The DCNRC rowing team: more than just a sport


Photo courtesy of @DCNRCVarsityGirls on Instagram

DCNRC Girls, including freshman Corinne Davies, pause for a moment mid-practice on the beautiful Potomac River.

By Graeme Finley, Podcast Manager

Physical strength, mental fortitude and fierce drive, these three elements are emphasized to their greatest in the great sport of rowing. Rowing has significantly grown in popularity, and WCHS is taking advantage of this amazing sport. 

WCHS once had its own rowing team. However, several years ago it expanded and created the DC National Rowing Team (DCNRC). The creation of this group allowed students all over Montgomery Co., including WCHS students, to partake in this fantastic activity. 

Although its popularity has risen, many students may need to become more familiar with the basics of rowing. The goal of the sport is to get your crew from the start line to the finish line as fast as possible while pushing the athletes physically and mentally to their limits.

“DCNRC is home to a large group of exceptional athletes as well as coaches who work hard to push all the athletes to reach their full potential,” DCNRC Coach and WCHS Class of 2017 graduate Maxim Goohs said.“Rowing at DCNRC allows students to aspire to greatness through discipline, hard work and dedication; rowers learn what it takes to try and be the best at something.”

Rowing at DCNRC has also been proven to produce great athletes who can take rowing with them further in life and create opportunities with it. 

“We have athletes who end up rowing at top universities and representing the United States on the international stage, as well as athletes who are for the first time in their life seeing what they’re capable of,” Goohs said. 

To students who may have never joined a team as successful as this, it may seem daunting to join, and they may worry about failure or not being good enough. However, DCNRC has made a reputation for being very accepting and welcoming to all students as long as they can put in the effort and give their best. While other teams may turn athletes away, DCNRC truly sees the potential in all students and wants to provide them with the experience they deserve.   

“What makes DCNRC special is that we truly are one unified team. Whether you’re a world-class athlete or just trying a new hobby, our club will accept you.” Goohs said. “In my experience, I have found that the more you commit yourself to trying to be the best, the more fun you have.”

Rowing is unlike any other sport like football, basketball, wrestling or lacrosse, leaving many to believe it doesn’t count. This stigma is dead wrong as rowers are powerful physically and mentally in ways that other sports cannot create. 

“If you are a competitive person who likes challenges, rowing is for you. Unlike other sports, rowing will test every part of your life. What you put in, you get out,” Goohs said.  

As with any good team, being good at the sport is not the only key aspect; Being social is also very important, especially to DCNRC. DCNRC allows for an extremely unique social melting pot as kids from across the county interact and bond with each other when the only thing they may have in common is rowing. 

“While our main goal is to make fast boats, our club is also a great social environment. It brings boys and girls together from over 20 different schools in the area, ” Goohs said. “It’s amazing to see high school students from rural Poolesville bonding with city kids from Sidwell friends. For most kids on our team, practice is the best part of their day.”

The athletes are constantly with each other, bonding outside of practice as well and traveling to each other’s schools and the WCHS area as well. 

“The guys on the team have incredible and healthy competition and we always keep it real with each other,” WCHS senior Konnor Lee, who has been rowing with DCNR for four years now, said. “We all want to get faster and have fun while doing it.”

This season, DCNRC has performed exceptionally well, qualifying a record number of boats to compete in the U.S. Youth Nationals in Sarasota, Fl.  Make sure to support your fellow WCHS athletes. To learn more about the DCNRS program and how to join, visit their website, where they offer seven week-long learn-to-row programs during the summer that are perfect for new rowers to prepare them for the fall.

“The main thing that keeps people from rowing is the stigma that it is not a real sport, and in many ways, that stigma is right,” Goohs said. “It is much more than a sport and from 10 years of being part of it, I have seen it change people’s lives for the better in more ways than I can count.”