St. Charles Athlete Sets Indoor Rowing World Record

St. Charles Athlete Sets Indoor Rowing World Record

From left to right, Jack Kirtley is in Seat 7. (CREDIT: St. Charles Rowing Club)

Jack Kirtley, a rower with the St. Charles Rowing Club and St. Charles resident, broke both the American and World indoor records for rowing 2,000 meters on slides while at practice on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

The 17-year-old bested the previous record by over 35 seconds, finishing with a total time of 6:14.1. Kirtley, a senior at Marmion Academy and a resident of St. Charles, is a former basketball player who found rowing 16 months ago and quickly realized that it was the sport for him.

“I am very tall. Basketball was the natural choice, but it was not for me,” Kirtley said. “I started rowing 16 months ago when one of my classmates who was rowing suggested that I try it. I have not looked back.

“Rowing allows me the opportunity to work both on personal records and the benefits of being a part of a team. There is a great source of intensity when you are on a team, especially ours. In rowing, your boat will only go as fast as the slowest member.”

The St. Charles Rowing Club started in 2012, with a mission to “offer an alternative to high impact and traditional ball sports, engage teenage athletes who have not yet found an opportunity to compete at an elite level, and engage in the truest form of teamwork and competition,” says Chris Meldrum, the clubs director and head coach.

“Jack is a great example how, with the right attitude and dedicated hard work, athletes can quickly find themselves in the sport of rowing, and in turn create their own future opportunity,” he said.

In his short time with the sport, Kirtley has put in the required work and time to earn an offer to row at the University of Washington, where he has now committed to continue his rowing career.

“The coaches and crew (at UW) work as a team and are driven to succeed, have a legacy and drive that I want to be a part of,” he said.

Meldrum said Kirtley has worked incredibly hard, putting in long steady meters, weight training and core to reach this goal, in a short period of time.

“We are all incredibly proud of his competitive nature and breaking both records” Meldrum said. “We are looking forward to watching him grow as an student athlete at Washington, but we have to get through spring first.”

Kirtley joins 17 others in St. Charles Rowing Club’s “Wall of Fame,” featuring rowers who have gone on to row in college following graduating from high school. The club is entering its sixth year.

SOURCE: St. Charles Rowing Club news release

World Record


About the St. Charles Rowing Club Juniors Crew

St. Charles Rowing Club Juniors Crew is open to student-athletes from all area high schools. Along with their Junior program, the club offers adult rowing (masters) for both experiences and beginners. The club, a proud member of Team RWB and the Wounded Warrior Project, also sponsors a veterans rowing program. For more information about St. Charles Rowing Club, and to get involved, visit or call 630-207-8337.