Lightweights lead the way for Brock at Head of the Trent

On a day where the temperatures dipped to 5° and winds gusted up to 50km/h, the Brock Badgers rowing team took to the Otonabee River in Peterborough, Ontario to race the prestigious Head of the Trent. The regatta, known as the largest one-day regatta in North America, brings together competitors from across Eastern Canada, including all universities competing in the OUA.  As it is the first regatta of the year involving all university crews, it provides a great opportunity to check out the competition.

Brock crews showed that the team is in for another successful year, picking up 12 medals, including one gold. The Badgers also earned six silver medals, along with five bronze.

Starting the day for Brock in Division 1 of racing were six single scullers, who came away with three silver medals. Winning the first medal was Nick Heffernan in the Club Men’s Single, followed by Jacob Thomas in the University Lightweight Men’s Single, and capped off by Katherine Walker in the University Lightweight Women’s Single. Also racing the single for Brock were Austin Cameron, Matt Finley, and Stephanie Mowder.

In the next flight of races, Brock captured two more medals. The University Heavyweight Men’s Coxed Four finished in second place, while the University Heavyweight Men’s Double came a close third. In the coxed four, Jamie Germond, Ryan Malcowski, Ian Pierce, Scott Murphy, and Zak Lewis lost to the Western University, while Zach Koroll and Matt Gamey were third behind Western and McGill. Both crews won gold last weekend at Head of the Welland.

The third flight of races brought some close racing for Badger crews, as the Women’s Heavyweight and Lightweight Eight’s faced rough conditions during the early-afternoon race. The heavyweight eight, consisting of Andrea Jansen, Alyssa Toffolo, Alex Dunlap, Jen Beaudette, Karen Dancy, Isabella Mazzarolo, Taylor Iseppon, Vicky Lea Thompson, and Aysha Martina finished third overall behind Western and Queen’s. The crew was happy with the result, as this was the first time the combination has been raced this season. The lightweight eight finished in fourth place, behind crews from Western, Queen’s, and University of Toronto.

Next up for Brock was the Heavyweight and Lightweight Men’s Eights. Battling a strong headwind and choppy waters, each crew finished just a few seconds back of first place. In the lightweight eight, Amy MacLean, James Potts, Brandon D’Orazio, Grayson Gray, Taylor Ashwood, Zach Whiteley, Jacob Thomas, James Myers, and Brandan Andrews posted a time of 15:35, losing to Western University by 7 seconds. In the next race of the day, the heavyweight eight, consisting of Jamie Germond, Dave de Groot, Matt Finley, Nick Heffernan, Zach Koroll, Ian Pierce, Scott Murphy, Zak Lewis, and Ryan Malcowski completed the course in 15:53, just 6 seconds behind Western.

Brock was well represented in the fifth flight of races, as athletes who raced in the women’s eights earlier in the day competed in the University Heavyweight and Lightweight Coxed Four. The lightweight women’s program captured their second medals of the days, as Laura Court, Sarah Mambella, Olivia Bagshaw, Katie Ayres, and Erin Corkery placed third behind Western and University of Ottawa. It was a tight race, as there was less than nine seconds between second place Ottawa, and sixth place Queen’s.

In the final flight of the day, Brock had six crews racing. Women’s Heavyweight and Lightweight Doubles were first done the course, followed by Novice Eights, with the Junior Varsity Coxed Four the last race of the day. Katherine Walker picked up her second silver medal of the day, as she raced with Stephanie Mowder in the heavyweight double. It was a close race, as the double missed gold by less than one second. Following the heavyweights was the Women’s Lightweight Double, who finished fourth overall. Badger novices got their second race experience of the year, as the men’s crew finished in 12th place, and the women’s crews finished in 5th and 15th. The novice season builds up to the OUA Developmental Regatta, which takes place on October 22nd. In the last race of the day, Brock picked up their first gold medal in the Junior Varsity Men’s Coxed Four. Mackenzie Boyes, Luke Gadsdon, Matt Gamey, John Hagemans, and Eric Buchanan came together quickly, winning by gold by over 40 seconds.

It was a positive end to the headrace season for all crews, and the attention now turns in the next few weeks in preparation for the final regattas of the season. Next week the university season takes a short break as the National Rowing Championships will take place in St. Catharines. With many Brock Badgers racing, it will be another big weekend for the team.

