Birthdate16 Aug 1987
Place of residenceWinter Park , United States
Started Rowing in2000
Athlete of the Month – June 2017
Katelin Guregian (nee Snyder) has won four World Championship and one Olympic gold as coxswain of the legendary United States women’s eight. The 29-year-old shares a little about about the magic on board and how she’d sometimes like to swap seats with her crew.
World Rowing: How did you first get into rowing?
Katelin Guregian: I played soccer as a kid but broke my leg twice. After the second time, I decided to find a ‘non-contact sport’. My dad and I were looking at all the sports that my high school offered and when I told him I would try rowing he said I should pick something else because it would be too hard and I would quit! So, I had to prove him wrong.
WR: Why did you choose it – and why does coxing have such an appeal?
KG: I enjoyed rowing because it felt like more effort equated more speed - but coxing didn’t have that same feel. Eventually I was drawn to coxing because it was out of my comfort zone and I enjoyed the challenge of helping all of my teammates be their best.
WR: Where did you grow up?
KG: I moved around a lot and grew up all over the United States, but I learned to row at Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida.
WR: Where’s your home base for rowing?
KG: My current home base for rowing is Princeton, New Jersey
WR: You’ve seen so many personnel changes in the famous US women’s eight since you first coxed it in 2009. Do you adjust your coxing for the personalities on board or do they adjust to you?
KG: I think everyone adjusts a little bit as the line-up changes and that’s what makes it so special. Every single person who has raced in the eight has different strengths and weaknesses, so all nine of us have to adjust in order to get the most out of the boat.
WR: What makes that eight so successful every year?
KG: The boats I have raced all had a great balance of internal motivation and deep trust in ourselves and our teammates.
WR: You coxed men’s crews early in your career. Is there a difference in how you cox men’s and women’s crews?
KG: Technically I think it’s a little easier to cox a men’s boat because the crew has more mass and power, so it’s easier to tell when something is off and develop boat feel. But there is absolutely no difference in how I would cox a men’s or women’s eight. I think the team culture, rather than gender, dictates how all nine people approach the practice or race.
WR: What’s your next big goal? (Katelin has just raced at World Rowing Cup II in Poznan)
KG: Longer term I am excited about the possibility of fielding a women’s coxless four at the next Olympics and hope that I can play a role in developing my team so that we can be competitive in all the Tokyo Olympic events.
WR: What do you need to do to stay match fit?
KG: I like biking to practice when it is nice out and running early in the morning before it gets too hot.
WR: Do you have any pet peeves as a coxswain?
KG: I think being a coxswain is sometimes my pet peeve - I wish I could get in and power the boat myself :)
WR: What makes you happiest in a boat?
KG: Accomplishing our goals is my favourite feeling. I love getting better throughout the practice, or setting a goal for a race and executing it fully. It’s really satisfying and makes me feel empowered; like we can do anything we set our minds to.
WR: What makes you happiest outside of a boat?
KG: My husband, Nareg Guregian
WR: What do you do for fun?
KG: DIY projects and outdoor adventures, especially hiking and camping.