QC rowing dominates on all levels

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Kelleigh Satterfield

The Two Rivers YMCA Rowing Team poses for a team photo.

Nathan Lokenvitz, Multimedia Manager

Over the past ten years, the Quad Cities has proven to be a dominant force in the sport of rowing. 

The Two Rivers YMCA Rowing Program is the main rowing club in the Quad Cities. Athletes from all over the QC metropolitan area, and beyond, work together to compete nationally and internationally — putting the small Midwestern community on the world rowing map. 

Over the course of the program’s history there have been countless athletes that have gone on to row at the collegiate level. They are always welcoming newcomers no matter their skill or experience level. With this attitude being one of the many reasons rowing has grown recently in popularity. 

In recent years, the Two Rivers Rowing Club has been thrust into the spotlight, thanks to the success that several of the club’s boats have had on the international circuit, and has grown to be a popular sport for many. The program has won many awards and titles, including a multitude of international titles and places in the past 5 years alone.

In 2016, a Two Rivers Team with PV graduate Caroline Sharis took home gold in the Junior Women’s Double at the World Rowing Championships in the Netherlands. In 2017, Sharis and PV graduate Taylor English placed 5th in the quadruple sculls at the World Rowing Junior Championships. In 2018, former spartans Sharis, English, Delaney Evans and Emma Mask won gold at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. To top off the list of recent international accolades, English had a top 10 finish in the double at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships.

Former Spartans English and Sharis represented the QC on both an international and national level, but also provided leadership and motivated others in the program through their success. “Being able to see people that you’ve trained with being successful is definitely super motivating and inspiring,” said Senior Ava Satterfield, a rower for the Two Rivers team. 

The success of the program has not only motivated its athletes to strive for excellence, but it has also ushered in a new wave of curious athletes who want to try out the sport. Rowing is one of the more competitive and physically challenging sports out there, but despite that, the Two Rivers program welcomes all newcomers and encourages anyone to be a part of the sport. 

The older rowers have been commended by the team for their leadership, and have played a big role in helping the younger wave of rowers get comfortable with the sport. “They are all super supportive in helping the newer kids when they just start and that’s super motivating. You can tell that everyone on the team really wants to work hard to maintain the reputation that’s been established,” stated Satterfield. 

The success of previous rowers pushes the next generation to strive for greatness. “Having people from the club becoming world champions and breaking many world records has certainly been motivating. You know if you stick to the training program it will work,” stated sophomore Nikil Ramaraju. 

Ramaraju and fellow sophomore rower Keval Wagher are following the same rigorous training program designed to elevate their game, just as the past world champions did. They are just a couple rowers out of the talented young class that are sure to experience a lot of success in the coming years. 

This is only the beginning for the future of the sport in the Quad Cities. Within the past 5-10 years the growth of the Two Rivers Club has put the QC on the world rowing map. The program has won multiple international events, as well as produced countless collegiate athletes. With a strong older class leading the next wave of talented, young rowers, the program is sure to reach new heights in the coming years.