History of the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championship
Before the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association was formed, there existed a Central States Schoolboy Championship (there were no high school girls competing in the region at that time) beginning in the late 1950s, and active in the 1960s through about 1978. The Central States Schoolboy Championship included high schools from Chicago (no longer rowing: Lane Tech, Weber), South St. Paul HS (MN), St. John’s Military Academy (WI), Culver Academies (IN), along with Ecorse BC and Roosevelt HS from Detroit. Racing during that time often included competing against adult clubs and college freshmen, due to the limited number of high school aged competition. As a few high school rowing programs ceased to exist (those rowing from Lincoln Park BC in Chicago, St. John’s Military, South St. Paul) many more were established (Wheeling and Parkersburg, WV and Marietta, OH) the Central States Schoolboy Championship disappeared.
The Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association was organized in the fall of 1983 with two purposes:
First, to sponsor a Midwest scholastic championship regatta each spring.
Second, to organize Midwest scholastic/junior regatta scheduling and information exchange.
The first Midwest Scholastic Championship Regatta was held in Culver, Indiana and was hosted by Culver Academies on May 12, 1984. Ten schools and two clubs attended the first regatta and competed in fourteen events for boys (1500 meters) and seven events, three with a single entry, for girls (1000 meters). The regatta grew into a two day format of heats and finals by its second year in 1985. The number of participating programs has continued to grow and the Association came to include crews from 12 states. The Association even included crews from Kansas and Tennessee for a while. The number of events also grew. There were 52 schools and clubs racing in 44 final events at the 2000 Championship. Continuing conflict (racing “youth” and “varsity” crews together or separately; 1500 meters vs. 2000 meters; adding “youth” events; and the enormous size of the regatta and the number of heats and finals due to growing participation) between “club” and “single school” programs caused the Association to separate into two organizations in the fall of 2000.
“Clubs” versus Schools: Youth rowing “clubs”, drawing athletes from more than one high school, had been a part of the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association since the beginning. In the first championship, two “clubs” raced in 1984: Mendota Rowing Club and Cincinnati Outdoor Cooperative (a precursor of the Cincinnati Junior RC). Beginning in 1989, “clubs” that had more than four rowers of the same gender on their team, were required to race as the “high school”–their “club” instead of mixed together just as the “club.” Over the years, some member schools became concerned about the participation against clubs that could potentially recruit from the best athletes at several high schools, and restrictions of the Michigan High School Athletic Association on its member schools. Separate “youth” and “scholastic” (single school) events were established starting in 1991. “Youth” events are open to either “clubs” or schools, while in the “scholastic” events, only athletes that attend the same school are allowed. After the 2000 championship, the Association separated into two organizations with the single school programs (“scholastic”) remaining as the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association, and the clubs forming the Midwest Junior Rowing Association. The MSRA retains its championship on the second weekend of May and races 1500 meters, while the MJRA has its championship on the third weekend of May and will race 2000 meters.
Midwest Scholastic Rowing Association (spring 2000, before splitting into two organizations)
|State||# High School Crews||# Club Crews|
Initially, the site of the Championship traveled among the member organizations in order to share the large travel distances within our very geographically expansive region. The championship regatta site was selected by the coaches of the Association during a teleconference each November. The championship regatta was hosted by Indianapolis for five years (1991-1995), then Cincinnati for four years (1997-2000), near Detroit for four years (2001-2004) and returned to Cincinnati for seven years (2005-2012). Wind or high water has several times disrupted the Championship, including high water levels at Cincinnati’s Lake Harsha in 2011 causing the regatta to be postponed a week and relocated to Oak Ridge, TN.
Beginning in 2013 the MSRA sponsored the Championship at Dillon Lake near Zanesville, OH. This location is within a state park but otherwise had no rowing infrastructure and no local rowing program. The site has been developed with a 1500 meter course and docks as our permanent site for the Championship regatta. Participation has continued to grow at the championship, as more and more rowing programs are started by high schools.
The Midwest Scholastic Championship is a qualifying event for USRowing Youth National Championship and the Scholastic Rowing Association Championship.
The MSRA and the Dillon Lake LOC look forward to hosting the 2016 Scholastic Rowing Association Championship.
Sites of the Championship have been
|Year: Host, Site||# teams||# finals|
|1984: Culver Academies, Culver, IN
1985: St. Mary’s Prep, Orchard Lake, MI
1986: Cincinnati, OH
1987: Oak Ridge RA, Oak Ridge, TN
1988: Wyandotte BC, Wyandotte, MI
1989: Marietta HS, Marietta, OH
1990: Pittsburgh, PA
1991: Indianapolis RC, Indianapolis, IN
1992: Indianapolis RC, Indianapolis, IN
1993: Indianapolis RC, Indianapolis, IN
1994: Indianapolis RC, Indianapolis, IN
1995: Indianapolis RC, Indianapolis, IN
1996: Greater Columbus RA, Columbus, OH
1997: Cincinnati RC, Cincinnati, OH
1998: Cincinnati RC, Cincinnati, OH
1999: Cincinnati RC, Cincinnati, OH
2000: Cincinnati RC, Cincinnati, OH
2001: Detroit BC, Stony Creek, MI
2014: Dillon Lake LOC, Zanesville, OH
A team point trophy for boys events and girls events has been awarded since 1987. Initially all events were considered, however beginning in 1991 (the year “youth” events were instituted), only the “scholastic” (single school) events have been counted. The MSRA “Guy Weaser” Combined team point trophy (entered both genders) was first awarded in 2001.
The governance structure has evolved from a chairman, expanded to sub-regional representatives and is currently administrated by a Board of Directors, nine are elected from the sub-regions and one at-large along with an Executive Director. Each Board member serves a three-year term with a rotational election schedule.
Results since 1984 are archived here.