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Rye High Rowing

Garnets are Wire-to-Wire National Champions.

By Mitch Silver

 

The Rye High Lightweight Four + Coxswain crew — silver medalists in two different national competitions a year ago — are now the heavyweights in their chosen field. A month ago, the boat of stroke John Dailey, Timothy Rudolph-Math, Jimmy Cronin, Jack Hartman, and cox Zach Szabo won the Scholastic Rowing Association of America gold medal by a ten-second margin over second-place Fox Chapel School from the Pittsburgh area. Then, two weeks ago, they traveled to Sarasota, Florida, and defeated a much wider field that included the best club crews in the country. And they did it with open water to spare.

 

The same five who came so close to glory in 2016 as sophomores and juniors triumphed this year with the three juniors sandwiched between senior Szabo calling out the beats from the bow and classmate Dailey locking the others into those beats from the stern.

 

Garnet Head Coach Stan Nelson was with them with every stroke of their oars as they first repeated as New York State champions before vanquishing their high school rivals from around the country in the waters off Camden, New Jersey. Then they made their way to the Nathan Benderson Aquatic Center outside Sarasota for the premier junior rowing event in the United States. Over 1,500 rowers competed in more than 350 crews at this special purpose-built facility — all vying for national titles in 18 boat classes.

 

Not only were the five boys, their coaches, and families present for the time trials June 9, so were Clara Sutherland, Jillian Breen, and their folks. Sutherland/Breen competed in the Girls’ Lightweight 2x competition. It meant the two Garnets would scull their craft over the water with oars in each hand. 

 

One difference between the two national rowing competitions is the length of the course.

The SRAAs are competed over 1,500 meters, and the US Rowing Youth Nationals extend to 2,000 meters. Jimmy Cronin explained what the longer distance means for race tactics. “The start and finish are pretty much all-out if the race is close, but you have a longer ‘settle’ in the middle.” Zach Szabo added, “We usually go 34 beats a minute when we’re moving well in the heart of the race.” 

 

With 12 boats moving on from the time trials into the semis, Sutherland/Breen came in 22nd. They would compete Sunday morning in the D Final, where they came in fifth. An hour later, the boys would top 19 other lightweight teams in their time trials, covering the water in 6:25.803, nearly five seconds ahead of the second fastest boat from Newport, California.

 

The first semifinal, which went off at 3:30 in the afternoon that same day, saw Rye take a lead and never look back. They finished over seven seconds ahead of another California boat, this one from Long Beach. In the other semifinal, Newport rowed a strong race. Their winning time came within a second or so of equaling Rye’s, so it looked to set up a competitive final on Sunday morning. 

 

With rainy weather all weekend, the officials tried to send the boats off as fast as possible during a dry patch Sunday morning. And they did, except for the Men’s Lightweight Youth Final 4+, Rye High’s race. First, Long Beach false started and had to be recalled after stroking furiously for 200 meters off the line. On the restart, the boat from the St. Andrew club claimed to have an equipment malfunction, and the start was delayed once more.

 

Were the Garnets worried? “No, we started singing ‘Poisoned Love’ as we headed back to the starting line,” Jack Hartman remembered, smiling at the thought. “The other crews looked at us like we were nuts.”

 

Maybe not nuts, but the Rye High boat was fast. The veteran team got off the line fast, rowing at 45 beats per minute to get their shell out in front. From the 250-meter mark on, they built their lead while under-stroking the competition. Even the announcer on the live US Rowing YouTube channel noticed. “Look at that crew from Rye High School in New York. That’s some of the most graceful rowing we’ve seen all weekend,” he said. “I was up at their campus a few weeks ago. It’s beautiful too.”

 

After the race’s halfway mark, the competition was for the silver medal. In fact, the Garnets were never behind for a second all weekend, winning the final wire-to-wire in 6:39.978, a full boat length ahead of the boys from Newport.

 

The gang broke up after that winning effort, with Dailey and Szabo heading to college and Coach Nelson looking for another stroke and coxswain. “I’ve been blessed,” he said afterwards. “A group like this doesn’t come around very often.”

 

But when they do, it’s magic.

