The Student News Site of Conestoga High School



Crew duo clinch medals at international regatta


By Michael Tierney, Business Manager

In the realm of precision and teamwork that is competitive rowing, two rowers have made waves on both national and international stages. With determination and oars in hand, seniors Michael Ruschmann and Ryan McLaughlin soared to success during the 2023 USRowing Summer National Championships  and the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta this past summer.

Ruschmann and McLaughlin row in a double boat together as well as a quad with two other high school rowers. This summer they represented the Conshohocken Rowing Center in the annual summer nationals race. They won first place in their quad and second in their double in the under-19 division.

In August, the duo also participated in the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, the second largest summer race in the Western Hemisphere, and placed second in the quad and third in the double. McLaughin and Ruschmann train year-round for crew and are proud of their achievements.

“When we won summer nationals it was an indescribable feeling. There were 38 other boats that were looking at us as the best quad and double, and even though we came up short, it felt good to be ahead of 68 other entries in the event,” Ruschmann said.

Ruschmann and McLaughlin have developed a strong bond through training and racing together. Whether they are in a double or a quad, crew requires a great deal of teamwork and strong communication in order to succeed.

“My favorite part about rowing is that no matter how hard of a race we are doing, I am with three other guys that are going through the same thing, and we’re all pushing for each other,” McLaughlin said. “Michael and I are always in the same boat, and we drive together, so spending so much time with him has definitely strengthened our friendship.”

The duo has big goals for the upcoming fall season, including winning fall regattas and potentially placing at the Head of the Charles Regatta in October, which is the largest 3-day regatta in the world.

“We really want to ramp up our training this fall and compete in more regattas,” Ruschmann said. “We’re really looking forward to rowing in the Head of the Charles Regatta in October and hope to bring home some more medals.”

Both atheletes plan on continuing their rowing careers in college. They are currently in the thick of the recruiting season and are looking to potentially commit to a college within the next few months. Their devotion to the sport is immeasurable and it has shown in their results.

“I am passionate about crew because of all the lessons it taught me over the past four years,” McLaughlin said. “The feeling of winning a regatta is incredible and drives me and Michael to improve every day. We’re really looking forward to the fall season and can’t wait to get back on the water.”

Michael Tierney can be reached at [email protected].

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Michael Tierney
Michael Tierney, Business Manager
Michael Tierney is a senior and the Business Manager of The Spoke. Serving as Business Manager for the past three years, he has been responsible for all financial activities of The Spoke. Outside of The Spoke, Michael is the executive president of Conestoga's Student Council. He is also a captain of the varsity squash team, a U.S. Squash Nationally Certified Coach and interns at Philadelphia-based consulting and developing companies.