Steve Hargis, Head Coach US Junior National Team Development and Junior Men’s National Team
Hargis is entering his fifth year as Junior Men’s National Team Head Coach in addition to his role of Head Coach for Junior National Team Development responsible for the growth, programmatic changes, coach mentoring and long-term planning for the Jr Teams that he was appointed to in 2008. From 1999 to 2008, Hargis served as the Head Coach for the USJWNT Development Camp and from 2004 to 2008, Hargis also served as the U.S. Junior Women’s National Team Head Coach. In 2006, under the direction of Coach Hargis, the US 8+ raced to a silver medal finish at the Junior World Championships in Amsterdam. In 2007, they won a bronze medal in Beijing and in 2008, they won a gold medal in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria – the first gold in this event in the 25 year history of the US Women’s participation in Junior Worlds, defeating the defending Junior World Champion, Romania. That same year, Coach Hargis was presented with the United States Olympic Committee’s Development Coach of the Year Award for his contributions to US Rowing.
During the same timeframe, Coach Hargis served as the Director of Rowing and Head Women’s Coach at the US Coast Guard Academy. Under his direction, the women’s team made five out of six NCAA DIII appearances, won two NEWMAC conference championships and produced three DIII First Boat All-Americans. He was honored as the NEWMAC Coach of the Year in both 2003 and 2007, as well as the DIII National Coach of the Year in 2003.
Nick Haley, Team Manager
Haley has coached on both the women’s and men’s side of the Junior National Team since 1999. He is currently the head coach at the Rose City Rowing Club in Portland Oregon. Prior to RCRC founding in 2004, Haley was the head coach at Oregon Rowing Unlimited. Haley rowed and coxed in high school in London, England and coxed at Georgetown University. He is in his fourth year as team manager for the World Championships and ensures that things run smoothly for the athletes and the coaches at the World Championships.
Liz Trond, Junior Women’s Head Coach
Liz Trond is in her sixth year as the US Junior Women’s Head Coach. Under her helm, the women’s sweep team medaled in all three events (2-, 4- & 8+) in both 2015 & 2012. The 2015 4-, Trond led them to a gold medal. The 2014 4-, coached by Liz, won a silver medal in the Junior World Rowing Championships. Coach Trond began rowing in 1989 and coaching in 1995. She was a highly competitive collegiate rower and still trains and races on the master’s level, winning the Head of the Charles in the 8 and Master’s Nationals in the 2x in recent years. Liz has coached at Sacramento State University, Orange Coast College, Fairfield University, Norwalk River Rowing Association, and in 2005 founded the Maritime Rowing Club competitive girls sweep team. In 4 years there, her crews won the Head of the Charles, San Diego Crew Classic, and medaled numerous time at US Rowing Youth Nationals. In 2010, Liz founded Connecticut Boat Club whose boats won National Championships in the 8, 2- and Ltwt 4+. Liz began coaching with US Rowing in 2002. Serving as Head Coach for the United States Junior Women’s Development Team in 2004 and 2005, Liz coached the Canamex Teams, and in 2005 won the first ever USA points trophy. Those crews included Ari Frost, Elle Logan, Lindsey Meyer, Sara Hendershot, Helen Thompkins and Ashley Kroll, all who have since competed for US Rowing on a U-23 or National Team level. In 2007 Liz created the High Performance Team and set the framework for the training trip to Berlin. Liz served as assistant coach for the US Junior National Team 2006-2010 coaching the 2- to a 6th place finish twice, the 4- to 8th & 6th place finishes, and the 8 to a silver medal. As a head coach, Liz coached the 4- to a gold medal in Eton in 2011, and a silver medal in Bulgaria in 2012 and Gold in Lithuania. Liz brings with her a passion for coaching, a competitive spirit, the knowledge of the complete junior team system, and the knowledge and experience of international level training and racing. To date, Coach Trond is the only US Junior coach to coach all events at Junior World Championships (8, 4-, 2).
