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Row NJ News & Achievements

Featuring Professional Sports Chiropractor, Dr. Jason Levy for the first Total Athlete Program of 2020 focused on injury prevention

Row New Jersey hosted the first Total Athlete event for 2020, welcoming Dr. Jason Levy, team chiropractor for the New York Jets, New Jersey Devils, NY Red Bulls, and Director of the Advanced Performance and Rehabilitation Center of Short Hills & Morristown. Dr. Levy is also the proud parent of a new 8th grade Row NJ team member. During this interactive event, Dr. Levy provided hands-on techniques and tools to help athletes prevent and manage the most common rowing injuries. “Although rowing is comparatively a low-impact sport that leverages nearly every muscle of the body - the repetitive motion and high-intensity workout require proper training, technique, stretching and recovery”, stated Dr. Levy. “If managed properly, rowing is an ideal balance of cardiovascular and strength training, wrapped into a rewarding team experience."

Under the careful guidance of Dr. Levy, team members had the opportunity to review each major muscle group - learning stretching and foam rolling techniques leveraged by professional athletes to improve flexibility, strength, and endurance. Matt Morfogen, a Delbarton Junior and Row NJ Varsity rower said “as an athlete who is in constant competition for excellence on the erg (rowing machine) and the water, the importance of injury prevention and stretching was never a top priority. However, after talking with and following Dr. Levy’s injury prevention workshop, I now understand the significance and benefits of stretching. Furthermore, I now keep a foam roller with a list of stretches in my room for when my joints may tighten. Thank you, Dr. Levy, and for the information and worksheets and Row NJ for hosting such a relevant and professional workshop to meet our needs as competitive athletes.”

Dr. Levy’s workshop is the first in a team commitment to supporting The Total Athlete. “Training both on land and on the water is a critical aspect of a successful rowing program, but it’s not the only one. Providing hands-on and practical experience with injury prevention and management, nutrition, mental preparation, stress, and time management – help our athletes balance the rigors of rowing with other personal and scholastic priorities”, stated Rowing Director Robert Welsh. "We are grateful to Dr. Levy for sharing his insights from the world of Professional Sports." Future Total Athlete workshops will engage top professional athletic leaders in Nutrition, Stress & Time Management, The Psychology of Winning, and College Recruiting.


While you were sleeping, we were rowing

By Merrill Eppedio 11/16/2019, 9:45am EST

Inaugural Fall Master's Season

While you were sleeping, we were rowing. 

Mount Arlington, NJ. It’s 5:30 am, and in the silence of the pre-dawn hours, 12 adults, with boats overhead, begin their steady march toward the water. Wielding newly acquired skills, and under the practiced eye of their coxswain, they gracefully flip a 50-ft racing shell from overhead into proper alignment along the dock. Locking-in oars, gingerly settling into seats, and strapping-in shoes, they pushing slowly off into the dim early morning light of Lake Hopatcong. 

These twelve brave souls, representing the inaugural Master’s team, are breaking new ground for Row New Jersey. Established in the spring of 2019 with experienced rowers, and progressing in September for all experience levels, these individuals have come together to learn the art and technique of rowing. 

The Row New Jersey’s Master’s team, with ages ranging from the’40s-’60s, met three days per week near dawn, greeting the sunrise while learning about the sport of rowing. Begining on land, they discovered the essential terminology, safety, and stroke basics, using the stationary ergometers (rowing machines). They then progressed to learn proper boat handling, and on-the-water rowing, while refining skills and building fitness. While they may have set foot on the Lake Hopatcong shore as individuals, they have clearly come together as a team.

Recounting her experience, Sharon Gruber shared what an enriching experience it was to become a novice team member for Row New Jersey. “I had never participated in any team sport before. We learned to work together from day one, rather than take an unexpected dip in the lake or - heaven forbid, drop the boat! It was a real growth experience for me. I had such a good feeling about our group’s dynamics from the very beginning”. 

Another team member Julian Bonifacio, having recently recovered from a health issue, said it was “really nice to have a group of people who were depending on you to come down here and be part of a team. At the beginning (of my recovery), it was hard to work out on my own, and I desperately needed something like Row New Jersey. This experience was more valuable to me than I can ever fully express”.

Barbara Infante, a Row New Jersey Board Member and mother of two rowers, said she was “inspired to give rowing a try based on my kids’ experiences with the program over the last few years. I thought the 5:30 am start time would be a challenge, but instead, I looked forward to those days and catching up with my new team-mates. Learning a brand new sport was humbling, exciting, and peaceful all at the same time - and the sunrises on the lake were a gorgeous perk!”

Rowing Director, Robert Welsh reflecting on the new team said, "many people don’t realize that unlike most sports, rowing is one activity that you can continue into adulthood, year after year, with significant health benefits.  You can start anytime and row for pleasure or race into your eighties.” 

The Master’s program rounds out the Row New Jersey offering, which also includes a high school racing team, open to boys and girls grades eight-12, of all experience levels, as well as an introductory middle-school program for grades six through eight.

