Rowing with TriStar
There are many reasons to row – from college admissions, to personal development and satisfaction, to camaraderie and teamwork. Rowing is a total team experience that completely immerses the athlete like no other sport. For greater insight into the sport, read Rowing, or the Greatest Decision You Will Ever Make.
The team experience in rowing is like no other -- athletes form very close friendships and have a lot of fun. They become responsible to their team and help each other develop and perform. Other sports talk about responsibility and teamwork, but in rowing, it is the performance of the crew together that counts more than any one individual. Many students find that rowing gives them that social group that they have been searching for!
Rowing is for everyone and will make you stronger, and more focused -- in fact, rowers are the toughest, most determined athletes you will meet! Rowing works all the muscle groups and burns more calories than almost any other sport or exercise. It is a sport that demands endurance, strength, and skill. It requires consummate mental toughness and will maximize the potential of any athlete. Overall, rowing gives students a boost in their personal development and prepares them well with good habits for success throughout life.
For parents and students, one of the primary advantages of high school rowing is the benefit of improved college admissions. The application process for the best colleges has become more competitive and selective than ever. Rowing is the fastest-growing NCAA sport and many colleges recruit for crew and some even offer scholarships. The overall improvement in admissions for athletes who row is significant and clearly evident in the TriStar Rowing program.
New rowers start in eight-person boats. Eights are approximately 60 feet long and just over 200 pounds in weight - so each rower (carefully) lifts nearly 30 pounds over their head, on average, when carrying the boat down to the water.
What schools do rowers come from?
Current TriStar rowers come from many schools Blount and Knox Counties. In 2019, we had athletes from 9 different public and private schools as well as homeschooled students.
What is the age range of the team?
TriStar accepts kids from the summer before their 5th-grade year through the summer after their senior year of high school (18 -19 years old). The lower age limit is based on a child's size, as he/she needs to be able to work with the equipment which can be heavy and cumbersome. One of the wonderful things about rowing is that no "prior experience" is required so, unlike a host of other popular sports, your child can start at an early age.
We also offer an adult, “masters” program. This program is open to adults age 21 and older. Like the junior program, there is no experience necessary to join our adult team.
Can I try rowing before joining the team?
Yes! The best way to try rowing is to sign up for one of our Learn-to-Row sessions where you'll be put in a boat with other new rowers. If summer is not an option, fill out the form HERE. We are constantly seeking new rowers, and will put you in a novice boat and let you try it out before joining.
What is the difference between the fall and spring sessions?
Rowing is an annual sport with periodized training and competition.
In the fall, rowers focus on a training phase to develop overall aerobic fitness and endurance as well as learning good rowing technique. Fall regattas (races) reflect this training phase with longer distance “Head” races, typically 5,000 m (5K or 3 miles) in length.
In the spring, training shifts to add the development of strength and anaerobic power. Spring regattas reflect this with shorter 2,000 m (2K or 1 mile) sprint races culminating in the Southeast Junior Championships to decide who will go to Nationals.
Can athletes row just in the Fall or Spring?
We know that some athletes like to participate in other sports or activities. Rowers may row in just the Fall or Spring season, however, athletes may not be able to receive the same opportunity to develop and compete in the top boats.
Teams and Practices
The Men's and Women's teams are each split into Varsity and Novice squads.
Novice squad (new to rowing) races against other Novice teams. Athletes may enter the sport from grades 8 - 12, provided it is their first year of racing.
Varsity squad (at least one year of racing experience) athletes who have one year of racing experience will become varsity.
Lightweight rowers get their own category to allow them to race competitively against rowers of similar size. Don't be fooled, though - Lightweight rowers can hold their own in open weight events. The lightweight category is raced at a number of collegiate programs, as well.
Men's lightweight cut-off – 150 lbs
Women's lightweight cut-off - 130 lbs
A coxswain is an athlete, smaller in stature, who steers the boat and directs the rest of the crew during races and practices. Ideally, women's coxswains weigh 110 lbs or less and men's coxswains weigh 120 lbs or less. Are you coxswain material?
All athletes participate in every workout or practice training session. Practices are held 5 days a week for our high school squad, 3 days a week for our middle school squad, and 1 day a week for our upper-elementary squad. Races are scheduled on weekends. In rowing, it is particularly important that all athletes show up for every training session, as boats require all rowers for a productive practice.
TriStar Head Coach, Katie King, is responsible for the overall coordination of training, racing, and equipment.
What are the practice times?
While school is in session, high school practice begins M-F at 4:30 PM; middle school and Masters at 6:30 PM.
On-water practices generally last about 2 hours, but can sometimes run a little over.
In the Weight Room:
During the winter season, TriStar moves to the weight/erg room. The practice schedule remains the same.
Sign up for a Learn to Row camp, if available, or Contact Coach Katie King and let her know you are interested.