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Welcome to the 2008 Fall Sports Season!!!
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Considering it was the first Sunday in November, the American Heritage River Fall Classic held in Wyandotte, MI was blessed with plentiful blue skies and a little sun, at least until near the end of the rowing day. North Allegheny sent their non-freshmen crews to participate with the best of the upper MidWest. Such storied names as Ann Arbor Huron, Ann Arbor Pioneer, St Mary's Prep, Detroit Boat Club and hosts Wyandotte provided very stiff competition, with Pioneer and Huron winning the team points trophies. We'll see plenty more of these teams next Spring at the Midwest Championships.

Women's 8+ Win Gold

NA started well as two mixed eights finished within 3 seconds of one another. The 8 of Dave McQuiston, Jim Rectenwald, Mike Durbiano, Noah Krassenstein, Katelyn Hilderbrand, Jess Pegher, Mary Jo Negle and Merel Duursma, coxed by Meghan Wilson, finished second to St Ursula's Academy in a time of 17:35 with the second boat featuring cox Mark Pollini, Andrew Spirk, Canaan Colwick, Zach Petronic, Kurt Schoffstall, Kim Gilmour, Maria DeIuliis, Tori Horn and Michelle Weaver unfortunately pushed into fourth place of the 11 entries.

Next up was the Women's Novice 8+ with Kate Nescott coxing Lauren Vespoli, Janny Liu, Jen Milkey, Taylor Milligan, Lauren Larocca, Skylar Jones, Michelle Benson and Liz Craig finishing 4th of the 8 entries behind Huron.

The Women's Open 2x saw the NA duo of Maddie Gray and Jordan Herbert victorious over two other rivals to earn the girls their second gold in two weeks in the doubles event.

Men's 8+ Win Silver

The Women's Open 4+ of MaryJo Negle, Merel Duursma, Leah Ference and Christine Frazier with cox Mark Pollini finished 5th of 6 entries.

Dan Jefferies finished 12th out of 16 in the Men's Open 1x cursing his fate at being stuck out in the river's strong middle flow current.

The Women's Junior Novice 4+ of Lauren Vespoli, Janny Liu, Lauren Larocca and Liz Craig and cox Kate Nescott finished 7th of 10 runners as Ann Arbor schools swept the medals.

In the Men's Open 2x Mike Durbiano and Kurt Schoffstall turned in a very respectable time of 20:14 when they finished 7th of the 11 entries.

NA struck gold in the Women's Open 8+ as Meghan Wilson coxed Kim Gilmour, Maria DeIuliis, Maddie Gray, Jordan Herbert, Katelyn Hilderbrand, Jess Pegher, Tori Horn and Michelle Weaver in front of five other boats in a time of 18:52.

A great performance in the Men's Junior Novice 4+ by Steve Genise, Cole Lennon, Billy Brant and Evan Solic coxed by Mark Pollini saw them take bronze in a time of 20 minutes even.

To round out the day and end on a hat-trick of medals the Men's Open 8+ saw James Milone lead David McQuiston, Jim Rectenwald, Canaan Colwick, Dan Jefferies, Andrew Spirk, Kevin Huber, Zach Petronic and Noah Krassenstein to a second place behind a strong Cincinnati crew with NA's fastest time of the day at 16:52.

A fun and successful day's racing. Well done to all our rowers and the coaching staff!

Check official results.
Also check out the photo album page!

(Thanks again to Ron Duursma and the NA Rowing website for the information in this report!)

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NA steps up to face tough Midwest competition
at the Speakmon in Columbus


Mixed Doubles: Gold

The rains of Friday disappeared and Saturday's racing was completed under mostly cloudy skies with a few welcome periods of sun. The water swirled around with tail, head and cross winds at various times of the day. The regatta was very well attended this year with strong Midwest programs (Ann Arbor Pioneer, New Trier (Chicago) and Cincinnati Juniors, among many others) present.

Both the Speakmon and American Heritage regattas are somewhat problematic for High Schools with a strong sculling program, since any sculler must participate in the Open classification, rather than in a Junior (under 19) or High School event. In the Open class, you have no idea whether you're taking on junior peers, collegiate, master or elite rowers.

The first event of the day was the Men's Open 2x with Zac Petronic and Noah Krassenstein finishing 9th in a field of 16. Next up was the Women's High School Novice 8+ where Kate Nescott coxed Abi Gunn, Janny Liu, Jennifer Milkey, Taylor Milligan, Lauren Larocca, Skylar Jones, Michelle Benson and Liz Craig to a 6th place finish of the 20 boats that ran. The Men's High School Novice 4+ saw Mark Pollini cox Steve Genise, Cole Lennon, Billy Brant and Evan Solic to a 15th place out of 30 competitors.

Kim Gilmour: Silver

The Women's Open 1x saw NA's first medal of the day when Kim Gilmour finished second to take silver. Maria DeIuliis finished 4th and Katelyn Hilderbrand 5th in the same event. NA fared even better in the Mixed Open 2x fun event when Maddie Gray and Jim Rectenwald powered home for gold, with Jess Pegher and Mike Durbiano 4th, Michelle Weaver and Canaan Colwick 5th and Lauren Vespoli and David McQuiston in 6th.

