The Team

The ARION team is comprised of up to 12 athletes, 2 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 makes the experience


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 athletes 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.

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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.

Maureen McAuliffe

College: George Mason University
Major: Exercise Science
Years Rowing: 13
Hometown: Herndon, VA
US National Teams: 2

Kristi Wagner

2021 Olympian W2x

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

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.

Tessa Yurko

College: University of Michigan
Major: Women's Studies
Years rowing: 13
Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Tessa's Enneagram personality type is The Challenge, known to be strong, powerful, and seek to stand up what they believe in.

Lauren O'Conner

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

Morgan Hummel

College: Ohio State University
Major: Sports Industry
Years Rowing: 5
Hometown: Chesterfield, MO

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”- Steve Prefontaine

Savannah Brija


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

Cassandra Johnson

College: The Ohio State University 
Major: Strategic Communications
Years Rowing: 12 
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN

"We are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Hannah Paynter

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

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