Friends of Glastonbury Rowing, Inc.
Friends of Glastonbury Rowing, Inc.

Meet the Coaches

Steve Somosky: Head Boys Coach

Steven Somosky, Jr., is the  Head Coach for the GHS Boys Team - Varsity, JV and Novices.  Coach Steve joined the GHS coaching staff in the Fall of 2011.  Steve rowed from 1980-1983 for Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) where he won three small college national championships, including the national team title championship in 1982. During his career at FIT, Steve won the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships six times (Freshman Heavyweight Eight, Freshman Heavyweight Four, Varsity Lightweight Four (twice),and Varsity Lightweight Eight (twice). FIT also won the SIRA team title all four years Steve rowed. Additionally, Steve won the Dad Vail Regatta (small college national championship) in 1980 in the Freshman Heavyweight Eight and in 1982 in the Junior Varsity Heavyweight Eight. In 1983 he stroked the Varsity Lightweight eight to victory. Steve has also competed in the Head of the Charles Regatta while in college, and again in an alumni boat in 2015 and 2019.


Sean Peoples: Assistant & Novice Boys Coach

Sean was a novice men’s heavy weight 8 coxswain at Connecticut College and went on in his sophomore and and the fall of junior years to cox a J.V. heavy 4 and Varsity heavy 8.  In the spring of his senior year he was the coxswain of the Varsity light-weight 8 that won the New England Championship and a silver medal at the Dad Vail U.S. Small College Championship in Philadelphia in the Spring of 1983. Sean returned to coach a freshmen lightweight 8 and J.V. four at Connecticut College from 1983-84.  Sean was a substitute coxswain while attending graduate school at Columbia University in 1984-85.  He has coached various crews at Glastonbury High School from 2002 to the present.

Peter Graves: Assistant & Novice Boys Coach
Peter recently moved to Glastonbury and has been involved with rowing his entire life. After watching his Dad row competitively while growing up, Peter began rowing in high school at Cincinnati Country Day School. In addition to varsity soccer and basketball, Peter stroked his high school 4+ to third place at the USRowing Youth National Championship. He has fond memories of high school rowing, including learning to drive the team’s boat trailer as a sophomore with his Dad who was their coach. Each season they racked up over 10,000 miles behind the wheel together. Peter was captain and stroke of the Varsity 8+ at Trinity College, winning the Henley Royal Regatta, the San Diego Crew Classic and the Head of the Charles twice along the way. After graduating in 2007, Peter began pursuing rowing on the US National Team. Between 2008 and 2016, Peter was on five national teams in the Men’s 2x and the Men’s 4x. He split his training between Southern California and the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Northern Vermont. Some notable achievements include; competing in the 2012 London Olympics, winning a Bronze medal at the Lucerne World Cup, and winning the Head of the Charles four times in a row in the Championship 2x. Peter missed qualifying for the Beijing and Rio Olympics by less a second. He is most proud of making the national team with both of his brothers, older brother Tom in the 2x (2009 and 2011) and his younger brother John in the 4x (2014 and 2016). Peter has extensive experience coaching high school, collegiate and national team boats. He coached Long Beach Junior Crew (LBJC is a a year-round high school competitive rowing program) in California for 12 years, where he coached two boys onto the US Junior Team in 2009 and guided the women to win multiple national championships (Women’s 4x and 2x in 2013, Women’s pair in 2018). Peter continues to serve as LBJC program manager. In 2017, Peter was the coach for the US Men’s 2x at the World Championships. This year, he will be coaching his younger brother John in the Men’s 1x at the Final Olympic Qualifier in Switzerland to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Peter rows his single on the Connecticut River every chance he gets!
Eleanor Dowd: Head Girls Coach
Eleanor has a robust background in Crew, having rowed for 4 years at Glastonbury High School in the 1V8 (which placed 3rd at States in 2015 and 2016) and 4 years at UCONN. While studying Nursing at UCONN, she rowed at the Head of the Charles for three years and collected various medals at other regattas throughout her tenure with the Huskies. She is also an avid runner: She finished first in her age division in the Hartford Half Marathon in 2015 and 2017, and third overall for women in the Iron Horse Half Marathon in 2017 and the Mystic Half Marathon in 2018. She also completed the Vermont City Marathon in 2019 and qualified for the Boston Marathon. Eleanor currently works at Middlesex Health as an inpatient hospice nurse. In her spare time, her hobbies include kiteboarding, paddle boarding, reading, and cycling.


Gwen Valencis: Assistant & Novice Girls Coach

Gwen brings a robust history of rowing to the GHS Crew team, having launched her career rowing crew in college for Stetson University in DeLand, Florida (a Division I NCAA team). She then trained at Craftsbury Rowing Center to become an assistant coach for Stetson's Women's Crew for a year during grad school. Next, she spent a year abroad in Mississippi and was part of an athlete study on top kayaking for the first prototype SOT yaks. After grad school, she joined Albany Rowing Club in New York, where she got to row in the Head of the Charles for the first time in a mixed 4. She eventually moved to Connecticut where most of her family resides, and became a personal trainer, started erg clubs and went to CRASH-B's for the first time. In 2014, she taught at Power10 Indoor Rowing Center in Avon, CT. Gwen currently teaches at the Glastonbury YMCA where she specializes in Qi Gong and Yoga. In her spare time, she enjoys creating workouts, kayaking, practicing sign language, Reiki, learning Mandarin, playing with her cat Amber and practicing air guitar with her 18-year old son.


Abbey Campbell: Assistant Girls Coach

Abigail “Abbey” Campbell is likely a familiar face around the Glastonbury Boathouse, since she not only rowed four years at GHS, but her father Ray Campbell, also coached GHS Crew for a few years. Abbey began rowing when she was 12 years old and has rowed in singles and doubles at Blood Street Skulls. In fact, she medaled at the Narragansett Bay Summer Invitational Regatta in a double. At GHS, her boats medaled at the CPSRA’s three out of four years and she and her teammates earned a silver medal at NEIRA’s in 2013. Today, Abbey runs road races and half marathons and hopes to purchase her own single one day. She likes to bake sweets for everyone around her and finds joy with her two dogs, Luci and Auggi. Abbey works in Educational Technology at UCONN where she is an editorial intern, and she additionally writes for many online publications.


Wanted:  Coaches

Please contact Trish Witkin, Athletic Director at GHS if you are interested in coaching the 2018 & 2019 CPSRA Team Champions!


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