REBEKAH ARMSTRONG -Program DIRECTOR
Rebekah Armstrong, a Washington D.C. native, began rowing in 2013 as a sophomore in high school. The decision to try rowing for a season to take a break from volleyball changed her life forever. After her first year rowing, she knew she wanted to see how far she could go with the sport. She walked on to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s rowing team where she made lifelong friends, raced at the NCAA Rowing Championships, and was invited to the Under 23 National Team Selection Camp for World Rowing Championships. Since graduating from college with a B.S. in Kinesiology, she has decided to pursue the field of Sport Psychology. She strongly believes in making the sport more accessible to impact the lives of youths similar to how it impacted her own life. She is excited to work with CTC from the programming and recruiting perspective.
samantha reyes - head coach
Sam was ten years young when she first came across the amazing sport of rowing. Given that Sam’s mom was always hard at work, Sam would often find herself at her brother’s practices. Still too young to participate, she would sit on the launch with Joe as he coached. Sam eagerly waited for the day she could practice what she studied from afar. Her first day stepping foot past the rusty gate as a newfound member of CTC was one of the most exhilarating moments in her thirteen years of life. Never before had Sam left her neighborhood, seeing the new world CTC opened up for her as she competed, young Sam was captivated. Having had unpleasant encounters at regattas Sam set her sights on a new goal, to someday return to help create positive change within the rowing community. Eight years later, Sam now finds herself leading the very team she was once eager to be a part of.
JOE BYRD - COACH
Joe Byrd thanks his older brother Bill for connecting him to rowing. During one of his first experiences in a racing shell, “shocker!”, he flipped. Bill was explaining how to get back in the shell, Portland’s Willamette River was pushing them through downtown, bridges were rushing past, and he could only think, “This sport is SO MUCH FUN!”
Joe rowed four years at the University of Washington in Seattle. His most memorable thought: “How can you flip a straight four with really good rowers?” as he went from dry to totally submerged in a slow motion train wreck.
What really sealed the deal, was exclaiming “This is going to be so funny in the future!” after he flipped at the dock with a pair partner 3 years ago because they just didn’t bother to close the oarlocks.
Maybe he’s just coaching until he can be part of an eight or octuple that flips? Time will tell…
Jocelyn Durán-Martínez - social media & marketing INTERN Up2Us Sports Americorps VISTA
Jocelyn became a part of the CTC family when she was 9 years old. She was a rising fifth grader and accompanied her brother Abel, alumna and CTC coach as well. Of her 9 years rowing with CTC, Jocelyn is most proud of winning the Hammer Award 2 consecutive years (given to the fastest male/ & female athlete on the team). Throughout her summer undergrad years, she has came back to Chicago and volunteered coaching as a One Summer Chicago coach. In May 2021, Jocelyn graduated from Pomona College as a Posse Scholar, majoring in neuroscience and on the pre-med track. She has now come back to become Chicago Training Center's Marketing and Social Media Director thanks to Up2Us Sports AmeriCorps VISTA.
Join her and see what CTC is up to on Instagram @ctc_rowing and Facebook @Chicago Training Center
Michael J. Scott - COACH
Michael J. Scott is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has a Bachelor's degree in philosophy from Harvard University, and MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from Caltech. He rowed heavyweight crew at Harvard from 1983-1986 and rowed with the U.S. national lightweight team at the World Championships in 1985 (8, silver medal) and 1987 (straight 4, 7th place). He also won the Ladies' Challenge Plate (1983) and the Wyfold Cup (1986) at the Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England.
hANNAH bARTON - Up2us coach
Hannah began volunteering with CTC in May 2017, and has been an Up2Us Coach with the program since January 2019. Hannah rowed throughout high school and college, and joined the program as a way to stay connected to the rowing world. She has stayed for the skill-building opportunities CTC gives its athletes, getting to see boats race, and the occasional opportunity to get back in a boat. Outside of her work at CTC, Hannah works as a speech-language pathologist with Chicago Public Schools and in the Early Intervention system. She also works as a teaching and research assistant at Rush University and University of Chicago.