Cassandra Cunningham, Women’s Assistant Coach
Coach Cassandra Cunningham is in her ninth year with the Women’s Junior Team and her fourth year as a coach for the Junior Worlds Team. Coach Cass coached the 2015 & 2014 2-‘s to a Bronze medal finishes. In 2012, she coached the 2- to a silver medal in the Grand Final at the World Rowing Championships. Prior to this position, she helped select and coach the girls that attended the Junior Worlds Development camp in Germany. Coach Cunningham began her athletic quest at Mills High School in Millbrae, CA where she competed in cross country and track for four years. Entering Sacramento State College, she began her rowing career. Coach Cunningham earned three state championship titles as well as winning the first ever Pacific Coast Rowing Championships in the Women’s Varsity Eight in 1995. In 1996, she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education. After graduation she spent three years training with the Women’s U.S. Rowing National Team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. She is a five-time winner at the US National Elite Championships. She is a five-time champion at the US National Elite Championships and three time champion in the women’s lightweight eight at the Head of the Charles. Lastly, she earned two international silver medals, one in the women’s lightweight quad at the 1998 World Rowing Championships and one the 1999 Pan American Games. After her time on the national team, Coach Cunningham earned a Master of Education in Administration at the University of Massachusetts while simultaneously coaching the school’s varsity women’s lightweight rowing team. Coach Cunningham was the Head Coach of the Junipero Serra High School Boy’s team from 2002-2009. She rebuilt the program and within four years she had multiple athletes competing at top colleges around the US. In 2009, she joined the Oakland Strokes Junior Program and is currently the Assistant Girls Varsity Coach. She is currently an assistant coach at Radnor.
Nick D’Antoni, Men’s Assistant Coach
Nick D’Antoni has been with the Junior National Team for five years while also serving as Head Coach of the boys program at Newport Aquatic Center. Nick started his coaching career with the Newport Aquatic Center juniors in 2006, during which time he led the men’s team to 3 consecutive team points championships (’08, ’09, and ’10) at the Southwest Regionals and back to back national championships in the Men’s Youth Heavyweight 8 (2008 & 2009). In 2008, he coached the Men’s Junior National Team Pair (2-) at the world championships to the highest finish ever by an American crew in that event. In 2009 he also coached the Men’s Youth Lightweight 8 to a national championship, becoming the first coach to win both Men’s Eights events in the same year at the US Rowing Youth National Championships.
Nick began his competitive rowing career in 1996 for the Newport Aquatic Center as a junior, then moved on to pursue the sport at Orange Coast College followed by Rutgers University. Nick has always enjoyed both sweep and sculling disciplines: racing in as many boats as possible as a junior, primarily in 8’s in college, and training in his single in his spare time. Currently, he enjoys rowing and competing as often as time allows.
Casey Galvanek, Men’s Assistant Coach
Casey Galvanek is entering his second year with the Junior National Team while previously having coached several winning trials boats for the Junior and U23 World Championships. Casey lead the men’s 8+ to a silver medal in 2015. In addition, Casey has been the Head Coach for Sarasota Crew since 2009 helping them achieve four straight Florida State championship overall titles (‘11 ,’12, ’13, ’14). Casey is generally awesome and was voted Best Looking Coach at the Saratoga Youth Conference (‘13). He would like to thank Nick D’Antoni for coaching a college team that year, making him ineligible for the award. Casey enjoys long walks on the boardwalk and polishing his award winning antique coin collection. He lives in Osprey, Fl with his lone surviving greyhound Rote.
Jesse Foglia, Men’s Assistant Coach
This is Jesse’s 8th year with the Mens Junior National Team. During that time he has worked with the Development, High Performance and Selection Groups, working at the 4+ coach for the summer of 2015. Jesse began his coaching career at Fox Chapel High School and has coached at Three Rivers Rowing Association, Bates College, and currently with with Columbia University Lightweights.
Having spent several years working with junior athletes of varying abilities, Jesse understands the importance of proper development in young athletes. His experience at both the junior and collegiate level has been focused on giving athletes an understanding of the steps required to reach individual and team goals. He enjoys the opportunity to see new athletes take their first step into the National Team system, and represent the United States on a world stage.
