2004-05-28 / Sports

High School Update: Crew Finishes Strong

By Elio Velez

High School Update: Crew Finishes Strong

By Elio Velez

It’s as if the Beach Channel Crew team is in the movie Groundhog Day. As they arrived in Saratoga to compete in the New York State Championships on May 8, the Dolphins always encounter the same reoccurring instances eveytime they travel to a regatta.

The more than 40 public or private schools that the Dolphins compete with may have more team members, larger contingent of fans and better equipment. But at the end of the tournament, the Dolphins had proved themselves by entering into the finals of the Boys Junior 4 and Novice 4+ events.

Some of the schools may have been shocked that the Dolphins, who have a small roster of 26 players, competed well in the tournament. But it wasn’t a shock according to Beach channel head coach Chris Horn.

"It’s a challenge up there and it’s very competitive," Horn said. "But our kids worked very hard as they did all season."

It has been a testament of hard work for a team that is always on the road and train in a boathouse with no electricity and no running water.

But with the odds against them, the intense dedication that these kids have seems to always bring out a positive result. In the Long Island Rowing Championships, the team won bronze medals in the Girls 8 and Boys 8 and in the Long Island Sweep Invitational Championships, the Boys Novice won bronze and Boys Junior 4 won bronze.

"We had a good year after getting off to a bad start with the weather in early spring", recalls Horn, who is helped by assistant coaches Jason Labiento and Seth Patton, and will be joined next year by former assistant coach Scott Olsen. "But after not performing well at the Flushing Meadows Invitational (April 17), we picked up the pieces and started to do better".

The success has been buoyed by the support from the school, parents and Region 5 of the Department of Education, who held a luncheon at the school to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the only crew team in the city.

Kathleen Walker, Director of Fitness and Physical Development from Region 5 could not contain the excitement she got from accompanying the team in Saratoga and the success they’ve had this year.

"It’s been very enjoyable and it’s been a great experience", says Walker. "I give them a lot of credit towards the fact that as the only team, they represent 8 million New Yorkers. I am so proud."

Many alumni who have participated in the Crew team the past 30 years have gone to success in rowing. One member from the 2003 team, Amy Grosshandler, is one alumnus that Chris Horn is proud to have coached.

A freshman at Barry University in Miami, Florida, Grosshandler has helped the team to compete in the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships in Sacramento.

"She worked really hard to make the team and received a god medal in the Girls Junior 4 event in the Florida State Championships," Horn said. "It’s a credit to her that she has become a super successful college oarsman."

Horn will go to work in the offseason to raise funds for securing equipment and a new boathouse. But he will not be alone.

Walker, who has been so instrumental in working with the team according to coach Horn, that she has been called his "guardian angel", says that Region 5 will help the crew team coordinate fundraising and other measures to help keep the team afloat.

"We know it cost money from traveling, transporting the boats and other things.", Walker says. "The region will help to further promote the sport because the kids have true grit and it highlights Beach Channel".

2004 Crew Team- Novice Boys: Bradley Bazelias, Peter Getzoni, Tyrell Green, Michael Herscovici, Yegor Matsekha, Mikhail Shalamov, Anthony Johnson and Matt Inesti.

Novice Girls: Melysa Exolas, Alexandra Felicano, Jessica Navarette, Yuliya Spectorsky and Magdalania Kochanek.

Varsity Boys: Anthony Bevilacqua, Dawin Collado, Otoniel Henriquez, Robert Ianuzzi, Nicholas Isabella, Martin Perak, Quintana Calvin, Jordan Simon and Johann Smiley. Varsity Girls: Tiffany Giovannielli, Nicole Pierce, Christina Rich and Angelica Snyder.

Other Notes

Bishop Kearney will have competed for the New York State softball championships as the newspaper went to press. Belle Harbor’s Jennifer Pompanio will have been the starting pitcher in the game.

The #3 ranked Beach Channel Dolphins (15-0) will host their first round playoff game on June 1 at 3:30 p.m. against #30 seed Grover Cleveland.

The Far Rockaway Seahorses lost in the outbracket portion of the PSAL B Playoffs, 17-14 last Wednesday at Brooklyn Tech.

The Beach Channel Dolphins will have faced off against South Shore last Thursday in the first round of the PSAL B Varsity Baseball Playoffs.

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