The Row New Jersey Master’s program has now wrapped-up for fall but will begin again in the spring. This team will be open to new and returning adults of all ages, experience and fitness levels. To learn more about Row New Jersey, visit or contact Rowing Director Robert Welsh at

Girl's V4+ with the Braxton Family Cup

A Golden Close to the Fall Racing Season for Row New Jersey

By Merrill Eppedio 11/12/2019, 10:00am EST

Girl’s V4+ delivers the coveted Braxton Family Cup

Row New Jersey delivered a strong wrap-up to the fall racing season, competing in two back-to-back regattas at the Cooper River Park in Cherry Hill.

The team kicked off the weekend competing in the Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta, an event known as the culmination of the US Rowing fall schedule for the Northeast. This regatta attracts 42 high school and collegiate teams competing in 32 events with 299 entries. Gold medals are awarded in all events, with no cold temperature rules for racing. With conditions living up to the frostbite name, the first Row New Jersey boats launched in sub-freezing temperatures  - with conditions warming only into the low 40s as the day progressed. Despite the cold, the team competed in 11 races with seven boats taking top-three finishes, including five gold medals in the Men’s Novice 4+, Women’s Varsity 4+, Men’s Novice 8+, Women’s Junior Varsity 8+, and the Men’s Varsity 8+.

The team carried this momentum into Sunday’s Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta for the sixth and final regatta of the season. This regatta, founded by the Braxton family, honors the memory of Bill Braxton, a lightweight 8+ rower who tragically died in an auto accident. The Braxton is traditionally the final regatta of the fall racing season, drawing 43 teams to race in 29 events with 337 entries. Uncharacteristic of fall racing, all high school races at the  Braxton are head-to-head 1500-2000 meter sprints. Row New Jersey, competing in 11 events captured five top-two finishes, including three gold medals in the Men’s Junior Varsity 8+, Women’s Varsity 4+, and Women’s Junior Varsity 4+.

The highlight of the weekend was delivered by the High School Women’s Varsity 4+, who took home the Bill Braxton Family Cup for the second year in a row. This event honors the top Women’s Varsity 4+ team, as determined by a 1500 meter qualifying heat, with the top-six finishers progressing to a 2000 meter final. The team, comprised of Coxswain Kylie Deitz (Chester), (4) Emily Kilroy (Mendham), (3) Arielle Nusbaum (Far Hills), (2) Julia Bartie (Madison), (1) Nicole Collins (Boonton Twp) finished with a time of 7:56.310 besting the closest competition by a margin of 0:13.810.

Rowing Director, Robert Welsh commenting on the weekend performance noted that "the varsity and junior varsity girls really seized the moment to shine - clearing fields of over 20 crews each on Sunday.” The full Row New Jersey team now moves forward into a comprehensive winter training program to continue building their strength and stamina for the spring racing season.

Row New Jersey is now open for enrollment for The Total Athlete Winter Training Program for the 2019-2020 season. This program is open to all athletes in grades 8-12 who are looking for a comprehensive athletic training program to prepare for rowing or spring sports. Located at Power House Fitness on Rt. 10 in Whippany, winter training will take place Mon-Fri (3:30-5:30 pm) from December 9th-February 28th with select holiday breaks.  For more information on Row New Jersey, winter training, or spring racing visit or contact Robert Welsh at

Full Schedule of Events:

Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta:

Boys Nov4+: (Coxswain) Brian Rauchbach (Hopatcong) (4) Tristan Hamilton (Morristown) (3) Ashby Deitz (Chester) (2) Josh Fritts (Morristown) (1) Niko Fox (Randolph) - (1st Place)

Girls 2V4+ ‘A’: (Cox) Annabel Park (Montville) (4) Riley Mills (Califon) (3) Caroline Fabiano (Madison) (2) Charlotte Mirzaian (Madison) (1) Alex Eversfield (Mountain Lakes) - (2nd Place)

Girls 2V4+ ‘B’: (Cox) Kate Drahzal (Mendham) (4) Natale Sturman (Califon) (3) Alexandra Timoney (Basking Ridge) (2) Kaitlyn Kimble (Jefferson) (1) Kelly Kim (Califon) - (3rd Place)

Boys 2V4+: (Cox) Caroline Murphy (Morristown) (4) Charles Moran (Morristown) (3) Matt Gay (Summit) (2) Lukas Wolkenstein (Mountain Lakes) (1) Auden Gu (East Hanover) - (5th Place)

Girls V4+: (Cox) Kylie Deitz (Chester) (4) Emily Kilroy (3) Ella Nielson (Madison) (2) Julia Bartie (1) Nicole Collins - (1st Place)

Boys V4+: (Cox) Maria Blandon (Mountain Lakes) (4) Brandon Edwards (New City) (3) Connor Gay (Mendham) (2) Ben Davis (Summit) (1) Thomas McKay (Summit) - (3rd Place)

Boys Nov8+: (Cox) Brian Rauchbach (8) Tristan Hamilton (7) Niko Fox (6) Josh Fritts (5) Ashby Deitz (4) Liam Cabaj (Mendham) (3) Rohan Hemrajan (Short Hills) (2) Holden Kim (East Hanover) (1) Ethan Levy (Morristown) - (1st Place)

