The Team

The ARION team is comprised of up to 18 athletes, 3 coaches, and the SRA community.

Good friends in the extra mile

Recognizing the roller coaster journey that is elite rowing.  ARION strives to embrace the idea of good friends in the extra mile.  We believe that gains live in the extra mile, and it should be a fun adventure in those spaces.  Having friends alongside pushing us, carrying us, and relying on us enhances the experience

 ARION rowing is a team experience and we consider our team to be all who are on the journey.  Our theme on this journey is gratitude and vulnerability, in all things we are grateful for the community behind us, we are grateful for the friends alongside us, and we are grateful for the competitors who push us.  With all that to be grateful for, we are also willing to be vulnerable and put our best selves out there without excuse or safety net.  We practice and we train and we race - vulnerable to failure, frustration, or whatever is thrown our way and grateful that our team is there by our side.  We believe our best selves are not achieved if there are parts of us that are held back and left unexamined and we believe our team is at its best when grateful and vulnerable with each other

ARION Coaches

The ARION program is coached by Eric "Cat" Catalano.  Cat has coached inside the USA Jr Development system and has also taken trials boats to World Championships.  Cat began coaching the fledgling club of Saratoga Rowing Assoc in 1998 and helped bring the club to national attention as a high school program.  Following a brief stint at Harvard/Radcliffe in 2004-2007, Cat returned to SRA as the executive director and head coach.  In 2016, following the Olympic Trials, Cat started the ARION program.

Cat is a frequent presenter at coaching conferences on teaching technique and rigging.  He believes that the best experiences are found when the challenges and skills are appropriately balanced from the middle school rowers all the way to the Olympians, and his coaching philosophy is "teach, train, select" in that order and emphasis.

Cat coaches on "themes" to the group as a whole, and gives individual coaching to athletes within the theme of the practices or if specific technical changes for that individual are on the verge of a breakthrough.  Best success is found under Cat's coaching by the athlete who can direct and hold focus, is willing to the the mental work of making changes and willing to be patient but persistent as some changes take time.  It also helps to catch him outside of practice time when you can.  He stays pretty busy, but he loves sharing knowledge/insight and brainstorming when asked.

Steve Bohler: Technical Advisor

Steve started rowing in 1985 for Rutgers University and has coached numerous successful teams, including Oxford University men, Columbia University and the University of New Hampshire. Steve specializes in rowing technique, biomechanics and the use of data to optimize performance. As a certified Sports Psychology Coach, Steve also helps athletes enhance their "mental strengths" in practice and racing.

Stacey Apfelbaum: Coach

Stacey is a former national team member and world champion, Stacey has over 30 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate and club levels. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Stacey was varsity coxswain for three years before becoming involved with the US National Team. While a member of the Pioneer Valley Rowing Association, Stacey won the Head off the Charles three times, numerous National titles and Canadian Henley (including 2022 as coach/coxswain!). As a coach, she has led crews to the podium at the NY State Championships, Stotesbury Cup, Dad Vail, SRAAs and USRowing Youth and Senior Nationals. Stacey has been a teacher at the Academy of the Holy Names for 17 years.

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The ARION program is comprised of several athletes at various points along their olympic journey.  Along the way we make time to appreciate the journey.

Kristi Wagner

2021 Olympian W2x

2022 Worlds 2x

2023 PanAm Games 2x

College: Yale University
Years Rowing: 12
US National Teams: 1
Hometown: Weston, MA

Lauren O'Connor

2023 Pan-Am Games 2x

College: University of Wisconsin- Madison
Majors: Biology and Environmental Science
Years Rowing: 5
Hometown: Belleville, WI

Coached at University of Wisconsin lightweights

Megan Goodman

College: University of San Diego (Undergrad), Northeastern University (Masters)
Major: International Relations and Spanish (Undergrad), International development (Masters) 
Years Rowing:
International Race Experience: 2015 U23 Women's Double.

Lauren Miller

College: University of Minnesota
Major: Neuroscience, Art Minor; most recently MBA grad 2022

Coached at University of Minnesota

Readiness to Fight: 5.5

Which Animal best represents your fighting style: Rhinoceros; actually a pretty docile animal, but will run through a wall if I have to

If you were a potato dish what would you be?: Tater tot hot dish don’t cha know

Ricky Flowers

College: Weslyan
Major: whales
Years Rowing: 
Hometown: Salem, MA

Coached at Umass Amherst

Savannah Brija

2022 Worlds W4x 

2023 PanAm Games 4x


College: Ithaca College
Major: Clinical Health Studies/ DPT
Years Rowing: 5
Hometown: Lemont, IL

"Sav" was selected to the 2022 National team in the Women's Quad

Hannah Paynter

2022 Worlds Spare

College: Princeton University
Major: Psychology Major
Years rowing: 13 years 
Hometown: Lyme, CT

Veronica Nicacio

College: University of Portland
Major: Biology 
Years rowing: 9 years 
Hometown: Vancouver, WA

Karina Feitner

College: Ithaca
Years rowing:  
Hometown: small town, MA

Kate Horvat

College: Yale

Submit an Application

Are you an aspiring Olympian?

ARION has a running application process and is interested in finding the right athletes who will fit with the program socially as well as in capacity for work and potential to compete at the international level.

email for more info