Upper Valley Rowing Foundation Hanover Connecticut River
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UVRF Coaches

Sophie Bartels

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Sophie learned to row with the Hanover High School crew team, and continued on to row four years at Colby College. She returned to Hanover to work as a research coordinator on a mental health project in Colombia, and started coaching the UVRF-Lebanon Crew varsity girls' team in the spring of 2018. She has loved having the opportunity to coach this awesome team, and has also helped with novice, master's, and fall crew rowing.

Ali Brooks

Ali is a ski instructor at Big Sky, MT, and an outdoor trip leader in the White Mountains. Ali coached Junior Sculling and Racing last summer, and kids are always excited to have her back in the Upper Valley.

Rowan Carroll

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Rowan started rowing in 1989 at Mount Holyoke College whilst there studying during her gap year between high school and university. She went on to row for three years at the University of Nottingham where she was women's captain and then club president. After graduation and one year working as a medical research assistant she realised it wasn't the career for her and followed her dream to row full time. She competed internationally for England and then Great Britain (yes there is a difference!) from 1994 until 2001. Her favorite two races were Women's Henley Regatta, which she won twice in her single scull, and the Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland. The highlight of her career was competing at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Rowan returned to the US in 2001 and after two years living in Southern California missed the rain and moved to the Upper Valley. She has been rowing and coaching with UVRF since 2004 and loves racing every summer and fall for UVRF. She is thrilled to live in an area where there are so many fun and fast people to race and train with. In 2018 Rowan became a USRowing referee so that she could referee Dartmouth races here on the Connecticut River - the perfect front row seat! Rowan was on the UVRF Board 2010-2019 and enjoys being active with the club and working with everyone to keep UVRF moving forward.

Ala Crockett

Ala has represented the United States in the 2x and 4x. She first picked up an oar as a true novice freshman at UNH in 1993. As a well-rounded athlete she had naturally fast erg, but a mediocre racing experience in college led her to become a self-taught single sculler with Olympic Dreams. Though she fell just shy of that dream multiple times, she did peak with a 6:41 erg, and her journey endowed her with the knowledge to be a great coach, imparting the “how” and “why” of rowing with the voice of one who has tried things from multiple angles. She has worked with teams and individuals on every level, from ages 5 to 80. 

She has a 500-hour yoga certification and blends this into her rowers, allowing her athletes to have a deeper understanding of how their mind and bodies are working than the standard rowing athlete. She is still currently competitive in rowing, as well as an ultra marathoner. If she is not on the river you will find her running the trails. We are thrilled to have Ala as one of our lead coaches at UVRF.

Erika Dade

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Erika got hooked on rowing in the 1980s while in graduate school in Oregon, learning in a pair(!) on the winding Willamette River. Later in Seattle, she rowed and competed for Lake Washington Rowing Club, and had the amazing privilege of learning to scull under the watchful eye of Frank Cunningham (The Sculler at Ease). Following a decade of living abroad, she moved to the Upper Valley in 2003, and returned to rowing and competing, both sweeps and sculls, with UVRF. Erika has been assistant Novice Girls coach at Hanover High since 2011 and served on the UVRF Board for 8 years until 2019 (her last 3 as President).

Jennifer Friend

Jen is a self-described “adult onset rower” who began her rowing and sculling career with UVRF in 1999. She has rowed competitively with the UVRF Masters, and as a single sculler, focusing on exclusively on sculling since 2008. Jen has coached sweep-to-scull, learn to scull, and novice sculling. As a vertically challenged sculler, she keenly appreciates the importance of good technique, and enjoys sharing her knowledge with scullers of all heights and abilities. During the winter months, Jen keeps active with cross country skiing and, of late, cross-fit style workouts. She has worked in the Dean's Office at the Geisel School of Medicine since 2005, and is currently the Director of Institutional Reporting, although she prefers “Director of Stuff.” Jen lives in Orford, NH with two Golden Retrievers, two cats, and too many chickens. 

Laura Gillespie

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Laura started rowing as a junior in high school at Choate Rosemary Hall and happily continued for four years at Dartmouth College. Laura returned to rowing in 2000 and has been back on the Connecticut River since then as a masters competitor and high school coach. Laura lives in West Lebanon, NH and is Director of Development at the Upper Valley Haven. Having been nurtured by a superb coach in high school, Laura loves introducing Upper Valley juniors to the joys of rowing.

Ian Girdwood

Ian first learned to row as a freshman in high school with Lebanon Crew, trading in the baseball glove for an oar during the club's inaugural season in 2011. He went on to row for four years at St. Lawrence University, before returning to the Upper Valley and UVRF/Leb Crew in 2018. Ian is excited to be back with his hometown team and share his experience with the sport to new rowers.

Andy Hilton

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Andrew began his rowing career as a freshman at Phillips Exeter Academy. He served as captain his senior year and went on to row for the Dartmouth Lightweights. His freshmen crew went undefeated and won the Eastern Sprints Championship, and Andrew served as co-captain of the Varsity team his senior year. His collegiate career culminated with a bronze medal at the National Championship and a quarterfinal finish in the Temple Challenge Cup of the Henley Royal Regatta.
After graduation, Andrew pursued Division I coaching serving two years as the freshman lightweight coach at Harvard University. With guidance from his mentor, Harvard's then-lightweight head coach, Charley Butt, Andrew traded in his megaphone for an oar and spent a year at the USRowing Center in Princeton as a lightweight Olympic hopeful. After taking his talent as far as he could, Andrew returned to coaching and sought opportunities to develop his skills at successful programs with outstanding mentors including Steve Gladstone and Tim McLaren.
Andrew coached in the heavyweight men's program at Cal-Berkeley, then led the freshmen lightweights at MIT, and the freshmen heavyweights at Dartmouth. He also spent three years working in Deerfield Academy's alumni office, where his duties included serving as the JV boys' coach. Andrew now coaches Hanover High School Varsity Boys Crew. When he is not on the river, Andrew works at The Aloha Foundation. He and his wife live in Lyme with their two young sons.

Casey Kelsey

Casey learned to row in high school at St. Paul's, rowed at Brown and coached Girl's Crew at Choate for 7 years. She recently moved back to Upper Valley and she is excited to be teaching and coaching locally.

Linda Muri

Linda learned to row as an undergrad at MIT. Following a very short career as an engineer, she went on to row for the US Rowing team for 9 years. Her transition away from elite competition resulted in a 20-year career coaching at Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, and MIT. In addition to collegiate coaching, Linda has coached several US National Team members at Junior, Under-23, and Senior World Championships. Her private camps and clinics have served rowers of all ages and skill levels. Linda recently signed on as the UVRF Interim Director of Rowing for the 2021 term which will find her sharing her expertise to organize the club going forward as well as coaching at many of our programs. Linda lives in Hanover with her two dogs who who are usually good about letting her get out to row.

Chuck Nagle

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Chuck walked on as a coxswain his freshman year at Dartmouth and loved the idea of "yelling at people in boats." Since then he has coached just about every group around from Freshmen Lightweight Men at Princeton to Varsity Women at Dartmouth to National Teams (Women and Junior Men) to Master's Competitors to Junior Girls and Boys. Crews he has coached have finished first in many events including the Eastern Sprints, Head of the Charles, Canadian Henley Regatta, Women's Masters National Championships, Head of the Fish and he assisted with the first Junior Men's Eight to win a gold medal at the Junior World Championships in 1987. Having said all that, Chuck's main goal in coaching is to provide a positive, fun, challenging and competitive experience for anyone he coaches. Setting expectations (personal and team) and striving to achieve them is very important to him. He believes that anyone who is willing to work at it can become a better rower (and teammate). He also believes that you get out of it what you put into it. #listentochuck

Carin Reynolds

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Carin began her rowing career in 1982 during her sophomore summer at Dartmouth in the precursor to the UVRF Learn to Row program. After two successful years rowing for the Dartmouth Crew, including an undefeated varsity season and medaling at the Women's Sprints and Head of the Charles, she moved on to the United States Lightweight Women's National Rowing Team, and won a gold medal at the World Championships in 1984. She has competed and medaled nationally and internationally in both sweep and sculling boats at Nationals, Worlds, the Goodwill Games, the World University Games and the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. Carin took a 10 year hiatus from rowing during the 1990s to go to law school and live and work in New York City, but came to her senses in 1999 and returned with her family to the Upper Valley where she has been coaching, rowing, training and competing in both sculling and sweeps ever since. Carin's passion is introducing non-rowers to crew, coaching juniors and novices, and fostering an all-inclusive welcoming rowing community. After a decade of coaching with the Hanover High program, she founded the UVRF-Lebanon Crew middle and high school team in 2010. She was a founding organizer of the rowing event at The Prouty, brought back the Oarsman Ski Classic in 2009, and has been involved in organizing, running and/or coaching dozens of UVRF programs and events over the years.

Heidi Robbins

Heidi returned to the Upper Valley in 2018 to begin Dartmouth Med School. She spent the previous 8 years in Princeton, NJ, graduating from college in 2013 and training since then with the US National Team until her retirement in 2020. She loved coaching Mercer/Princeton National Rowing Association juniors and loves to share her rowing enthusiasm with UVRF folks! 

Hunter Snyder

Hunter Snyder learned to sweep row at St. Hugh's College while reading a masters degree at University of Oxford. While he capsized his first single on the Isis, he mostly learned to scull on the crowded Charles River, rowing out of the Weld boathouse as part of the Harvard Scullers group. After a brief stint with the CRI competitive mens sweep team, he moved to the Upper Valley to pursue his PhD at Dartmouth, where he still lives, sculls, and works.