Full results can be found at

19 Medals, Including 13 Gold, Won at Head of the Welland

With warm weather and a slight tailwind, Badger crews took to the 5.2 kilometre north course of the Welland International Flatwater Centre to race the Head of the Welland regatta. With over 400 entries and close to 70 events, the regatta is one of the most well attended regattas of the fall season. Three universities in total were present, as UOIT and University of Toronto joined Brock at one of the first racing opportunities of the fall season.

In total, Brock came home with 19 medals, 13 of which were gold. Four silver medals were won, along with two bronze.

Luke Gadson started off the day for Brock on a successful note, winning the University Men’s 1x by close to 20 seconds over second place UOIT. In his first race as a lightweight athlete, Jacob Thomas was able to beat out Don Rowing Club for gold in the Open Lightweight Men’s 1x. Steph Mowder picked up her second gold of the young season, winning the University Women’s 1x over UOIT and University of Toronto crews.

Showing their prowess in sculling events, Badger crews captured four more golds in the University 2x and Open Lightweight 2x events. Zack Koroll and Nick Heffernan raced for the first time together on Saturday, placing first out of seven crews. In the Women’s University 2x, Steph Mowder and Katherine Walker captured gold over four other boats. After a long day of racing, James Potts and James Myers edged out University of Toronto to finish first in the Lightweight Men’s 2x. Soon after, Vicky Thompson and Jen Beaudette beat out five crews to win gold.

Brock continued the success in bigger crews, as the Heavyweight Men’s 4+, Lightweight Men’s 4+, and Heavyweight Women’s 4+ all won gold. The heavyweight crew, consisting of Mackenzie Boyes, Ryan Malcowski, Scott Murphy, Ian Pierce, and Zak Lewis beat out Toronto, UOIT, and another Brock University crew to finish first. The lightweight crew of Amy MacLean, Brandan Andrews, James Myers, Grayson Gray, and Taylor Ashwood teamed up to win the Open Men’s 4+ over St. Catharine’s Rowing Club. Not to be outdone, the Heavyweight Women’s 4+ of Alyssa Toffolo, Isabella Mazzarollo, Taylor Iseppon, Alex Dunlap, and Andrea Jansen put together a solid race to win the University Women’s 4+ over Ridley College.

In the Men’s University 8+ event, the lightweight and heavyweight men had a close battle for first place. The lightweights came out with the win, edging out the heavyweights by 22 seconds. Brandan Andrews, James Myers, Eric Buchanen, Zach Whitely, Grayson Gray, Taylor Ashwood, Brandon D’Orazio, James Potts, and Amy MacLean, got their first racing experience of the fall season in, and hope to continue the winning ways throughout the next five weeks of racing.

Brock novice crews raced for the first time this year, winning gold in the Men’s and Women’s 8+. The crews consist of athletes who are in their first year of rowing. The novice program is used every year as a major building block for the team, with many of the top rowers in the history of Brock Rowing coming from the novice program. The novice team will continue to race every weekend this fall, culminating in the OUA Developmental regatta on the 23rd of October.

Next weekend the Brock Badgers will travel to Peterborough to race the Head of the Trent regatta. Known as the biggest single day regatta in North America, this will be the first regatta of the season where all OUA rowing programs will attend. Hope to see you there!

Full results can be found at

A Look Back on the Summer Season

A Look Back On Summer

This past summer was an incredibly successful one for members of all the Brock rowing programs. On national and international levels, the Brock Badgers found great success in 2015.

Matthew Finley (St. Catharines, ON) and David de Groot (St. Catharines, ON) were both selected as members of the Canadian team for the U23 World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in late July. Matt was bow seat of a powerful Canadian men’s quad BM4x consisting of Graham Peters, Taylor Perry and Karl Zimmerman. The quad crushed their semi-finals to earn a favored position in the A final, where they dominated the field to take home Canada’s only gold medal of the regatta. Dave stroked the BM4- that also consisted of Jakub Buczek, Lucas de Gelder and Mackenzie Copp.  The crew sprinted to the line to capture bonze in a field of highly skilled crews. Grayson Gray (Thorold, ON) and James Myers (Beamsville, ON) also competed at U23 worlds, making up the BLM2-. The duo returned to the competition after capturing a bronze medal last year but had to withdraw from the final due to an injury.