Zohar Abramovitz, Women’s 2014 Worlds Development Team
Coach Abramovitz is in his fifth year with the U.S. Junior National Team Development Program and his second year as the Head Coach for the 2014 WDT. Abramovitz is the head coach of the Los Angeles-based club Marina Aquatic Center Junior Rowing, a position he has held for 16 years. Under his stewardship, “MAC” has grown from a small start-up team to a nationally relevant program winning numerous Southwest Regional and Youth National medals. In recent years, the MAC women’s team has earned the following: Gold (4+: 2010), Silver (4x: 08, 11; 2- 2012 ) and Bronze (1x; 2010). The 2010 national championship four went 7:08 in the final, a course record for the women’s 4+. The MAC women also performed well at the Head of the Charles, winning the Women’s Youth Four in both 2009 & 2012.
Abramovitz has seen many of his rowers move on to compete successfully at the collegiate level and boasts an alumnae list that includes two D1 NCAA All-Americans and a D1 Varsity 8 NCAA champion among its highlights.
Coach Abramovitz holds a BA in English from the University of Oregon, where he rowed for four years.
Eric Gehrke, Men’s 2014 Worlds Development Team
Eric is in his seventh year with the USRowing Junior Men’s National Team High Performance Camp. In each of the last two years, Eric coached the CanAmMex Team to two gold medals in the M8+ and the M4+.
Eric is from the Washington DC area where he learned to row at Gonzaga College High School. In his first six years of coaching, Eric coached Gonzaga crews to multiple WMIRA Championships and a Stotesbury Bronze Medal, Bishop Ireton High School to multiple WMIRA medals and a 10th place finish at SRA Nationals. Most recently in 2013, Eric moved to Nashville, TN to start a city-wide rowing organization that stretches from Middle School rowing to Masters programs. Already in his brief time there, his boats won medals at the USRowing Southeast Regional Championships and USRowing Nationals.
Laura Simon, Women’s High Performance Head Coach
Laura is in her seventh year with the USJNT and her fifth year as the head coach of the High Performance Team. Coach Simon lead the CanAmMex Women’s Team to multiple gold medals in the W8+, W4+ and W2-. Coach Simon has been a coxswain for more than 19 years with many Collegiate, NCAA & National titles under her belt. She has been a coach for more than a decade. A former US National Team contender, she spent 6 years coxing at the National Team level. She coached at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, from 2008-2013 where she has coached many a boat to A-10 & Dad Vail’s Gold Medals. In addition to her years with the USJNT, Laura went to the 2002 World Championships as a coach for the Women’s Sweep Team. As a college athlete, Simon was the V8+ coxswain at UMass-Amherst & placed 2nd in the V8+ at the NCAA’s in ’97 & ’98. She authored The Coxswain Encyclopedia and travels the US in her spare time putting on Coxswain Clinics with Sparks Consulting for coxswains. Laura heads up the identification and development of our coxswains while managing the HP Camp and CanAmMex Team, while also running our web site. In addition, she is an assistant coach at Yale University.
Caitlin McClain, Women’s High Performance Assistant Coach
Caitlin is in her third year with the USJNT. McClain is the head coach and program coordinator of Holy Names Academy Crew, an all-girls scholastic program in Seattle, WA. She is in her ninth year of coaching at HNA and has over 17 years of experience as a rower and a coach. Under her leadership, HNA Crew has continued its legacy as a perennially strong Northwest program. Not only has the team qualified for the USRowing Youth National Championships every year since she began coaching, but also has qualified more athletes and boat classes than ever before. Two boats have earned silver medals at YNCs, the Women’s Youth Lightweight 4+(2009) and the Women’s Youth 4+(2013). HNA Crew won the Youth 4+ event at the 2013 Head of the Charles Regatta.
Coach McClain graduated from Loyola Marymount University, where she rowed for four years. In 2010 Caitlin completed her M. Ed in Student Development Administration from Seattle University. She continues to row for the Lake Union Crew masters team and recently won the Masters B event at San Diego Crew Classic.
Stephen McCarthy, Men’s HP Team
McCarthy is in his second year as the Head Coach of the CanAnMex Team and led the men’s team to a gold medal in the Men’s 8+. He worked with the USRowing Junior Men’s National Development Team in Pittsburgh during the summers of 2009 and 2010. Stephen was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from Fox Chapel Area High School in 2006. After rowing for four years, he attended Northeastern University. Stephen made the team as a walk-on and enjoyed success all four years as a Husky, highlighted by a Foot of the Charles victory in the Freshmen 8+ and a 4th place finish at the IRA National Championship in the Varsity 8+. After coaching in Boston for Boston College High School he now coaches at Bishop Ireton High School in Washington, DC. In 2011, his Freshmen Boys placed 2nd in the Men’s Novice 4+ at the WMIRA Championship Regatta. Steve is in his second year as the Freshmen Boys Coach.
Cory Sanderson, Men’s HP Team
Cory is in his fourth year working with the USRowing Junior National Team, first as an intern and then as a High Performance Coach in 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA. He is excited to continue this summer as a coach of the High Performance group.
Cory began his rowing career at St. Paul’s School in Concord NH in 2003. He continued on as a four year varsity oarsmen at Bates College, and was the men’s team captain in both his junior and senior years. He was named to the 2010 ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championships All-Conference Team in his senior year. Cory also spent two summers working at Northeast Rowing Center. After graduating, Cory worked at the St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program as a studio art teacher and coach of the rowing program, working with novice rowers.
Cory has spent the last 3 years teaching and coaching at Hebron Academy in Maine where he was able to volunteer coach at Bates College. As of August 2014, Cory has taken the position of Assistant Executive Director, Head Novice Coach, and Community Outreach Coordinator for Nashville Rowing.
Brian Ebke, Women’s Development Camp Head Coach
Brian Ebke is in his third year with the USJNT and is the Head Coach of Development Camp. Ebke also served as the Assistant Coach to the 2014 CanAmMex Team and the Assistant Coach to the High Performance Team in 2015. Ebke began rowing as an 8th grader for the Marin Rowing Association. As an athlete at Marin Rowing, Brian won 4 medals over the course of 4 years at the Youth National Championship, including a Gold medal in the Youth Lightweight 8+ in 2004. Brian raced for the 2004 US Men’s Junior National Team in the 8+, placing 5th in Banyoles, Spain. After rowing with Marin, Brian went on to compete as a 4 year rower for Princeton University. Upon graduation in 2009, Brian moved to Oklahoma City, OK. Brian coached the Novice Boy’s team his first two years, and after a successful stint that included winning both the Men’s Novice 8+ and Men’s Novice 4+ at Regionals each year, he moved on to coach the Varsity Women’s team for the past 3 years. In his time with the OKC Varsity Women they have won medals at several races, including a 4th at the Head of the Charles in the 8+ in 2012, a 2nd at the Head of the Charles in the 8+ in 2013, and a 1st at the Head of the Hooch in the 8+ in 2013. At the Central District Regionals, the OKC Women won 6 gold in 2012 and 10 gold in 2013, not to mention several silver and bronze finishes.
Ariel Handler, Women’s Development Camp Assistant Coach
Ariel Handler is in her fifth year with the USJNT. This is her second year as a Development Camp coach. For the two summers prior to this, she served as the lead RA for the Selection Camp. In 2013 she attended the Junior World Championships, coaching the Women’s spare pair in Trakai Lithuania. She currently serves as the Head Varsity Girls Coach for Row Boston, a free rowing program which facilitates inner city Boston youth to learn the sport of rowing. Prior to RowBoston, Coach Ariel was a novice assistant coach at Marina Aquatic Center,coaching the N4+ to a 2nd place finish at regionals. She has also served as a volunteer coach at her alma mater, UCLA. As a senior Ariel was a varsity captain leading the team to an overall 7th place at the NCAA championships. In 2012 she won the JV8 at San Diego crew classic and was in the first UCLA boat to ever make a grand final at the NCAA championships. She was also an All American Honorable Mention, Student Athlete mentor, and Bruin Athletic Council leader. Ariel started her coxing career at CRI in 2005. She then moved to Newport Aquatic Center where she was a senior captain, finishing her high school career with a bronze medal at Youth nationals in the Junior Women’s 4+. In 2008 she attended Junior National team ID and selection camp.
Val Gospodinov, Women’s Development Camp Assistant Coach
Valeria Gospodinov is in her third year with the USJNT and her second with the USJNT Development Camp. Valeria was assistant manager for US Team at the 2012 FISA World Rowing Senior and Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Coach Val spent 9 years on the Bulgarian National Team and rowed with the 1988 Olympic Bulgarian 8+, however was pulled prior to the Olympic Games due to an injury. She graduated from the National Sports Academy – Sofia, Bulgaria with a Master’s degree in both Physical Education and Coaching Rowing. In 2010, she became the head coach for the Radnor Boys Crew Team. During her 4 years with Radnor, the Varsity 4+ won 1st, 2nd, and 5th at the Stotesbury Cup, as well as placing in the SRAA finals twice and winning the V4+. Coach Val also lead this V4+ to a 4th finish at Youth Nationals, a 1st place finish at Mid Atlantic Junior Regionals as well as two 2-‘s to 1st and 2nd place finishes. In addition, the 2- placed 1st at the Philadelphia City Championships 2 years in a row. Coach Gospodinov also coached at Haverford College prior to Radnor. With her 23 years of rowing and coaching experience, Valeria promotes positive athletic spirit while improving technique and implementing well thought out strategies on volume, intensities, periodization and rigging.
Michaela Streitfield, Women’s Development Camp Assistant Coach
Michaela Streitfield begins her second year with the USJNT Development Camp as an assistant coach after serving as an RA in the summer of 2014. Michaela started rowing in 2005 at Mount Vernon High School & rowed for the University of Massachusetts for 4 years, serving as captain her senior year (2012-2010). Streitfield was named to the A-10 Conference 2nd All Team Award in both 2012 & 2013. Streitfield went on to represent the United States at the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel, winning gold in the Women’s 2x & Women’s 4x events. Streitfield is the Director of Rowing Duxbury Bay Maritime School, junior rowing program. Michaela has transformed the program, placing 1st in the G’sV4+s & earning the overall points trophy for all girls’ 4+s at the MPSRA State Championship. Streitfield has also lead the team to 2014 & 2015 showings in the grand final of the USRowing NE Youth Championships in the girls’ 1st Varsity 4+.
Andrew Madden, Women’s Development Camp Assistant Coach
Andrew Madden begins his second year with the USJWNT Development Camp. Madden began rowing as a freshman in high school at the Wilmington Youth Rowing Association in Delaware, serving as their co-captain his junior & senior year. Madden also rowed for two years with the University of Delaware lightweight men’s program. After college, he trained with the Malta Boat Club, medalling in several lightweight men’s sculling national championships in the double and quad. He began coaching the St. Mark’s High School novice squad in 2007 and served as head coach from 09-12, placing the lightweight boy’s four and girl’s four in the Stotesbury finals and qualify both boats for the Youth National Championships. Beginning in the fall of 2012, Andrew began coaching the varsity women at WYRA. In his time with them, they’ve earned medals at several races, including the 2012 Head of The Schuylkill in the 4+ and 3rd-place finishes at the 2013 (8+) & 2015 (4+) USRowing Mid-Atlantic Youth Championships, among others.
Peter Steenstra, Men’s Development Camp Head Coach
Peter began his coaching career with a three year stint as the assistant coach at Colby College. He then went to The Ohio State University to run the OSU Crew Club. In those seven years he brought the program back to over 150 members strong and to the medal dock on numerous occasions. Following his time in Ohio, Peter then coached at Cornell University as an assistant for the heavyweight men in the fall and then as the interim women’s assistant for the spring while attending grad school at Ithaca College. In 2007 Peter went to Bates College to be the men’s and women’s assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. In 2008 Peter became the Head Coach of Rowing for Bates College and since that time has led the women’s team to four consecutive 2nd Place team finishes at the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships. Both men’s and women’s teams have produced numerous medal winning performances at the New England and ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championship regattas.