Rowing is a challenging but incredibly rewarding sport. Among other things, rowers develop terrific strength and endurance, make a tight-knit group of friends, compete at a national level and learn lifelong lessons in dedication and time management.
Jackson-Reed Crew is open to any new athletes attending Jackson-Reed High School. If you have never rowed before, you will join the novice/freshmen squad.
Joining the team requires no prior experience. Because rowing is not available until the high school level, freshmen have a unique opportunity to learn and explore a new sport, starting on equal footing with their classmates and competitors. Over the course of the year, incoming student-athletes go from never having stepped into a boat to rowing at a very competitive level and are ready to join the varsity squad in their second year.
All athletes new to Jackson-Reed Crew must take a swim test but prior swimming experience is not required. If you do not pass the swim test at first, you can still participate in Jackson-Reed Crew - the program will arrange swim instruction. You will wear an approved PFD at all times when you are on the water. Once you feel your swimming abilities and/or fitness have improved enough, inform your coach and he/she will setup another swim test.
Swim test exceptions are allowed for athletes who previously passed a swim test for the 8th grade Learn-to-Row program and athletes who would rather wear an approved personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water.
For the swim test, athletes should wear non-cotton athletic clothing (not a swimsuit).
● Part 1: Swim 100 yards with any stroke or combination of strokes without stopping or hanging on the ends or lane lines. Speed and form do not matter.
● Part 2: Tread water for 5 minutes
Swim instruction resources:
Tail of the Potomac 2022
|Day||Novice Girls||Novice Boys|
|Mon||4:30PM - 6:30PM||4:30PM - 6:30PM|
|Tues||4:30PM - 6:30PM||4:30PM - 6:30PM|
|Wed||4:30PM - 6:30PM||4:30PM - 6:30PM|
|Thurs||4:30PM - 6:30PM||4:30PM - 6:30PM|
|Fri||4:30PM - 6:30PM||4:30PM - 6:30PM|
|Sat||Off until October||Off until October|
In October, some practice time will shift to the morning, and a Saturday 9-11AM practice will be added.
Victoria has been coaching crew in the D.C. area since 2020 and is excited to join the Jackson Reed team! She discovered the sport while studying in the UK and spent five years rowing for Wolfson College at Oxford University while working on a Ph.D. in Literature.
During her time in the UK, Victoria was part of blade-winning, bumps-racing crews four times and, in 2011, was a Cambridge Autumn Regatta winner in Eights and Fours. As a novice, she camped out on the banks of the Henley River for spring training camp and raced in the Thames Head of the River. In the US, she has raced on the Potomac for the Oxford-Cambridge Alumni Boat Race and dabbles in sculling. When she is not coaching or teaching she enjoys yoga (and is 200-hour certified), drawing, and traveling.
John Ludders joins Jackson-Reed Crew in the fall 2023 after serving as the as the head freshmen boys coach at Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School from 2018 - 2023 and as the freshman assistant coach in 2017 John began rowing at West Side Rowing Club in Buffalo, NY where he won US and Canadian national titles in the U17 8+ and 4+. He attended Buffalo’s St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and was captain of the rowing team. After high school he attended the University of Wisconsin where he won medals at Eastern Sprints, IRAs, Club Nationals, Canadian Henley, and came in first overall in the Championship 4+ at the Head Of The Charles, defeating the US National Team. John lives in Washington DC with his wife and son, and spends his non-rowing time on various nerd hobbies, a desk job as a data analyst, and coping with the misery of being a Buffalo sports fan.