Jonson Kuhn | North Forty News
Row, row, row your boats because the NoCo Junior (High School) Rowing team is back in action for yet another exciting summer season! Umbrellaed under the Fort Collins Rowing Association, the NoCo Junior “Crew” is a youth organization that welcomes athletes from the ages of 13 to 18 who are ready to experience a full season of competition in the sport of Rowing.
Currently, Head Coach Mark Berkner is in the process of preparing his team to compete in the Chicago Sprints competition this July 8 and 9 featured in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. It should be noted that Mark knows a thing or two about competition himself, having rowed with the 1986 University of Wisconsin National Champion Varsity Eight as well as being a part of two USA World Championship Teams and a member of the 1992 USA Summer Olympic Team.
“Last year was the first year we (NoCo Juniors) went; it’s a pretty well-attended regatta (Chicago Sprints), we’ll go race teams from all around the country, which we don’t normally get to do. The junior team will make up boats of 8-oared shells down to single shell and we’ll see how we do. It’s a lot of fun; we just launched into our summer season, so we’ve got a handful of weeks here to prepare for the Chicago Sprints,” Mark said.
Rowing in the Inlet Bay Marina of Larimer County’s beautiful Horsetooth Reservoir, the NoCo Crew consists of four seasons: winter season conditioning and three competitive seasons with a goal of qualifying for Youth Nationals. Spring season (Sprints), summer season (Sprints), and Fall Season (Head Racing). NoCo competes in a number of local Colorado races, as well as regional and nationally renowned regattas, and registration, as well as participation, are for each distinct Spring, Summer, or Fall season program. In addition, NoCo Rowers are allowed to participate in all or any one specific season.
“It’s a blast! It’s a lot harder than people think but it’s a lot of fun to try and get competent at this skill; you get to glide like you’re a surfer and you get to bust your hump like you’re a cross-country ski racer. It’s very challenging, kind of technical, but it’s pretty fun from the get-go. It’s the ultimate team sport,” Mark said. “Give it a try and I hope it grabs you because it truly is a sport for a lifetime and it’s definitely a great way to get you really fit.”
If you have any questions or would like more information about how to get involved or just how to support the team as they gear up for the Chicago Sprints Regatta, please visit fcrowing.org/juniors for all the details. Happy rowing!