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Manhasset High School Crew Team Wins Consecutive National Titles

Manhasset Crew concluded their successful Spring ’09 season by earning first place medals in the two most prestigious high school crew championships, the Stotesbury Cup Regatta (May 15-16, Philadelphia, PA) and the 75th Annual Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) Nationals Regatta (May 22-23, Mercer Lake, NJ). Manhasset’s Women’s Junior Four (Margot Cyprus, coxswain, Jenny Aitken, Megan Clarke, Ali Margherio, Elizabeth Henry) took Gold medals in both of these elite races, while the Men’s Senior Four (Nick Kavourias, coxswain, Ty Louis, Sebastian Barrera, Joe Calderone, Mike Yee) won Gold at SRAA Nationals, the second consecutive Nationals Gold medal for this winning men’s boat.

The Stotesbury Cup Regatta, founded 1927, is the world’s oldest and largest high school rowing competition. More than 5,000 athletes from over 180 schools competed in 30 events. Manhasset’s selected entries were: Men’s Freshmen Eight (Alex Kavourias, coxswain, Stefan Hummel, Paris Thatos, Chris Kasabian, Max Johnson, Lucas Smilios, Chris Donovan, Christian Voto, Alan Delaney); Men’s Junior Four (Nick Bilotto, coxswain, James Krach, Matt LoBello, Hayes Brown, Rob Hogan); Women’s Junior Four, and Men’s Senior Four.

At Stotesbury, Manhasset’s Women’s Junior Four won their first National title, winning finals in the 1500 meter race in just 5 minutes and 46 seconds. The following week, this boat went on to win its second gold medal in SRAA Nationals. Assistant Coach Stephanie Doughty, her first year coaching Manhasset Women’s Varsity, led this boat to the spectacular accomplishment of winning gold medals at both of these national regattas. Coach Stephanie, who has been involved in rowing since 2001, joined Manhasset Crew as part of Head Coach Hugo Guardado Henriquez’s efforts to build a winning team. She rowed for 4 years at Stony Brook University, then became their Men’s Novice Head Coach for 2 years, and later C.W. Post Head Coach for 1 year.

The team’s achievements have flourished under the direction of Head Coach Guardado Henriquez. Earning NYS Championship titles qualified four Manhasset boats for this year’s SRAA Nationals: Men’s Junior Eight (Nick Bilotto, coxswain, James Krach, Jamie Izzo, Hayes Brown, Matt LoBello, Shivam Patel, Chris Yiachos, Stefan Hummel, Robbie Hogan); Women’s Lightweight Four (Virginia Brodie, coxswain, Kerrigan Hummel, Maria Manis, Kristen Hummel, Arianne Ingber); Women’s Junior Four, and Men’s Senior Four.

At the prominent SRAA National Regatta, Manhasset had its best overall team performance to date, claiming two National titles: Men’s Senior Four and Women’s Junior Four! Last year, this men’s boat brought home the esteemed National Champion title for the first time in the Manhasset Crew team’s history. This year, they solidified their championship status by winning at this highly competitive race for the second consecutive year; their time in the 1500 meter finals race was 5 minutes and 27 seconds. The team’s performance at this regatta was a record for Manhasset: New York State sent 101 boats to SRAA Nationals and only 14 of those boats earned a medal; Manhasset won two of the six gold medals earned by NY schools at these National championship races!

The team’s successful season culminated on June 12-14 as the Men’s Senior Four and Women’s Lightweight Four competed in the 15th annual US Rowing Youth National Championship Regatta (Cincinnati, OH). The US Olympic Committee recognizes US Rowing as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the US. It was Manhasset’s first time qualifying for this regatta, which featured more than 1,600 high school and junior athletes from 144 programs, competing in the 18 Youth National Championship events. Manhasset boats qualified for this regatta based on their gold medal performance at the NY State Scholastic Championships.

The team’s results at this regatta were impressive. Nick Kavourias (coxswain), Ty Louis, Sebastian Barrera, Joe Calderone, and Mike Yee placed 4th in the Grand Final in the Men’s Youth Four event. Placing first in the Petite Final, Women’s Youth Lightweight Four event, the crew of Margot Cyprus (coxswain), Elizabeth Henry, Kerrigan Hummel, Kristen Wilhouski, and Maria Manis earned seventh place overall. This was a fitting finale to the high school rowing careers for many of the team’s graduating seniors, a number of whom will be continuing their rowing careers in the fall. We wish all of the seniors-Sebastian Barrera, Joe Calderone, Kerrigan Hummel, Ty Louis, Mike Yee and Matt Savage-the best of luck in their future endeavors, both on and off the water.

As Manhasset JV and Varsity Crew concludes another championship season and prepares for the upcoming Fall 2009 season, all incoming freshmen and other interested high school rowers are invited to come and try out rowing at the “Learn to Row” program, August 24 through 28 from 3:30–6:30 pm. Information is posted on the team’s website at www.manhassetcrew.org.