LLRC Coaching Staff

Head Coach Nicholas Miller

Nicholas has served as LLRC's head coach from its founding in 2014. He has been instrumental in guiding and directing our young club to a growing & successful community focused club.  During these past 7 years, under Nicholas' coaching, LLRC has sent ten boats to the USRowing Youth National Championships, raced to four top-ten finishes at the Head of the Charles Regatta including one 1st place in the boys youth double, and graduated numerous seniors to varsity collegiate rowing teams.

In addition to his time at Long Lake, Nicholas served as the head coach of the University of St. Thomas Rowing Team, coaching three crews to the finals at the Dad Vail regatta and three to the finals in the club's first appearance at the ACRA Championships in 2016, and also coached at Hamilton College in upstate NY, for 3 collegiate seasons along with returning to LLRC to coach each summer. Coach Nicholas joined LLRC year round in 2018.

Since learning to row in high school with the Burning River Crew and the Western Reserve Rowing Association of Cleveland, Ohio, he has rowed and coached with the Lawrence University Rowing Club in Appleton, Wisconsin, the Macquarie University Rowing Team in Sydney, Australia, and the Case Western Reserve Crew Club in Cleveland.

 Coach Kaelynn Heiberg  

Kaelynn graduated in May 2018 from the University of Iowa, with a degree in Sociology. She rowed at Iowa for all four years, and sat in 3 seat of the first varsity eight helping the 1V8 take its first ever bronze at the Big 10 conference competition, and end the season in a school best 11th place at the 2018 NCAA competition. Most recently, Kaelynn helped the Hawkeyes take a third place finish at the Women’s Henley regatta, and made it through the first round of elimination in the Henley Royal Regatta, both in Henley-on-Thames, England, and helped the 1V8 take second to the Dutch senior national team at the Holland Becker regatta in the Netherlands. Kaelynn is a Hopkins High School alum and rowed in high school with Twin Cities Youth Rowing.

Kaelynn has passed the US Rowing Level 2 Coaching Certification exam, and is in her 4th season coaching for LLRC. For 2021 she will be focusing her coaching with our LLRC Masters evening group!


Coach Isabella Granse 

Isabella joined the rowing community in the summer of 2015 as a junior at the Minneapolis Rowing club. Since then she has competed in many regattas across the Midwest and Canada including the NWIRA championship where she took second in the lightweight single. She started her freshman year at the University of St. Thomas in the fall of 2016, where she continued to row and cox for their varsity and novice teams, respectively. In the fall of that year she stroked their varsity women's 2x to two second place finishes during the head race season. She has also served as commodore for the club since November 2016.

In 2021, "Bella" will be an assistant coach for our juniors program.

Outside of rowing, Isabella enjoys art, participating in orchestras and studying the sciences.


Coach Ava Winkels

Ava began rowing with Long Lake Rowing Crew in 2015 with the juniors program where she quickly excelled as a rower and as a leader on the team. As a junior rower, she won multiple medals at the NWIRA championship throughout her career and was a part of the 2018 team who won the overall juniors cup in Kenora, Ontario. Ava also raced at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA in a single in 2017 and in a coxed quad in 2018 where she showed her experience in racing the difficult course. Ava attended the Midwest Regional Championships in 2018 and 2019 and in 2019 she advanced in the 4x to US Rowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, FL. Her senior year, Ava was an inaugural captain on the juniors team which highlighted the leadership and kindness she had been bringing to the team for years. Ava was recruited to row at the division one level with The University of Kansas after she graduated from Orono High School in 2019. After a cancelled freshman season, Ava raced in the 2V8 at the 2021 Big12 Championships. With extensive experience in the single and knowledge of sculling and sweeping, we are excited to have Ava coaching with us this summer!

Sandi Mc Carthy

Coach Sandi McCarthy  has been involved in rowing for over 25 years.  She began her career at the University of Iowa.  There she enjoyed numerous achievements including wins at Midwest Championships, Dad Vails, Eastern Sprints and the Collegiate National Championships.  She continued rowing beyond college with the Minnesota Boat Club in St Paul and with continued success won numerous medals at Elite Nationals, American Nationals (now Club Nationals), the US Olympic Festival and 2 gold medals at Canadian Henley.  Sandi also took some time away from Minnesota to row at the US Training Center when it was in Augusta, GA and competed in the 2000 Olympic Trials.

After “retiring” from competition in 2000, she coached at the University of St. Thomas for 3 years.  She was also a volunteer assistant for the University of Minnesota women for 2 years.  She then took the Assistant Coaching position at the University of Cincinnati. Upon returning to Minnesota, she coached the competitive and Master’s program as well as learn–to-row sessions and private lessons at the Minnesota Boat Club. She continued to compete on the local level as well as at her favorite regatta, the Head of the Charles.

When not rowing, Sandi is a personal trainer with a Master’s in Exercise Science.  She is a US Rowing Level III certified coach. “There is something indescribable in the sport of rowing that only those who do it well can experience.  I am always thrilled to help those who persevere, find that special experience.”