Strong Kids Row :: How 2 New Orleans Athletes Rowed Their Way to College Careers
When you think of New Orleans, you may not think about rowing, but two incredible athletes have put New Orleans Rowing Club in the spotlight this week! On National Signing Day this past Wednesday, local seniors Lee Ferguson and Aubrey Muirhead both signed their letters of intent to join NCAA D1 women’s rowing teams. This is simply an incredible accomplishment, and we look forward to cheering for them as they continue their rowing careers in college!
Lee Ferguson, a senior at The Willow School, has committed to being a coxswain for Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They have been a member of the New Orleans Rowing Club Juniors team since the 6th grade. In 10th grade they were named the team’s MVP and served as team captain for their junior and senior years. Ferguson is constantly working on perfecting their skills, having attended multiple rowing intensives to take it to the next level! After completing a competitive coxing intensive held in Holland recently, they have been asked to attend future programs based on their stellar performance.
Aubrey Muirhead, a senior at Ben Franklin High School is new to rowing but has made her mark quickly! Her younger sister Bethany rows, and in just February of this year Aubrey decided she wanted to give the sport a try. Once she completed a rowing camp at the University of Texas, she was hooked and knew she wanted to compete at the collegiate level. A dual sport athlete, Muirhead is also a star player on the varsity volleyball team. In 2022 she was named LVCA All-State Player, District MVP, and New Orleans All- Metro Player. In 2023 she was selected to play on the 2023 East All-Star Team after being name AVCA’s Best & Brightest. Nothing is stopping her, because on Wednesday she signed her commitment letter to row for the University of Texas Austin.
The New Orleans Rowing Club Juniors program started in 2015 and is for local highschoolers, 8th to 12th grade. They now have 50 Junior Rowers, that you can find gliding through Bayou St. John any given day of the week. NORC is a volunteer ran program meant for all ages and skill levels, to learn rowing in a positive and inclusive environment. While typically rowing was always thought of as an Ivy League sport, NORC is working the change all that. The club hosts adult learn-to-row sessions throughout the year, introducing the sport of rowing to people of all ages and abilities. They currently have 55 Master Rowers in the program, and regularly compete as a team at national regattas. Bringing in boats at 14th & 21st best in the country this past year, the New Orleans Rowing
Club is quickly becoming a known name in the world of rowing!
The NORC has teamed up with Xavier University in 2023 to help build their rowing club, which has the goal of being the second Women’s HBCU Rowing Program. Their aim is to provide access to rowing to people of all backgrounds! Previous NORC alumni have gone on to row at the Coast Guard Academy, Harvard, University of Notre Dame, and LSU. Learn more about the New Orleans Rowing Club online and follow @neworleansrowingclub on Facebook and Instagram.