NORTH ALLEGHENY VARSITY
NOVICE CREWS SHINE AT AMERICAN HERITAGE
Women's Novice 8
Tiger novices, who had
their last chance this weekend to race in the Novice
category, made the best of that opportunity, bringing home
two Gold and one Silver medal from the 7th annual American
Heritage River Fall Classic in Wyandotte, Michigan. Gold was
won by the Women's Jr. Novice Eight (Valerie Kopyta,
Ellie Duursma, Nicole Rotunno, Maureen Crammond, Jenni
Miller, Sarah Sharpnack, Christina Hunkele, Madison
Treser, Jess Mazur (cox)), finishing 1st out of 6, and
the Men's Jr Novice 4 (Andre Ficerai, Jake Lennon, Sean
Kurtz, John Rectenwald, coxed by Jess Mazur),
1st out of 10 boats. Adding to the two Gold medals was one
Silver, won by the Women's Jr Novice 4 (Ellie Duursma,
Sarah Sharpnack, Maureen Crammond, Madison Treser,
coxed, again by Jess Mazur), which finished 2nd out
of 9, missing Gold by 8 seconds.
Silver for Mixed
Coach Gary Schermer was very pleased with
the novices' performances, naming in
particular Eric McQuiston, who was
called upon to substitute for his brother
David in the Men's Jr Four and performed
admirably, even after 16,000 meters of
rowing, for a grand total of 24,000 meters.
"An ironman performance", noted Schermer,
who also praised Nicole Rotunno.
Nicole, who normally can be seen in the
coxswain seat, trained for four days and
grabbed an oar to help the Women's Novice
Eight win Gold.
Once again, the team was
unable to practice the day before, as 25 mile an hour winds
made for stormy conditions, ruling out any chance of heading
out on the water. The weather turned around quickly on
Sunday, giving rise to a somewhat chilly but otherwise calm
day of racing that went for the most part flawlessly. Sunday
morning started with the Mixed Eight event, where our "A"
boat (Jess Pegher, Lauren Vespoli, Merel Duursma, Kim
Gilmour, Cole Lennon, Mike Durbiano, Kurt Schoffstall, David
McQuiston, coxed by Meghan Wilson), took Second
Place (out of 13), finishing just 7 seconds behind Toledo
Rowing Club. In that same race, our "B" boat of Liz
Craig, Christine Frazier, Michelle Benson, Lauren Larocca,
Evan Solic, Eric McQuiston, Sean Kurtz, Billy Brant, Nicole
Rotunno(cox) took 8th place.
Also early in the
morning, Steven Genise and Zach Petronic,
rowing in a Pair, found themselves among tough competition
in this technically very challenging event, which was open
(to all age categories) to boot. The Tiger duo finished 8th
out of 9th, in a very respectable time of just 1 second over
Our remaining two medals
came in the Women's Open Doubles event, where Christine
Frazier and Christina Hunkele finished 2nd out of
3, good for Silver. Valerie Kopyta and Jenni Miller,
battling equipment problems, were rewarded with Bronze for
In the Women's Eight,
the Tiger ladies (Nicole Rotunno coxing Liz Craig, Meghan
Wilson, Michelle Benson, Lauren Larocca, Merel Duursma,
Lauren Vespoli, Jess Pegher, Kim Gilmour) faced strong
competition from local "powerhouses" Ann Arbor Pioneer and
Ann Arbor Huron, finishing fourth (out of 4).
In other races, the
Men's Open Lightweight crew of Andre Ficerai, Jake
Lennon, Eric McQuiston and John Rectenwald (Meghan
Wilson coxing) finished 7th out of 9. (Recall that
same lineup would later take Gold in the Novice 4 category.)
In the Men's Jr. 4, our A boat (Zach Petronic, Mike
Durbiano, Kurt Schoffstall, David McQuiston, Jess Mazur(cox))
and our B crew (Evan Solic, Billy Brant, Cole Lennon,
Steven Genise (Liz Craig coxing)) finished 9th and 12th
out of 18, respectively.
With 6 medals, the
Tigers closed out the Fall rowing season on very positive
note, and can look forward to some great competition in the
spring. NA rowers will be tuning up over the winter, with
the North Allegheny Indoor Erg Race opening the spring
season in March of 2010.
(Thanks to Ron Duursma and NA Rowing for the
information in this report!)
For more information on NA Rowing, go to:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
TIGERS CONQUER ADVERSITY AT NAVY DAY
Three strokes into his
Men's Four race, NA rower John Rectenwald looked down at his shoes
and came to the realization that they were no longer attached to the boat;
the track had separated from the bottom of the boat, making the normal
rowing motion all but impossible. No matter though; coxswain Jessica
Mazur quickly took matters into her own hands, keeping John's feet
pinned down for the remainder of the 2.5 mile, 18 minute race down the
Schuylkill river. What started out as an almost certain last place turned
into a remarkable 16th out 23 for the Men's Four, rounded out by Sean
Kurtz, Jake Lennon and Andre Ficerai.
Coach Gary Schermer was
rightly proud of his team. 'Although NARA only came home with four first
place cups, there were a host of intangible successes which occurred',
Schermer noted, explaining that 'in particular, the manner in which a number
of team members faced adverse conditions because of equipment or rowing
mishaps and strove to overcome those obstacles was commendable.' He then
concluded by saying 'In the long run, it is persistence and determination
which defines the winner in rowing and in life!'
