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N.J. to Host 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships

18 May, 2015


Princeton National Rowing Association Says Mercer Lake in West Windsor will be Venue

USRowing and the Princeton National Rowing Association have announced that Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., will be the site of the 2016 USRowing Youth National Championships.

The premiere youth rowing event in the United States, USRowing’s annual Youth National Championships sees approximately 1,500 athletes competing in more than 350 crews, representing some 150 teams from across the country – all vying for national titles in 18 boat classes.

"Mercer Lake already has a reputation for training the fastest crews in the world, this event will also bring the fastest youth crews in the country to the venue,” said USRowing events manager A.J. Dominique. "Mercer's event experience is almost unparalleled, having hosted events of both size and prestige, ranging from the SRAA National Championships, IRA and NCAA Championships at the collegiate level, and FISA World Masters. This experience will be evident to the crews that travel from across the country for Youth Nationals."

When USRowing conducted a survey of youth coaches in 2013, Dominique said one of the most popular suggestions was for the organization to try to bring the Youth National Championships to venues with seven-lane courses instead of six-lane courses in order to best accommodate the event schedule.

“Since then, we've been working on a rotation to hit the various regions,” said Dominique. “Mercer Lake is the final piece of a venue rotation that USRowing has worked on for hosting Youth Nationals. Coaches from across the country expressed a desire to be at the best venues in the country, and Mercer, Sarasota-Bradenton and Lake Natoma certainly fit that description."

According to an economic impact study, the event will bring an estimated $6.2 million to Mercer County and surrounding areas, with $3.7 million in direct sales.

“We are honored that USRowing has chosen PNRA to host the 2016 Youth National Championship,” said PNRA Executive Director Kristopher Grudt. “We are looking forward to welcoming the best junior crews in the country to Mercer County Park.

“We are proud to have one of the nation’s preferred venues, in Mercer County Park and thank the Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, the Mercer County Park Commission and the best volunteers for enabling us to host these premiere rowing events.”

Princeton National Rowing Association was established in 2000 as the Princeton International Regatta Association to host the 2001 FISA World Cup Regatta. The non-profit organization operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center, which is located on the shores of Mercer Lake, West Windsor, N.J.

Caspersen Rowing Center is also home to PRNA’s Mercer Rowing Program, a nationally recognized program that offers area residents of all ages and skills the opportunity to participate in the sport of rowing. More than 180 junior athletes compete as part of the Mercer Junior Program under the tutelage of some of the best athletes in the country. PNRA also offers a full range of opportunities for adults from learn-to-row programs to a competitive rowing experience. Through its outreach programs, PNRA provides mentoring to Trenton-area youth while also involving them in the Mercer Rowing Program.

The venue has played host to Olympic Trials in 1988, 1992, 2004, 2008 and 2012, as well as top collegiate events including the IRA Championships and NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships. First designated a U.S. Olympic Training Site in 2007, the Caspersen Rowing Center plays an important role in preparing U.S. athletes for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The rowing center now has six boathouse bays, locker rooms, an indoor training room, a spectator tower, office space and a conference room. The internationally certified racecourse includes a seven-lane fully buoyed course, a three-story finish-line tower, boat storage area, dock space and a spacious finish-line viewing area.

About Princeton National Rowing Association: The Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA), a 501c3 organization, operates the Finn M.W. Caspersen Rowing Center located on the shores of Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J. PNRA is dedicated to operating a world-class training site for our nation’s elite athletes, providing opportunities for area youth to excel in the sport of rowing and to expand rowing in the greater Mercer County area through community-based programs. The Mercer Junior Rowing Program provides rowing opportunities for youth from over 25 Mercer County area high schools. The center is a home to the USRowing National and Olympic Teams, as well as rowing clubs and schools including the Hun School, Lawrenceville School and Peddie School. PNRA receives generous support from our sponsors, University Orthopaedic Associates and Resolute Racing Shells. For more information visit www.rowpnra.org.

About USRowing: USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 75,000 individual members and 1,300 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners: ANXeBusiness Corp, Boathouse Sports, Bucket List Events, Connect-A-Dock, EMCVenues, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Rudy Project and Shimano. USRowing’s official suppliers include Concept 2, Croker Oars, JanSport, Nielsen Kellerman, Vespoli and WinTech.  USRowing relies on strong partnerships to enable continued success. America Rows, which supports diversity in rowing and provides opportunities for those with disabilities, also benefits from corporate support.

Additional information may be found at www.usrowing.org | Twitter: @usrowing | YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/usrowingorg | Facebook: www.facebook.com/usrowing | Tumblr: http://usrowing.tumblr.com/ | Instagram: usrowingngb.

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