Marc My Words!

Marc Maturo’s official sports column

In dead of winter, rowers go indoors for world event

The brutal winter has not prevented frostbite fleets from competing on the western end of Long Island Sound off Larchmont Yacht Club, nor has it stopped a group of seasoned youth rowers representing the Nyack-based River Rowing Association.

Mind you, a RRA crew did not take to the Hudson River, but rather journeyed to Boston, Mass., landing at the Agganis Arena to compete at the CRASH-B Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championships.

“This was the first time ever for us,” said RRA president and Masters medalist Ivan Rudolph-Shabinsky.  “It’s the biggest indoor rowing race in the world, with rowers coming from all over the world to compete.”

The RRA president entered 10 rowers in the event, which attracted well over 2,500 competitors, because several team members had been rowing very well.

“We thought some kids would do admirably, and they did admirably. Many of our rowers set personal records,” continued Rudolph-Shabinsky, whose daughter Alice, a Nyack HS senior, was among them in the 18-and-under women’s class that covered 2,000 meters.

Alice has already been recruited to row at highly regarded Cornell University, where her dad also competed alongside RRA director Peter Klose.

“I’m a pretty proud papa right now,” offered the club president, who is also proud to note that several RRA alumni have gone on to compete at other acclaimed colleges such as Harvard, Lehigh and Ohio State, last year’s NCAA champion.

Rudolph-Shabinsky said the RRA includes several students from Clarkstown, whose rowing program in the spring in conducted by the RRA. Other Rockland County schools with crew programs include Suffern and North Rockland.

At the world indoor championships, second-year member Sammi Hashash of New Milford, N.J., who is blind, was a champion in one of the youth adaptive categories (LTA – Vision Impaired, with LTA representing legs, trunk and arms).

“That’s one of the great things about rowing, it’s available for people with various physical handicaps,” said Rudolph-Shabinsky.

Hashash, who lost his vision to disease before the age of 10, rows in a regular boat by feel when the RRA gets on the water. Hashash’s victory in Boston enabled him to return home with a coveted CRASH B Hammer.

CRASH B, which offers the ultimate in competition on indoor rowing machines, Ergs, began in the 1970s with a small group of men from Cambridge who wanted to stay in shape when they were unable to be on the water.

Asked to fully detail the acronym, Ivan laughed a bit and said “Cambridge Rowers … and it just became CRASH B for whatever reason. But it’s certainly grown to be a worldwide competition.”

The RRA rowers next compete in their annual Pull With Purpose Row-a-Thon on March 15 to benefit the Nyack Center.  

The Row-a-Thon is atwo-hour team relay ‘race’ on indoor rowing machines called ergometers, or “ergs” for short.   Teams can have any number of participants, but to register as part of the competitive category, teams are limited to five or fewer rowers.

The event will be held at the Nyack Center (58 Depot Place – corner of Depot and Broadway).  Registration opens at 8 a.m. and the competition starts at 9.

The event is free, but all participants are urged to raise funds. Online fundraising is available via

RRA WORLD INDOOR ENTRANTS: Paige Vignone, Academy of Holy Angels; Catie Gackowski, Bergen Tech; Ethan Jaynes, Clarkstown North; Camryn McGrath, Clarkstown South;  Sammi Hashash, New Milford, N.J.; Shawn McNulty, Northern Valley (N.J.) HS; Maya Bose, Milo Fradianni and Alice Rudolph-Shabinsky, all of Nyack HS; and Reece McNichol, Tappan Zee HS.

Jessica Bullock, 10, senior honoree
Jessica Bullock, 10, senior honoree

SPECIAL SENIOR: The Purchase College women’s basketball team, already primed for the postseason, punctuated its final regular-season home game by honoring seniors Jessica Bullock of Thiells and Jess Lindsay of Rochester, and then pounding St. Joseph’s College-L.I., 77-44. Bullock was joined in a brief pre-game ceremony by her mother, Sandra, her father, Henri IV, and her brother Henri V. Then, PA announcer Donatello M. Demeo introduced Bullock , a guard out of North Rockland HS, for a rousing rendition of the national anthem.

SPARTANS SPARKLE: Winslow Dorsainvil of Monsey won the 60 meters in 6.89 and placed third in the 200 and George Erazo of North Babylon earned 46 points, sparking the St. Thomas Aquinas College men’s track and field team to a runner-up finish at the East Coast Conference Championship at St. Anthony’s HS in South Huntington.  Dorsainvil, a graduate of Spring Valley HS, also helped the 4×200 relay team to victory, combining with Erazo and Anthony Henry and Frankie Colon, both of Suffern, for a clocking of 1:32.95.  Freshman Sammy Abdaltilif of Nanuet took fourth in the 400 and was part of the victorious 4×400 team of Erazo, Colon, and Henry that clocked 3:30.53.  Garvenchy Nicolas of Brooklyn was second in the 500, followed by Colon.  In the 1,000 Matt Buell of Staten Island took second and Ryan Gasser, also of Staten Island, placed fourth.  Ed Oswald of New City placed fifth in the high hurdles and sixth in the high jump, with Tristan Holmgren of Valhalla claiming second. The Lady Spartans set a school record in the 4×200 at 1:50.95 behind Kaitlyn Mancini of Merrick, Tiana Kirkland of New City, Catherine Sandkuhl of North Babylon, and Gabby Sloezen of Westwood, N.J. Keeley Bateman of Pearl River placed third in the 1,000 with a time of 3:16.97.  Tappan Zee HS graduate Meagan Jaskot of Blauvelt took third in the 3,000 with a time of 10:56.74 while North Rockland HS alumna Katie O’Grady of Tomkins Cove earned third place in the 5,000 with a time of 20:00.66.  The DMR team of Bateman, Jaskot, Gina Funaro of Queens and Rebecca Fortoul of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., took second in a time of 13:22.47.