 

Just past the finish line in Florida, junior Tim Rudolph-Math gives it the “We’re #1” gesture. 

 Cox Zach Szabo and the crew show off their U.S. Rowing Youth Nationals trophy. 

 

The Garnets savoring their Scholastic Rowing Association of American championship.

Clara Sutherland and Jillian Breen scull in the Lightweight Doubles.

Coach Stan Nelson, Jack Hartman, John Dailey, Zach Szabo, Tim Rudolph-Math, and Jimmy Cronin celebrate Rye’s State victory.

Rye Rugby Club Makes Another Trip to States,

But Falls to Keio/FASNY in Final

By Melanie Cane

With a 5-1 regular season record, the Rye Rugby Club earned the No. 2 seed in the New York Metropolitan Division. In four of their five wins, the offense proved formidable, scoring 40 to 65 points. Their only regular season loss was against Keio/French-American School, a game in which the Garnets got off to a fast start, but their opponent came back and won 43-21.

And it was top-seeded Keio/FASNY whom they met in the State Tournament held in Binghamton the weekend of June 3.

The State semifinal game was a rematch of last year’s final against Saratoga. Rye won 52-10. The following day the Garnets met their nemesis.

Through rain and mud, the two teams sloshed it out in a defensive battle until the bitter end. Rye was down 10-5 when they got the ball into the try zone in the last seconds of the game. Unfortunately, they were not able to put the ball down, as a defensive player kept his hand under the ball.

Senior captain Cameron Kamer, who started the Rye Rugby Club in his freshman year, along with Paul Devlin, Jack Bryan, and Dylan Fisher, was pleased and proud of the team’s successful season. “Not many teams can say they have been to back-to-back state championships in their first three seasons.”

He added, “I’m so thankful for all the coaches, players, and supporters who’ve helped the club get to where it is today, and I can’t wait to watch it continue to grow in years to come.”

 

The Rye Rugby team

Rye Country Day Sailing

By Mitch Silver

 

The 2016 sailing season was one for the record books at Rye Country Day School. Led by senior captains Hugh Reynolds and Andy Rochat, the team posted a top-20 finish at the Interscholastic Fleet Racing Nationals held in Charleston, S.C. 

 

Coaches Clemmie Everett and Gil Castagna knew graduation would take its toll going into 2017. Even so, team captains Jack Briano, Ruth Reynolds, and Cooper Yeager helped guide a younger than usual squad to a third-place finish at the Connecticut High School Sailing Championships in New London in late April. And then the Wildcats, featuring several ninth-grade sailors, took second at the New York State High School Championships at The WaterFront Center in Oyster Bay last month.

 

After the New York races, Coach Everett shared the following: “The sailing team is sorry to see our senior captains graduate, but we are proud that Jack Briano will be sailing at Brown University. And we are excited for the future, given the team’s youth and tremendous potential.”

 

 

 

 

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Rye Neck Boys’ Tennis

Panthers Sweep League for Third Straight Crown

By Mitch Silver

The last time the Rye Neck Panthers lost a league tennis title, Cuba was off limits to U.S. tourism, Donald Trump was host of “The Apprentice”, and the Chicago Cubs were still America’s lovable losers. The last time Rye Neck tennis star Eikoh Hayashi lost a league singles match was, well, never.

They did it again in 2017. The Panthers ran through their 12 league matches without a blemish, and Hayashi at 1st singles finished the season undefeated as well. In fact, this spring he became the first male tennis player at Rye Neck to win the Conference Championship in singles. Not surprisingly, the junior earned All-League and All-Conference recognition for the season. Then he made it to the Sectional Quarterfinals before losing in a hard-fought match.

Fellow junior Ryan Francavilla, who played 2nd singles, also earned All-League honors and played in the Conference Tournament, losing in the first round. Senior Hunter Greenhill, who played 3rd singles, finished the regular season 9-2 and earned All-League honors as well.

In his eighth year at the helm, Coach Shawn Lincoln was characteristically low-key. “We ended up having a pretty good season. We’ll graduate eight seniors from this year's team, but they’ve had quite a run.”

The Cubs can only wish for such a run.

 Coach Shawn Lincoln, second from right, joins his three-time league champs.