Our afternoon interest began when Lauren Vespoli, Leah Ference, Michelle Benson and Christine Frazier, coxed by Kate Nescott, took their chances with more experienced competition to finish 6th in the Women's Open 4+. Dan Jefferies found himself in similar circumstances and finished 9th out of 14 in a tough Men's Open 1x.

A better fate awaited NA rowers in the Women's Open 2x where Jordan Herbert and Maddie Gray took gold in a field of 10, with Janny Liu and Abi Gunn 5th and Lauren Larocca and Liz Craig 6th.

Men's Varsity 8

The day ended with a Women's and Men's High School 8+ races. Our Women's team (Meghan Wilson coxing Kim Gilmour, Maria DeIuliis, Katelyn Hilderbrand, Jess Pegher, Mary Jo Negle, Merel Duursma, Tori Horn and Michelle Weaver) finished in 17th spot out of 38 crews while the Men (James Milone coxing David McQuiston, Jim Rectenwald, Canaan Colwick, Kevin Huber, Zac Petronic, Kurt Schoffstall, Mike Durbiano and Noah Krassenstein) finished in 12th place from the 20 entries.

Congratulations to Maddie Gray on her
two gold medal haul.

Check out Results. See Photos. Videos coming soon

(Thanks to Ron Duursma and the NA Rowing website for the information in this report!)

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Women's HS 2 capture Gold

Pittsburgh hosted the Head of the Ohio regatta and attracted 482 entries from 73 clubs for the event, despite other regattas being held in the Philadelphia (King's Head) and Canada (Welland) areas from which HotO had traditionally drawn. Weather was perfect in the morning, hot over the lunch hour and eventually turned sour mid afternoon as storm cells rolled in causing the cancellation of the last 19 events including Youth singles and High School eights for both genders.

"I am extremely pleased with the results", coach Mike Bergen remarked. He should be pleased; North Allegheny fared extremely well in the chase for medals in High School events with 8 out of 10 boats medaling on the day.

Kevin Huber and Dan Jefferies took silver in the High School double event finishing 8 seconds behind a Rochester, NY entry from Brighton High School. Jordan Herbert and Maddie Gray went one better to take gold in the women's equivalent event beating six local entries by 18 seconds and more.

The ladies then took another pair of gold medals: first in the Novice 8+ event with Kate Nescott, Abi Gunn, Janny Liu, Lauren Vespoli, Michelle Benson, Jen Milkey, Skylar Jones, Lauren Larocca and Liz Craig on board with a margin of victory over one minute sixteen seconds; secondly in the Novice 4+ by 30 seconds with Kate, Abi, Janny, Lauren and Liz earning their second gold hardware.

Men's Novice 4+

In between these efforts came a bronze medal for the Mens Novice 4+ of James Milone, Steve Genise, Cole Lennon, Billy Brant and Evan Solic who finished nine seconds behind crews from Pine Richland and Cleveland's Wildcat crew who were separated by less than a second over the 2.6 mile course.

NA men took second and third behind a very strong Steel City quad in the Youth 4x with Jim Rectenwald, David McQuiston, Canaan Colwick and Andrew Spirk taking silver and Mike Durbiano, Noah Krassenstein, Kurt Schoffstall and Zac Petronic capturing bronze.

In the Women's Youth 4x NA ran three boats and took gold through Kim Gilmour, Katelyn Hildebrand, Tori Horn and Maria Deiuliis, with Lauren Vespoli, Jessica Pegher, Merel Duursma and MJ Negle finishing fifth and the quad of Jen Milkey, Leah Ference, Christine Frazier and Meghan Wilson in seventh spot.

Congratulations to the Women's team for taking gold in each event entered! Overall, an outstanding team start to the season.

Also check Official race results, and our photo album page.

 (Thanks to Ron Duursma and the NA Rowing website for the information in this report!)

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After three hot and steamy workout sessions, tryouts are complete and Coach Bergen is excited to announce his selection of new recruits.  All are freshman except where noted:

BOYS:  Jacob Beachman, Alex Bollinger (junior), Andre Ficerai, Sean Kurtz, Dominic Labella, Jake Lennon, Eric McQuiston, John Rectenwald, Zachary Snow.

GIRLS:  Maureen Crammond, Ellen Duursma, Amanda Hopta, Christina Hunkele, Valerie Kopyta (sophomore), Jessica Mazur, Jennifer Miller, Nicole Rotunno, Sarah Sharpnack, Gabriella Tomko, Madison Treser

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Dan Jefferies, senior and co-captain of the 2008-9 Men's crew team, had a prolific summer rowing for the Boston-based Union Boat Club.  Dan won double and quad races on the Charles River at Boston's Cromwell Cup as well as in Providence, RI before heading to the US National Club Championships held in New Jersey in July.  There Dan medaled in both finals of the Junior A (under 19) quad taking bronze out of 26 entries, and then taking silver in the doubles from 41 entries.

Two weeks later, Dan participated in the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catherine's, Ontario.  In a top class international field, Dan finished fifth in the final of the double after some in-race problems wins in both heats and semi-finals (where they handed the Mexican national double a defeat for the first time this summer); but then took third in the final of the quad in a gutsy row.  Quite a summer!!!



Any questions or comments should be directed to Athletic Director Bob Bozzuto at:  bbozzuto@northallegheny.org


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