QUICK HITTERS: Junior guard Felicia DaCruz of Chestnut Ridge has been providing a big assist to the high-flying Fairfield University women’s basketball team, which is 18-8 with two regular-season games remaining. DaCruz, an alumna of Albertus Magnus HS, has 137 assists, more than three times the next-best total on the team. DaCruz is also averaging seven points a game. Fairfield closes the regular season with games in Buffalo on February 28 against Canisius and in Niagara on March 2 against Niagara University. …The nationally fifth-ranked Cortland wrestling team was upended by 15th-ranked Ithaca, 20-13, dropping the Red Dragons to 13-4 on the season. The host Bombers, who improved to 12-5, opened up an 8-0 lead after Jimmy Kaishian of Yorktown Heights earned an 8-2 decision at 125 pounds against junior Paul Fields of New City. … Lisa Bates of Pearl River is a senior infielder on the Ithaca College softball team. Bates, a Tappan Zee HS alumna, last year was named Ithaca’s representative on the Empire 8 Sportswoman of the Year team, which recognizes one player from each team for upholding the conference’s initiatives in competing with honor and integrity. The Bombers open the season on March 9 in Clermont, Fla., against Juniata College and Manhattanville College. … Freshman Breanne Baez of Pomona, a North Rockland HS graduate, competes in pole vault on the Ithaca College track and field team. The Bombers will participate in the NYSCTC Indoor Championships on Feb. 28-March 1 at St. Lawrence University in Canton. … Senior guard John Perez of Haverstraw had an exceptional all-around game as the Plattsburgh men’s basketball team beat Potsdam, 78-61. The North Rockland HS alum pulled down 12 rebounds, with seven points, three steals, two assists and two blocked shots. … Freshman forward Michaela Murdock of Chestnut Ridge finished the season with six points on two goals and four assists on the women’s hockey team at Manhattanville College in Purchase. The Valiants ended the season with a 3-0 loss to UMass Boston in the ECAC East Conference Tournament at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, Conn. .… Nyack HS alum Anthony Accardi of Valley Cottage is a senior midfielder on the Mercy College men’s lacrosse team, which opened its season with a decisive 18-4 victory in Dobbs Ferry over Alderson Broaddus University of Philippi, W. Va., and then waylaid Ohio

Cristina DeVita, lacrosse defender
Cristina DeVita, lacrosse defender

Valley University, 17-10. The Mavericks visit LIU-Post on March 1 at 11 a.m. and then host American International College on March 4 at 3 p.m. … Cristina DeVita of Valley Cottage, whose dad, Frank DeVita, was a national champion in lacrosse at Johns Hopkins University, is a sophomore defender on the women’s lacrosse team at Fairfield (Conn.) University.  The Stags fell to 0-2 after Rutgers University staged a second-half comeback to pull out a 6-5 victory at RU Turf Field in Piscataway, N.J. Fairfield is home on March 3 and March 8, meeting Lehigh at 3:30 p.m. and Vermont at noon, respectively. … Senior forward Kristin Schmidt of Suffern has completed the regular season on the women’s basketball team at Union College in Schenectady. The Dutchwomen compiled a 16-9 record, with Schmidt making 11 starts and appearing in every game. For the season, Schmidt averaged five rebounds and three points per game, with a second-best 10 blocked shots. Schmidt will have little time to rest as she transitions to softball as the team’s first baseman. Union opens the season with 10 games in Clermont, Fla., beginning on March 22 against Bethel (Ind.) College. … Anthony Calvano of Nanuet, who finished fifth in the state tournament as a senior at Nanuet HS, has participated in four matches as a freshman on the wrestling team

Anthony Simon, steady shortstop
Anthony Simon, steady shortstop

at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The Patriots compete at the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 8. … Anthony Simon of Suffern is a junior shortstop on the SUNY Cortland baseball team. Simon, an alum of Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., batted .429 with three RBI in four games as the Red Dragons went 3-1. Cortland travels to Newport News, Va., for three games March 1-2. The Red Dragons will play both Montclair State and host Christopher Newport on March 1 and will face CNU again on March 2. … Cortland swimmer Ben Davis of Suffern earned points in two events on the second day of the SUNYAC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Burt Flickinger Center in Buffalo. … Jesse Galina of Suffern is a sophomore second baseman on the Union College baseball team. The Dutchmen, based in Schenectady, open the season against Castleton State College on March 8 at The Rock Sports Complex in Chester at 11:30 a.m., and then leave for a Florida trip. … Lauren Kahn of Nanuet, the Big East midfielder of the year in 2013, is returning for her senior season on the women’s lacrosse team at the University of Connecticut. Kahn the Huskies with 65 points last season on 42 goals and 23 assists. UConn hosts Boston College at 1 p.m. on March 1 at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex in Storrs, Conn. … Senior forward KC Jentzen of Pearl River pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds as the Dominican College women’s basketball team defeated Nyack College, 81-73, on senior nigh at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg. Meghan Richards of Nanuet shared team-high honors for Nyack with 11 rebounds.

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