greensboro, NC 27455


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.

Also bring the following:
• flip flops and normal athletic attire
• water bottle

Questions? Just email Coach Gene at contact@greensborocrew.com

Show your Support for the Rowers with the HPG Spirit Shirt!

Show your support for our rowers with the new ‘HPG Spirit Shirt’.

Available now for a limited time only, this incredible High Point Greensboro ‘Spirit Shirt’ is for sale to parents, spouses, siblings, alumni, and friends of our rowers for just $25. Proceeds support the team!

P U R C H A S E  H E R E ! ! !

Designed with a European soccer shirt in mind, the HPG Spirit Shirt features the embroidered club crest, as well as logos from Greensboro Crew and High Point Rowing Club on the sleeves.

This shirt looks great on men and women in all sizes. Get yours for a limited time only.

Greensboro Crew Wins Inaugural Duel With High Point

Lake Brandt, Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Crew showed speed and form on a glorious spring morning to win the inaugural cross-town duel over High Point today.

After racing most of the spring season under the combined HPG Rowing umbrella, the squads broke up by training base location for the two clubs’ first official racing encounter.

With Greensboro still in its first year of racing it was agreed that the races would be between middle school and novice rowers, who are in their first year of rowing. Greensboro Crew boated two crews for the race while High Point had one.

The distance was 1,250 meters.

All three crews jumped out quickly and evenly of at the start. However, within 200 meters one of the Greensboro Crews experienced a near boat stopping crab, which all but ruled them out of contention.

The other Greensboro Crew, coxed by Ella Nichols, did not miss a beat and capitalized on the distraction by taking a enthusiastic move on High Point and pulled ahead to a half boat length lead.

The margin between High Point and Greensboro stayed relatively the same as the crews raced down Lake Brandt toward a rapidly approaching finish line.

Sensing the thrill of victory in the final 200 meters Greensboro Crew raised their cadence in a brilliant burst of speed to win by open water.

The winning Greensboro Crew boat was comprised of coxswain Ella Nichols, stroke Ryan LaPierre, Hadley Cowan, Corinne Alt, Kate Messick, Kennedi Ratcliffe, Kate Cole, Grace Denenny, and Keagan O’Connell,

Greensboro Crew snatches victory over High Point in the inaugural duel on Lake Brandt.

After the initial race all three crews turned around and competed for an additional race over 500m. The winning Greensboro Crew from the previous race locked oars with High Point in the first 10 strokes but the coaches allowed the race to continue.

Ella Nichols’ Greensboro Crew was the quicker boat to recover and soon both crews were quickly making chase against the other leading Greensboro Crew.

Ella’s crew found the speed needed to win the race with the second Greensboro Crew in second place in an almost dead heat with High Point.

The inaugural duel between High Point and Greensboro was all for fun…OK and maybe a little pride as well : )