 Eikoh Hayashi on the way to another easy win

Amanda Hartzell Named Lions Club Athlete of the Year

By Mitch Silver

 

Rarely, if ever, have so many outstanding Rye athletes been gathered out of uniform as were assembled for the annual Lions Club dinner at The Osborn June 11. 

 

Among the honorees, all Athlete of the Month winners chosen jointly by the Rye High Athletic Department and the Rye Lions Club, were the Garnets’ all-time Girls’ Basketball scorer, the senior captain and 1,000+-point scorer for the Boys’ hoop team, a nationally ranked squash player, a State Federation Cup-winning golfer, a three-sport (football, hockey, lacrosse) varsity captain, a Section One Super 11 football star, the tennis marvel who was undefeated at number one singles for her entire high school career, and the stroke of the Garnets’ national champion lightweight crew. Absent, but present in spirit, was Rye’s All-American field hockey player.

 

And the winner of the Lions Club Athlete of the Year award, chosen by a vote of Rye High students, was none of the above. Amanda Hartzell — the four-time All-League captain of the Girls’ Lacrosse team and winner of nine varsity letters across lacrosse, basketball, and soccer — was the one holding the trophy at the end of the night. In addition to her amazing exploits on the field, the Yale-bound senior is a National Honor Society member with a 98+ GPA.

 

The evening’s guest speaker was Steve Feeney, RHS class of 1965, and PA announcer at Rye’s football games who styles himself “The Ol’ Garnet”. He used his own story as a walk-on player for Maryland’s Atlantic Coast Conference basketball team and the integrated squad’s adventures in the Deep South to underline the importance of perseverance and tolerance in athletics and in life.

 

Dave Heller, the guiding light behind the Athlete of the Month program and a Lions Club member since 1963, was honored for his more than half century of service.

 

At the end of the evening, Rye’s outstanding athletes gathered together for one final picture. Nathalie Rodilosso (tennis), Mat Bruno (football), Charlie Nagle and Katie Popp (basketball), Caroline Neave (squash), Will Hynson (hockey), Amanda Hartzell (lacrosse), John Dailey (rowing), and James McHugh (golf) raised their glasses...of water...and saluted their absent peer Fusine Govaert (field hockey) before heading out into the night.

 

 

 Rye’s top athletes join Amanda Hartzell, Athlete of the Year, third from left, at the Lions Club dinner.

 Dave Heller, the force behind the Rye High/Lions Club awards and a Lion for over 50 years, was given a special tribute.

 

 

RowAmerica Rye Looking to Medal at Nationals

By Melanie Cane

Nearly 2,000 athletes representing over 40 teams competed May 20-21 in the US Rowing Northeast Youth Championships on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., the qualifying regatta for the US Rowing Youth National Championships. And six boats from RowAmerica Rye made the cut.

In the Northeast Championships, two RowAmerica boats — the Women’s Youth Lightweight and the Men’s Youth Pair — won gold medals. The winning girls were Izzy Aronin, Carolyn Soltz, Mackenzie Smith, Ashley Gianetti, and Hannah Weingartner. Rye’s Sean Hayes and Gus Rodriguez comprised the Men’s Youth Pair.

The Women’s Youth Four boat of Kate O’Byrne, Hannah Schaenman, Kelly Morrissy, Melanie Holmes, and Amanda Mustafaraj brought home silver.

And both the Women’s Youth Quad and the Men’s Youth Eight won bronze medals.

Clemmi Borgogni and Chris Pyne will represent RAR’s Men’s Youth Doubles as well as the Eight at Nationals, which will be held the weekend of June 9 in Sarasota, Florida.

“Our athletes have been working very hard towards reaching their goal of medaling at the Nationals, and qualifying at regionals was a critical step,” said Marko Serafimovski, Director and Head Women’s Varsity Coach. “With fewer than 40 varsity members, it is impressive that we are sending six boats to compete on the national level.”

The coach was excited to report that 12 of those 40 athletes have been recruited to row in college — from Hobart to Harvard to U Penn to Tulane to UCLA.

Men’s Eight just off the Milton Harbor dock

Women’s Quad