Crew - Girls 1st Team
Crew - Girls 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 has been teaching, coaching and managing boys' dorms at boarding schools for 20 years, following a twelve-year career in corporate finance at Alex. Brown and its successor firms. Before moving to Brooks in 2016, Smith led the math department and rowing team at Salisbury School in Connecticut. At Brooks, his work in the math department aims to extend student interest and engagement at the intersection of mathematics, data science and economics. Smith's afternoons are spent on Lake Cochichewick, where he is the director of rowing and boys 1st crew coach. His Winter Term courses have focused on the mechanics of Wall Street, the dangers of manipulation by statistics, and most recently the ancient pottery form of Raku. Smith lives on campus in Thorne House with his wife Kathy Palmer Smith '88 and their two labradoodles. Their three children, Nate Smith '18, Tobey Smith '20 and Laura Smith '22 are all recent graduates of Brooks.
Born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, Clark was a former Junior National Running Champion before making the transition to rowing. During her ten-year tenure on the Hungarian National rowing team, she competed in many international rowing competitions in Europe as well as won the Hungarian National Rowing Championship six times. She moved to Colorado to earn a degree in International Affairs at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and in 2002 relocated to Massachusetts. Currently, she is a mother of three (two of whom are in Brooks School's class of 2025), volunteers, is active in youth programs and remains passionate about outdoor sports, fitness and athletics. She is an accomplished rock climber, sky diver, triathlete and has been a top finisher in several National Fitness Competitions and International CrossFit competitions.