A number of Brock rowers were also selected to compete at the World Universiade in Gwangju, Korea. Katherine Walker (Grimsby, ON) teamed up with Alex Stefanovski to race the LW2x. The girls finished 6th overall. Will Bryden (Charlottetown, PEI) and Mark Alm (Grismby, ON) were the M2x for the Canadian contingent and placed 10th overall while facing stiff competition. James Potts (Ottawa, ON) and Taylor Ashwood (Fort Erie, ON) made up half of the LM4-. The boating was rounded out by Tom Watson and Josh King. The four placed faced some serious challenges with acclimatizing to the heat and humidity but in the end, placed 8th overall. Zak Lewis (Ottawa, ON) partnered up with Liam McCormick, to compete in the M2-. The duo came 9th in a very competitive field. Lastly, Stephanie Mowder (St. Catharines, ON) rowed the W2x with Emily Jago and placed 7th overall.

Brock rowers also experienced some great success at Royal Canadian Henley this August. Four lightweight men, Taylor Ashwood, Austin Cameron, James Potts and Zack Whitely, and Amy MacLean were a part of the LM8+ from St. Catharines Rowing Club that won the 500m dash event. Potts and Ashwood were also part of the gold medal winning U23 LM4- from St. Catharines. Ashwood won this event in 2014. Jacob Thomas, Matt Gamey, and Zack Koroll teamed up with Dan de Groot to represent SCRC and win the U23 Mens 4x. Lastly, Dave de Groot and Matthew Finley won gold in the Champ M8+ as part of a composite crew including athletes from Princeton and the Ridley Graduate boat club.

Brock Badgers rowing alumni on the Canadian National Team had outstanding results at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France during the first week of September. Tim Schrijver (Thedford, ON) and Eric Woelfl (St. Catharines, ON) were both part of crews who qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Schrijver is part of the M4- and Woelfl is a member of the LM4-. Both athletes have returned to their respective training centres and will return to St. Catharines to compete at the National Rowing Championships, which take place at Henley Island from October 8th to 10th.

After a summer full of success, these athletes and many more focus their sights on the OUA and Canadian University Championship seasons this fall.

Badger Crews Have Successful Weekend at Western Invite

The 2015 Brock Badgers rowing season got off to a successful start on Saturday, as crews headed to London, Ont. to race at the Western Invitational. Although only the heavyweight men and women competed, Brock still came home with five first place finishes. The Heavyweight Men’s 8+ and 2x, and the Heavyweight Women’s 4+, 2x, and 1x all finished first in their respective events. The Lightweight Mens and Womens programs did not travel, using the time to train at home in St. Catharine’s.

The regatta, held on Lake Fanshawe, features a four-kilometre head race followed by a 500 metre sprint. As it is the first regatta of the OUA season, only four schools attended. Western University, McMaster University, UOIT, and Brock all had crews competing.

Nick Heffernan, Matt Finley, Dave de Groot, Ian Pierce, Zachary Koroll, Scott Murphy, Zak Lewis, Ryan Malcowski, and Mackenzie Boyes teamed up in the Heavyweight Men’s 8+ to win the head race by 3 seconds over Western lightweights. They followed that up by winning the sprint by 1 second to capture gold. For three members of the crew, this was the first time wearing the Badger uniform. Heffernan, Pierce, and Boyes all transferred to Brock in the past year, and hope to build on the success they had this past weekend.

In the Heavyweight Men’s 2x, Luke Gadson and Matt Gamey came together to capture gold. After coming second in the head race, they won the event in the dash. The fastest crew, Western, scratched before they got to race for a second time. This was this first university race for Gadson. The first year Recreation and Leisure student from Hamilton previously competed for Leander Boat Club and Westdale Secondary School.

The Heavyweight Women’s 2x of Alex Dunlap and Megan Oinonen won gold after beating the second place boat by 17 seconds. This was the first time the two have raced together for Brock. After previously rowing for South Niagara Rowing Club, this is Oinanan’s first season on the team.

Alyssa Toffolo, Isabella Mazzarolo, Taylor Iseppon, Karen Dancy, and Andrea Jansen competed in the Heavyweight Women’s 4+ event, winning gold by over 40 seconds. This was the first varsity race for two Mazzarolo and Dancy. The former raced novice for Brock last year, and the latter started rowing at St. Catharine’s Rowing Club this summer.

In the Heavyweight Women’s 1x, Steph Mowder beat second place McMaster to get her fall season off to a strong start. Mowder competed for Canada this past summer at the FISU Summer Universiade, in Chungju, South Korea.  After competing against some of the best university rowers in the world, she is feeling confident heading into her fifth and final season with the team.

