Crew - Boys 1st Team
Crew - Boys 1st Team
The Brooks rowing program dates back to the 1920’s when the school was founded on the shores of Lake Cochichewick, a “Great Pond” of Massachusetts that also serves as North Andover’s reservoir. The lake is known for its pristine shoreline, beautiful views and choppy waters on windy days. For us, it is our home — a short walk down a grassy hill and you are at the boathouses. Time is precious for student-athletes, and we are fortunate to be able to spend that time on the water.
Several U.S. Olympians took their first strokes at Brooks under legendary coaches Howard “Ox” Kingsbury, David Swift, Bill Dunnell and Sally Morris. A walk through the upstairs of the original Lyman Boathouse offers a glimpse into our storied history in the sport: New England Championships, National Championships and Olympic Champions like Eleanor Logan ’06, who helped the U.S. eight claim the gold in Beijing, London and Rio. The team has competed several times at the Henley Royal Regatta in England.
Brooks is fortunate as a smaller school to have a dedicated indoor training facility with two sets of rowing tanks, rows of ergometers and specialized equipment for the athletes who want to perfect their stroke and get fit over the winter season. Of our 70-80 athletes, only a handful had significant rowing experience before they arrived at Brooks, so the eight rowing coaches look for athletes to take advantage of the opportunity to learn indoors.
Our racing season begins with a spring training trip in March to South Carolina. The racing season takes place in the months of April and May, with the varsity racing on Saturdays and the JV boats racing on Wednesdays. We row as one program with the girls and boys crews rowing and racing alongside one another throughout the season. Brooks has a full race schedule and hosts several races at home each year. Click to view what it's like at Brooks on regatta day.
The season culminates in the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association (NEIRA) Championships on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester. Brooks has earned invitations to the “NEIRAs” for all eight of its varsity boats in 2017 and 2018. Of those eight, five boats raced into the grand finals in 2018, and the girls third boat claimed some hardware. Several of our recent alums are now racing in the college circuit at Boston College, Boston University, Brown University, Georgia Tech, Holy Cross, Santa Clara, and Yale.
Rowing is often considered the ultimate team sport. We stress the unity of the program, cohesion of the boat and commitment of the individual as we coach boys and girls to get the most from themselves and each other, whether they are novices taking their first strokes in the 7th boat or experienced competitors focused on victory at the international level. And along the way, we try to have some fun. Sneak a peek at what we mean with our Spirit of Brooks Crew video!
Christopher "Tote" Smith joined the Brooks faculty as a teacher and Director of Rowing in the summer of 2016. Smith learned the sport of rowing under Lightweight Coach Andy Card at Yale University, where he was fortunate to be part of two varsity crews with undefeated regular seasons in 1990 and 1991, the first of which also claimed both the Eastern Sprints and IRA Championships. Having coached the Brooks JV girls under the leadership of former Director of Rowing Sally Morris in 2003, he now brings back to Brooks nine years' experience as assistant and four years as head rowing coach at Salisbury School, where the varsity eight medaled in three of the past six NEIRA championships, including a gold and back-to-back National Schools championships in 2016. He is excited to be back at Brooks and looks forward to working with rowers and coaches to further develop both the girls' and boys' programs.