March 25, 2022 — Ella Wheeler ’23, a member of the girls’ varsity rowing team, won the USRowing Indoor National Championships/C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints, which drew more than 1,000 racers worldwide to compete in 2,000-meter races in various age categories.
NMH Girls’ Rowing Coach Lou Kinder said, “The race was run virtually, so Ella and four of her teammates assembled in the gym and quietly did great, four of them finishing in the top 10 of their age groups.”
Ella (pictured, left) placed first among 132 racers for women under age 19 with a time of 07:12.2. Sidney Curven ’22 placed sixth in the same group, Abigail Grace ’22 placed 7th in under 23, and Margaux Moos ’24 placed ninth in under 17.
“What an incredibly powerful showing for women’s rowing!” Kinder said. “This is a pretty big deal for NMH, the program, and Ella.”
Kinder said race directors suspect Ella is the first Black woman to win this event, but only collect data on the gender and age of athletes.
Ella shared, “Rowing is not a very diverse sport, and I like getting to be a part of it, especially at NMH. Our team dynamic is great. We are really supportive of each other. I was new last year, and the seniors were so nice, really welcoming, and I’m still friends with them now. We’ve got so many new people this year, and they are all coming into their own, and as a team we are all being supportive of each other. It’s really nice to see that.”
With the spring athletics season now underway, Ella said she’s eager to get on the water after racing — and training — indoors all winter. Because racing indoors is solitary, it’s more mentally challenging, she said. But during the race, she felt supported by teammates and coaches cheering her on.
See the full race results. Congratulations, Ella and NMH Rowing!
(Photo courtesy of Lou Kinder.)