Next weekend Brock will be staying in the Niagara region to compete at the Head of the Welland regatta. With close to 300 entries, it will be one of the biggest regattas Brock competes in this season. Racing starts early next Saturday morning on the North Course of the Welland International Flatwater Centre.

Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships Medalists

Brock was well represented at the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships this weekend. Races are 2000m long on the Concept2 rowing ergometer. Leading the way was Grayson Gray winning the Senior B lightweight race with a personal best time of 6:22. Taylor Ashwood followed with a 6th place 6:31.

In the Senior B Mens event David de Groot placed second with a time of 6:07, Matt Finley placed fourth with a 6:10.3 and Will Bryden came 6th with a 6:19.2

In the Senior Womens event Stephanie Mowder placed 6th with a personal best time of 7:09.2.

Spencer Brennan a novice with the Brock program placed third in the Senior Men’s race in a time of 6:14.1

Not to be outdone Amy MacLean raced in the women’s coxie event and won with a time 4:00.1 for the 1000m event.

Brock Badgers Recognized at Rowing Canada Awards Banquet

Three Brock rowers were awarded the International Achievement Award for their performances at the Under 23 World Championships this past Summer. The 2014 U23 World Championships were held in Varese Italy in July.

Tim Schrijver received his award for a Gold medal performance in the U23 mens’ cox four, while Grayson Gray and James Myers were recognized for winning a Bronze medal in the U23 lightweight mens pair. Tim is now at the Victoria Training centre preparing for the Panamerican games and the senior World Championships, while Grayson and James are training at Brock for another U23 World Championships this summer.

One of the athletes in the St. Catharines RC male sweep crew of the years was Taylor Ashwood also a member of the Brock Rowing Team. This award recognizes the performance for first place finishes at Royal Canadian Henley and the national Rowing Championships of non-national team athletes.

Congratulations from the Badgers to all four athletes.

Jack Nicholson


Jack July 2010[1]

It is with great sadness that we inform the Brock Rowing community the passing of our first coach Jack Nicholson. Jack’s contribution to our program continued right to the end as a mentor coach, keen supporter of our athletes, advisor on boat repair, a neighbour in the boathouse and friend. Jack continued to provide training opportunities for our athletes and others with the weekly around the island races; racing opportunities by running the Ontario Ergometer Rowing Championships, and the Head of the Martindale. Jack was always willing to have our rowers out with him when cold water rules were in place to train, or to loan us a boat when we were in need. He will be missed as rowing has lost a giant.

Funeral arrangements will be announced soon but there will be visitation this week and a celebration of his life in January. We will post more information when it is released.


Fantastic showing by the Brock Badgers at the 2014 championships.

The mens’ team did great job of winning the banner in a year when nearly half the team was competing for Brock as a varsity athlete for the first time. They were led by their coaches Iain Wilson (in his first year as the lightweight men’s coach) and Brandon Campbell (only in his second year as the heavy men’s coach) who put in a phenomenal effort as volunteer coaches while being full time students at Brock. The year started out with weak results while trying to build crews with so many new athletes but the results became better with each regatta because of their hard work. After the Brock Invitational Regatta It became clear it was possible but the Badgers were still in second behind Western. Grayson Gray set the tone in the first race by wining his heat in the lightweight single. The men then carried on by winning the men’s light eight, heavy four and light four, and also placed second in the men’s heavy eight and heavy double.

The women’s team also had a strong performance placing third overall which is great since two thirds of the women were new to the Brock varsity program. Both the heavy and light eights only had one returning athlete in the crews and yet the lightweight women placed third. The future looks bright as this young team builds experience in the coming years. The women’s team was also led by two new coaches Jacqui Beattie coaching the women and vince Amodeo coaching the light women. Katherine Walker had a third place finish in the light women’s single and the light women also placed third in the four.

For complete results and points click the links below.

2014 badger Celebration

Racing has been moved forward so finals begin at 10:30 with the last race at 2:15. There will be a tent at the waters edge in front of the HIH building for Alumni and friends of Brock Rowing. Some beverages and snacks will be provided. Once racing is complete everyone is encouraged to move to the Alumni clubhouse on top of the island for a BBQ courtesy of Dr. John Gleddie. There will also be a cash bar. We will also christen four new boats recognizing a long time volunteer and Badgers that have represented Canada internationally.