Girls JV8+: (Cox) Kylie Deitz (8) Emily Kilroy (7) Nicole Collins (6) Charlotte Mirzaian (5) Arielle Nusbaum (4) Natale Sturman (3) Giulia Tabacco (2) Carrie Nazarian (Mendham) (1) Alexandra Timoney - (1st Place)

Boys 2V8+ ‘B’: (Cox) Kate Drahzal (8) Tommy Sporer (Morristown) (7) Matt Gay (6) Auden Gu (5) Ashby Deitz (4) Lukas Wolkenstein (3) Harry Finnegan (Summit) (2) Charles Moran (1) Andrew Eppedio (Roxbury)- (4nd Place)

Boys 2V8+ ‘A’: (Cox) Maria Blandon (8) Brandon Edwards (7) Noah Urrutia (Mountain Lakes) (6) Dylan Brown (Hackettstown) (5) Connor Gay (4) Ben Davis (3) Thomas McKay (2) Ryan Spallone (Mountain Lakes) (1) Ian Oram (Mendham) - (2th Place)

Boys V8+: (Cox) Caroline Murphy (8) Max Nusbaum (Far Hills) (7) Andrew Treger (Summit) (6) Emmett Infante (Mountain Lakes) (5) James Daniel (Mountain Lakes) (4) Jarrett Richman (Hewitt) (3) Wilson Morton (Summit) (2) Matt Morfogen (Boonton Twp) (1) Mike Oram (Mendham) - (1st Place)

Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta:

Boys V4+ ‘A’: (Cox) Caroline Murphy (4) Noah Urrutia (3) Ian Oram (2) Ryan Spallone (1) Harry Finnegan - (10th Place)

Boys V4+ ‘B’: (Cox) Maria Blandon (4) Dylan Brown (3) James Daniel (2) Brandon Edwards (1) Thomas McKay - (14th Place)

Girls JV4+ ‘A’: (Cox) Annabel Park (4) Riley Mills (3) Ella Nielson (2) Charlotte Mirzaian (1) Kelly Kim (1st Place)

Girls JV4+ ‘B’: (Cox) Kate Drahzal,(4) Natalie Sturman (3) Caroline Fabiano (2) Kaitlyn Kimble (1) Alex Eversfield (11th Place)

Girls V4+: (Cox) Kylie Deitz (4) Emily Kilroy (3) Arielle Nusbaum (2) Julia Bartie (1) Nicole Collins (1st Place)

Boys Nov8+: (Cox) Brian Rauchbach (8) Tristan Hamilton (7) Niko Fox (6) Josh Fritts (5) Ashby Deitz (4) Liam Cabaj (3) Rohan Hemrajan (2) Holden Kim (1) Aidan Esperance (Budd Lake) (2nd Place)

Boys JV4+: (Cox) Caroline Murphy (4) Tommy Sporer (3) Matt Gay (2) Charlie Moran (1) Andrew Eppedio (20th Place)

Boys V8+: (Cox) Maria Blandon (8) Max Nusbaum (7) Andrew Treger (6) Emmett Infante (5) Wilson Morton (4) Jarrett Richman (3) Connor Gay (2) Matt Morfogen (1) Mike Oram (1st Place)

Boys JV8+: (Cox) Caroline Murphy (8) Brandon Edwards (7) Noah Urrutia (6) Dylan Brown (5) James Daniel (4) Ben Davis (3) Thomas McKay (2) Lukas Wolkenstein (1) Auden Gu (1st Place)

Boys Nov4+: (Cox) Brian Rauchbach (4) Tristan Hamilton (3) Ashby Deitz (2) Josh Fritts (1) Niko Fox (2nd Place)

Girls JV8+: (Cox) Annabel Park (8) Emily Kilroy (7) Nicole Collins (6) Charlotte Mirzaian (5) Caroline Fabiano (4) Kaitlyn Kimble (3) Giulia Tabacco (2) Carrie Nazarian (1) Alexandra Timoney (2nd Place)



Lake Hopatcong Water Quality Update

8/19/19 LAKE UPDATE:

Row New Jersey is primed for a competitive fall racing season, as Lake Hopatcong water conditions continue to improve

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), swim advisory has been lifted for 6 beaches ranging from Byram Bay to Halsey Island, including Pebble Beach, Sand Harbor, Bass Rock Beach, Sperry Springs Beach, Beck Lane Beach and CAPP Beach as of August 15th.

“We are encouraged by the improvement in lake conditions, as we start planning for our fall programs”, stated Director of Rowing, Robert Welsh. “As practice begins for our fall racing season, on August 26th, we will continue to operate under an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of our team is the highest priority”.

“The team has been practicing on the water with summer sessions since July 25th without incident, and will continue to monitor DEP reports, and operate with strict safety policies and protocols in place” stated Row N.J. Board President, Josh McKay.

Row New Jersey has an active fall schedule planned with Varsity, Junior Varsity and Novice rowing programs for grades 8-12, middle school learn to row programs for grades 6-8, and adult master’s programs for experienced and beginning rowers. Learn more at or contact Robert Welsh at

For more information on the DEP advisory