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Nikolaus Meyer 
Board Member

Nik began rowing in high school at Washington Rowing School where he learned to both sweep and scull. He continued on to row sweep with the University of Maryland men's crew where he spent one year as the team's president and one year as treasurer. After college, Meyer spent some time sculling at Potomac Boat Club and now rows with Southern Maryland Rowing Association.

The Potomac, Md., native began his coaching career during his sophomore year of college at Elizabeth Seton H.S. (Bladensburg, Md.), primarily working with novice women. After discovering his passion for coaching, Meyer picked up a second coaching position with Montgomery Blair H.S., gaining experience working with varsity men and women.

Meyer is US Rowing Level II coaching certified and is currently the Interim St. Mary's College of Maryland Head Coach

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Ruth O' Connell
Board Member

Ruth is a founding SMRA member and organizer. She learned to row after college in an adult learn-to-row program in Washington, D.C., in 1990 and then continued to train and compete, first with Capital Rowing Club and then Potomac Boat Club (1992-98) before relocating to St. Mary’s county in the fall of 1998.  Currently, she trains with a goal to compete in regional regattas and indoor competitions.  Ruth is also a volunteer coach with the St. Mary’s College of Maryland rowing team.


The following is her guidance on participating in the competitive rowing group.

Experienced rowers in good physical condition are encouraged to join the group.  They should already have a solid understanding of rowing technique and the biomechanics that contribute to set, acceleration, run, and timing.

The inherent objectives of this group includes a commitment to competitive-level conditioning in/out of season, regular attendance at rowing practices, and the pursuit of high-level competition. (Regattas typically occur on the weekends and are usually within a few hours driving distance from St. Mary’s City.) Participation in the group is considered on an individual basis with no set guidelines. The decision to accept a rower into the competitive program rests solely at the competitive coaches’ discretion.   

The SMRA Competitive program enjoys a balance of racing and club spirit; being a part of the competitive program at SMRA means joining a team of rowers who participate in community and club events in addition to regattas and practices

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Nancy Fechtig
Board Member

Nancy started rowing sweep in high school in Parkersburg, WV and then rowed four years at the U.S. Naval Academy.  She rediscovered rowing as a Masters rower and sculler when the Navy planted her near the beautiful St. Mary's River.  Nancy remains a competitive rower and is a US Rowing Level II certified coach.  She is on her third year as a volunteer coach with the St. Mary's College of Maryland rowing team and enjoys introducing a new generation to the joys of rowing.

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