Head Coach

Chris Meldrum

Coach Chris Meldrum is SCRC Founder, President and Head Coach. 

Coach Chris is Level 3 USRowing coaching certified, NCAA coaching certified,  USRowing Safesport certified, Red Cross CPR and AED certified, and has NCIS background clearance.  She is also USRowing certified adaptive classifier.

Coach has been training SCRC athletes since the program’s inception. Coach knows first-hand the work and dedication required to achieve elite sports performance. 

Coach’s training philosophy is:  1) safety comes first, 2) work hard, and 3) have fun.  She believes enthusiastically in the ability of rowing to “change lives” and cares about club members as young adults, not just rowers.  Her approach and experience have trained and supported almost a dozen athletes to advance into collegiate rowing programs in just two short years. 

Coach also understands that not all rowers will compete at the college level and strives to provide a rewarding, positive rowing experience for athletes of all levels. Chris is passionately supportive of adaptive and paramilitary rowing programs, a member of Team Red, White & Blue, and has received the honorable “Wounded Warrior Supporter” badge.

Chris is originally from Detroit and is a resident of St. Charles.   Her son, Gordon O’Brien, was a rower for Marietta College.

She has yet to have a good hair day although she has not given up on the possibility.  

Novice Head Coach, Masters Coach

Melissa Petrole

Coach Melissa has been with SCRC since 2016. Melissa brings with her extensive rowing experience, compassion, patience and operational experience.

Melissa is a Level 2 US Rowing certified coach, Red Cross CPR and AED certified and NCIS background and Safesport clearance. She is a US Rowing Referee. Melissa coaches learn to row, new junior athletes, Masters athletes and coaches corporate team building events.


Masters Coach and Media Director.

Christie Esparaza Collins

Christie Esparza Collins is a Michigan native who started rowing in 1980 at Michigan State University. Upon graduation she moved to Detroit and competed as a sculler for Detroit Boat Club and Ecorse Rowing Club. From 1989 to 1991 she presided over the University of Michigan Rowing Club (then a club sport) where she managed the men’s and women’s crew. From 1992 to 1999 she coached sweep and sculling at the Ann Arbor Rowing Club. In 2000 she moved to Chicago and managed the learn to row program at Lincoln Park Boat Club from 2001 to 2003. She currently resides in Lombard and continues to scull. Christie adopts rescue animals who are elderly, dying or unwanted. She will be rewarded in the afterlife with endless flat water and properly rigged boats.

  • USRowing
  • Team RWB
  • John F Weitz CPA
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • CrossFit Arioch