Earlier, Abi Gunn
had shown just that type of resilience after a somewhat unfortunate finish
in her first ever singles race. Together with Jen Milkey, Abi
finished 8th out of 18 in the Women's HS doubles event. In the same race,
Christine Frazier and Valerie Kopyta saw their boat flip shortly
after launching, but were able to laugh it off afterwards, despite having to
go the distance in wet clothes.
No medals were awarded in
this race. Rather, first place rowers were presented with stylish Navy Day
Regatta "First Place" ceramic mugs (resembling beer steins). The Tigers
secured one set of mugs, albeit in a somewhat unglamorous manner. The Men's
Open 4x event drew just two entries, both from North Allegheny Rowing.
Perhaps our Men's Quad's fearsome reputation scared off the competition!
Regardless, first and second place were assured, and our (semi-) Senior Quad
(David McQuiston, Zach Petronic, Steven Genise, Mike Durbiano)
handily beat out their junior brethren (Billy Brant, Cole Lennon, Eric
McQuiston, Evan Solic). The same two boats competed in the High School
Quad event, where the McQuiston crew finished 4th out of 21, and the Brant
crew finished in 10th place.
In the Women's High School
Quad event, the Sr. crew of Kim Gilmour, Lauren Vespoli, Merel Duursma,
and Meghan Wilson finished 4th out of 17, while Lauren Larocca,
Madison Treser, Michelle Benson and Liz Craig were 12th (mostly
due to a 40 second penalty which knocked them down from what would have been
6th place). Penalties also dogged the Women's Four (Christina Hunkele,
Sarah Sharpnack, Ellie Duursma, Jenny Miller, coxed by Nicole Rotunno),
dropping them from 15th to 17 place (out of 24).
Another bright spot was the
Women's Open Doubles event, where Madison Treser and Maureen
Crammond finished strongly, taking 5th place out of 9.
Here are the
Official Results. Please check back soon for pictures!
The fall rowing season will
conclude with the American Heritage River Fall Classic, held Nov 1st at the
Wyandotte Boat Club in Wyandotte, Michigan.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
TIGERS TAKE GOLD, SILVER MEDALS
HEAD OF THE OHIO
For the second year in a
row, the Head of the Ohio ended prematurely due to adverse weather
conditions. While last year thunderstorms made afternoon rowing impossible,
this year it was the rather abrupt onset of heavy winds that put an early
end to what started out as a beautiful day of racing. As a result, the final
23 of 63 races were canceled, sending many rowers home without having had a
chance to test their skills.
Soon after the lunch break,
trouble began when two men's Eight boats, one from Duquesne and one from
Westerville, Ohio, were swamped near the start at Washington's Landing.
River Rescue and the US Coast Guard brought all rowers to safety and the
race continued, but was finally halted when a third boat, from Villanova,
PA, suffered the same fate. Luckily, no one was hurted or needed medical
For NA, the day began with
the Women's Varsity 8 (Lauren Larocca, Jessica Pegher, Abi Gunn, Merel
Duursma, Meghan Wilson, Michelle Benson, Jen Milkey, Liz Craig,
Nicole Rotunno(cox)), which finished 10th out of 17th. Next up
was the Men's Sr. Quad (Zac Petronic, Kurt Schoffstall, Mike Durbiano,
David McQuiston), which scored our first medal of the day, taking Gold by
finishing 1st out 5. A second NA quad (Steven Genise, Billy Brant, Cole
Lennon, Evan Solic) took 5th place in the same race.
Two Women's doubles entered
the High School 2x race. Kim Gilmour and Lauren Vespoli took
8th out of 18, but were second among High School entries earning them our
second medal of the day, a silver. Madison Treser and Sarah Sharpnack
Still under sunny skies,
our Men's Novice 4 (Andre Ficerai, Sean Kurtz, Jake Lennon, John
Rectenwald, Jessica Mazur (cox)) posted an excellent performance,
finishing 5th out of 25.
After lunch, shortly before
the race was canceled, our Men's 8 (David McQuiston, Zac Petronic, Steven
Genise, Kurt Schoffstall, Mike Durbiano, Cole Lennon, Billy Brant, Evan
Solic, coxed by Nicole Rotunno) edged out Three Rivers Rowing
Association, finishing 8th out of 16th.
All eyes were set for the
Women's Quad race (traditionally a strong event for NA), where we had 3
boats entered. Unfortunately, after rowing the 2.8 miles to the start, all 3
boats were stopped from racing and had to slowly work their way back to the
start. Our last two boats of the day (Women's Novice 4 and Men's Lightweight
4) never even made it off the launching dock.
A final special mention
goes to two parents of former NA rowers. Jim Hudson and Rich Marcus
participated in the Men's Masters 2x event under the NARA name, turning in a
very respectable performance.
NA Rowers will barely get a
chance to catch their collective breaths, as the team heads out the upcoming
weekend for the 24th annual
Navy Day Regatta, held Oct 10th on the familiar Schuylkill river in
The fall rowing season
concludes as usual with the American Heritage River Fall Classic, held Nov
1st at the beautiful
Wyandotte Boat Club in Wyandotte, Michigan.
(Thanks to Ron Duursma for making this information
available. For more info on NA Rowing, go to:
Any questions or comments
should be directed to Athletic
Director Bob Bozzuto at: