Women’s Rowing wins Gold at OUA Championship, looking ahead to nationals

Women place first in St. Catharines
Image supplied by: Journal File Photo
The national tournament will take place Nov. 10 to 12 in Burnaby, B.C.

The Women’s Rowing teams found success this championship season with an OUA Gold title.

At the OUA Championships in St. Catharines this weekend the Queen’s Women’s Rowing team captured a first place win and the men’s team saw third.

“It was a really exciting weekend and something we’ve been working towards for a very long time and building towards for many years now,” Head Coach Katie Bruggeling-Lavoie said.

“It was fun to see us go out and finally put together these amazing performances that we knew we were capable of doing but had been building towards. It was just great to put it all together and have a championship performance.”

Though the rowing teams have made it to the podium throughout their season, there was a moment that stood out to Bruggeling-Lavoie when she knew the team had what it took to succeed at the championship level. At the Head of the Trent Regatta, she made comments about the culture of the team.

“Everyone was super supportive of each other—which is something we’ve been working on—doing our best to support one another, and backing each other up, day in, and day out,” she said. “It was really nice to see that come to fruition and see everybody working together and [seeing] the supportive culture the team has built.

“That was a really special moment, because that was kind of our first inkling that things are going really well.”

Ceilidh MacDonald, ArtSci ’24, had a busy and successful season, including a second place finish in the Under-23 Women’s Single event at the 2023 Canadian National Rowing Championships.

Acknowledging this season has been big, but MacDonald said focusing on each race individually, rather than the success as a whole, is key.

“I’d say every race has been pretty crucial, for me at least,” MacDonald told The Journal. “[I’ve] been jumping in and out of different boats, testing things out. I think each race has its own little highlight.”

MacDonald discussed what special moments at the OUA Championship tournament looked like for her.

“It was super exciting watching my teammates from the sidelines. Obviously, my own races were very exciting. Just for me, I know I get so focused in the race that it’s hard for me to sometimes remember, but I think watching all my teammates do really well, and watching them succeed was probably my favorite thing,” MacDonald said.

“It was just super exciting to kind of see everyone’s hard work really pay off.”

The team now prepares for the Canadian University Rowing Championship, which are taking place Nov. 10 to 12 in Burnaby, B.C. They’re focusing on getting back to work and continuing practices in the cold Kingston mornings.

The team is looking to continue with the formula they have today, according to Bruggeling-Lavoie.

“I think the big takeaway was just do what we do every day, because what we do every day is really special and we don’t need to do anything different,” Bruggeling-Lavoie said.

MacDonald and her teammates are continuing to put in the work and focus on success, looking to further add to the achievements of the Gaels this season.

“I go into each race, each competition, knowing I still need to earn my placement and I still need to work just as hard and nothing’s guaranteed,” MacDonald said about the upcoming championship.

“As a Gael, we have a pretty good reputation going in,” MacDonald said. “It’s a really big honor to be able to wear the Q and wear our golden [uniforms] and just have fun.”



Ceilidh MacDonald, Katie Bruggeling-Lavoie, OUA Champions, Women’s Rowing

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