CRF High School Team

CRF is an independent high school sweep rowing (one oar per rower) program that consists of intensive physical indoor and outdoor practice. Competitive sweep rowing is a sport that cultivates hardworking athletes into successful individuals and thus, teams. Rowing achieves this through the mental and physical strength of each participating individual.  Often compared to marathon running or cross-country skiing, rowing is a sport that demands cardio-vascular strength and mental focus.  Competitive rowing demands the ultimate level of teamwork from each participating individual.

Competitive High School rowers (Juniors) can start at any grade, at any experience level. Regardless of when they start, after a year of Novice rowing, all high school rowers are considered Varsity.  High School rowers, made up of all-girl or all-boy crews of 8 plus a coxswain, train 5 times a week in Winter, and 6 days during the Spring and Fall Regatta Seasons. All High School rowers compete in USRowing-sanctioned events held at local and regional regattas, while Varsity also competes nationally.

CRF is Chicago’s team. Like the city and surrounding suburban area it represents, CRF attracts a diverse team by providing any high school student, regardless of socio-economic or geographic background, the opportunity to row. We do not distinguish between private or public school, race or gender.  And through our scholarship program, we offer financial support to any athlete who wants to work hard and become part of a winning team.


Rowing is a year-round sport with the fall season focusing on head races (longer distances) and the Spring and Summer focused on Sprint races. CRF is nationally ranked and each squad participates in several regional and national regattas in the fall, spring and summer seasons.

Late August/Early September through Late November
On the water in 4+ or 8+ person boats. Races are usually 4000 meters or longer.

December through February (break from December 24 - January 6)
Training takes place indoors on rowing machines (ergs) and the moving water rowing tank at the WMS Boathouse at Clark Park for the city team, or at Katherine Legge Memorial Park and a local gym for the western suburbs team. Focus is on conditioning and technique.

March through June
Spring is the most competitive racing season, on the water in 4+ or 8+ person boats. Races are 2000 meters.

June through August

Many CRF athletes participate in all four seasons; some athletes participate in select seasons based on other sports and commitments.