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Freshmen/Novice Program

Interested in Rowing?

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. 

The Swim Test

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:

DC Parks and Recreation - Learn to Swim Programs

National Capital Swim School

Tail of the Potomac 2022

Spring 2024 Novice Practice Schedule

Novice Girls Novice Boys
Monday 5:30AM - 7:30AM 5:30AM - 7:30AM
Tuesday 4:30 - 6:30 PM 5:30AM - 7:30AM
Wednesday 4:30 - 6:30 PM 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Thursday 5:30AM - 7:30AM 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Friday 4:30 - 6:30 PM 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Saturday 6:30 - 8:30 AM 8:30 - 10:30 AM

Practice Schedule Winter 2023/2024

Day Novice Girls Novice Boys
Mon 5:00PM - 7:00PM 5:00PM - 7:00PM
Tues 6:15AM - 8:00AM 5:00PM - 7:00PM
Wed 6:15AM - 8:00AM 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Thurs 4:00PM - 6:00PM 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Fri 4:00PM - 6:00PM 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Sat --- ---
Sun --- ---

Zach Hicks

freshmen/Novice girls coach

Zach Hicks began rowing for Walter Johnson High School in 2012, becoming an essential part of the Freshman 4+‘s undefeated run that spring. He would go on to stroke a successful varsity 4+ for WJ, earning All-Met honors after bringing the program their first (and second!) Stotesbury medals, and the team’s first Scholastic National Championship medals. In the 2015 National Schools Regatta, Hicks stroked the 8+ to victory over Gonzaga. 
As a member of TBC Racing, Hicks won a national championship in the 8+ over the summer of 2015, and was a part of the runner-up TBC crew at Canadian Henley in the 8+ in 2016.   Before a career-ending injury at Oregon State, Hicks rowed the 2V there, most notably to a win over Stanford in the Head of the Lake regatta. 
Since then, he has headed the Freshman/Novice programs at Annapolis Juniors and Bethesda-Chevy Chase, with crews that have made the finals at Stotesbury and Midatlantics, and also assisted at TBC racing‘s summer program.  Last year, as head coach of Catholic University Men’s varsity team, he led the program to a ranking of #10 in the nation, highest in team history, including a program-best finish at the MARC Championship and an IRA appearance.

Victoria Reuter

Freshmen/Novice Girls Assistant Coach

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

Freshmen/novice boys coach

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. 

Carlo Price

Freshmen/Novice Boys Assistant coach

Carlo Price began rowing at Jackson-Reed in 2017 while a student at the high school.   While rowing there he won WMIRA as a novice, and placed 5th at SRAAs in the lightweight 8 category. In 2022 he joined his former team as a coach for the men’s freshman team. There he has helped coach crews to win 3 WMIRA medals in just 2 years, as well as medals at The Stotesbury Regatta and SRAAs.  While he is not coaching, he can be found studying finance at The George Washington University and trying to find the perfect cup of coffee around the DMV.