Why Allderdice Rowers Should Choose Three Rivers Rowing Association

Three Rivers Rowing HOTO bronze medal winning U17 4+; (Top to Bottom) Dillon Javid (Allderdice), Simon Grove (Allderdice),

Three Rivers Rowing HOTO bronze medal winning U17 4+; (Top to Bottom) Dillon Javid (Allderdice), Simon Grove (Allderdice),

On October 1 and 2, 2022, 60 rowing clubs gathered on the Allegheny River for one of the country’s largest annual regattas, Head of the Ohio (HOTO). Of the 60 clubs, Allderdice students raced for the school’s crew as well as for Three Rivers Rowing, the host of the event. However, with over 12 entries from Allderdice’s crew, two students medaled in one race, while the four Allderdice students on Three Rivers medaled a total of six times over five races.

The first day of HOTO is reserved for collegiate and adult rowers, and the second for youth novice and varsity rowers. The 2.6 miles (roughly 4.2 km) race course runs along the Allegheny River from Washington’s Landing to just shy of the Point. Along the way, racers enjoy views of downtown Pittsburgh and the North Shore while passing beneath seven bridges; however, this is nothing Three Rivers rowers don’t see in any given practice.

Founded in 1984, Three Rivers Rowing Association brought rowing back to Pittsburgh for the first time since the 1800s, when the city was a major rowing center before steel mills and factories turned the rivers into waste sites. Three Rivers quickly expanded into one of the largest community-based clubs in the country, offering programs for youth and adult rowers of all skill levels. US Rowing, the sport’s national governing body, gave the club the first-ever Club of the Year award in 2002. Since then, they have received the award four more times (2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019), the most of any club in the country.

The four Allderdice students who competed for Three Rivers in HOTO include myself (10th grade), Felix Diaz-Tafel (10th grade), Simon Grove (10th grade), and Owen Stout (12th grade). Diaz-Tafel and I took home bronze in the U17 (Under 17) 8+ (eight), followed by another bronze medal win in the U17 4+ (four) event alongside Grove. Meanwhile, Stout received a gold medal in the 1st Team Varsity 4x (quad) event, with his boat finishing nearly 20 seconds ahead of the 2nd place boat.

Despite being in his senior season, this is Stout’s first season for Three Rivers; he previously rowed for Allderdice Crew and Sylvan Scullers. On his decision to join Three Rivers, and how it compares to Allderdice Crew, he says, “Three Rivers is a more organized club, with a stronger focus on tech[nique] and efficiency, while also utilizing better fitness routines to improve our speed.” Also, Stout credits the strong team spirit and the wealth of experience amongst the coaches for his early success with the team.

In addition to the youth team’s regional success, they have been recognized nationally numerous times. In recent years, they have sent boats to Youth National Championships, several of which medaled or became national champions in their respective categories. On October 23rd, Stout, in his gold medal-winning quad, and a women’s four will represent the club in the world’s largest regatta, Head of the Charles.

Though Allderdice Crew may be a more convenient option for students, Three Rivers is a more established club with better resources for athlete development within and beyond the sport of rowing. They have a more experienced coaching staff who implement a technique-focused training plan to train athletes within any skill range. Allderdice lacks the experience within the sport and the deep-rooted foundation necessary to reach the level of success achieved by Three Rivers regionally, as well as nationally in events amongst the youth elite.