Marc My Words!

Marc Maturo’s official sports column

unnamed unnamed2NRHS grads helping to keep STAC on the run

The future is now – and the future looks good, too.

That’s the feeling right now at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, with Lorne Marcus of Pomona, the veteran track and field coach, and cross country coaches Drew Gangemi of Sparkill and Nicole Balou all salivating over a crop of young runners who already are making a statement in the East Coast Conference (ECC).

“We’ve got four more good years to come,” said Gangemi, a former Spartan standout who only a few years back placed sixth in the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run.

“We’re very talented,” noted Marcus, quickly turning attention to the work done by Gangemi and Ballou, whose cross country team features a number of young stars including freshmen Vinnie Vasquez of Stony Point and Assad Jeffrey of Haverstraw, and sophomore Kaitlin O’Grady, another graduate of North Rockland High School.

Vasquez and Jeffrey, both of whom have already   achieved ECC rookie of the week accolades, are running 1-2 for the Spartans, pushing each other to greater performances.
“Vinnie, I love, but Vinnie and Assad are both great, hard workers and good guys,” offers Gangemi. “They’re always trying to one-up each other. We’ll certainly have some weapons in winter track.”
Marcus, who helps in cross country recruiting, is also high on the Vazquez-Jeffrey combo, along with O’Grady, Meaghan Ventarola of Monroe and the sisters Allison Borriello, a senior, and Kristen, a freshman, of Montgomery.

“Vinnie, when he puts his mind to something, he goes for it and never backs down from a challenge,” said Marcus. “He’s a very good runner, a 4:20 miler, one of the best in the county last year in track and field.  O’Grady is all heart, all determination — she puts everything on the line and runs with passion. And Jeffrey is determined to do well in college like he did in high school. He’s a steeplechaser and 5,000 – a true distance runner.”        Gangemi attributes O’Grady’s meteoric rise to the hard work she put in over the summer.
“All the work she did, it has showed,” said Gangemi. “Her running capacity and speed is blowing everyone away; the coaches and the athletes, no one saw it coming. She’s been our top runner in two races.”
At the Harry Anderson Invitational at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester – which was a course preview for the ECC Championships — Vazquez was the first Spartan finisher, while O’Grady was the first to cross the line for the Lady Spartans.
Vazquez’s time of 27:28 was good for a 38th-place finish, and the best of all ECC newcomers.
Senior Joe Chegwidden of Hamburg, N.J., was next for the Spartans with a time of 27:38, with Jeffrey right behind in 27:59.  Sophomores Jamer Linares of Nyack and Chris Panepintoof Secaucus, N.J., rounded out the scorers with times of 29:22 and 29:45, respectively, as the men finished in 11th place overall out of 25 teams.
The women’s team also performed well as all five scorers – and top six runners – finished within a minute.
|       O’Grady was 25th in 19:18, whileVentarola crossed the line right behind her in 19:18.  Freshman Angelica Matwiejczukof Suffern ran a collegiate-best 19:49, dropping a full minute off her last competition.  Classmate Kristen Borriello came in at 20:14, while junior Gabriela Sloezen of Westwood, N.J., finished just one second later in 20:15.  The Lady Spartans earned fifth place overall in a field of 23 teams, and were second among the Division II finishers.
STAC hopes to continue to improve onOct. 4 at the Highlander Cross Country Challenge at Branch Brook Park in Newark, N.J.  The women are slated to begin at 11 a.m., followed by the men at 11:50.

HAWKS COMPETE AT NET: SUNY New Paltz freshman Brittany Grandville of Tappan won her opening singles match, but was vanquished in the second round as the Hawks competed at the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Regional Championships in Geneva. Grandville, a graduate of Tappan Zee HS, and another freshman, Carol Tyson of Clinton Corners, teamed up in doubles and posted a 8-3 victory. Again, however, the New Paltz pairing dropped their second-round match. The Hawks are back in action on Oct. 3, playing at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh at 4 p.m., the final regular-season tune-up before the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament from Oct. 10-12 in Binghamton. New Paltz will face SUNY Fredonia in the quarterfinals on Oct. 10 at 4:30 p.m.

CHARGERS ON THE BALL: Senior midfielder Jennifer Becker of Hawthorne, N.J., had a hat trickas the Dominican College women’s soccer team blanked the visiting Griffins of Chestnut Hill College of Philadelphia, 3-0, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) contest at the DC Soccer Field in Orangeburg. Earning assists for the Lady Chargers were first-year defender and Clarkstown South HS alumna KaitlynMontera of New City, Solei Maldonado of Newark, N.J., and Samantha Cala of Deer Park while goalkeeper Gina Yannette of Dumont, N.J., made five saves. Dominican hopes to put together another win when it hosts Goldey-Beacom College of Wilmington, Del., on Oct. 4 at noon.

QUICK HITTERS: Freshman goalkeeper Katelyn Cordero of Airmont, an alumna of Suffern High School, turned back seven shots as the visiting SUNY New Paltz women’s soccer team battled Cortland to a 1-1 double-overtime deadlock. Senior captain EleniAnselmi of Garnerville had four shots, along with senior defender Bryce Kristall of Dix Hills and junior forward Chelsea Weir of West Islip. The host Red Dragons won the tiebreaker penalty-kick shootout, 11-10, and would hold the tiebreaker advantage on the Hawks should the two teams tie in the standings at the end of the season.The Hawks, coming off a 2-0 loss to Oswego despite a season-high nine saves by Cordero, are home at Alumni Field for their next two games, meeting Geneseo on Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. and The College of Brockport on Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. … The Cortland women’s volleyball team, including Victoria Grix of Pearl River, opened its SUNYAC schedule with a four-set victory over Potsdam. The Red Dragons then split two matches during the second day of SUNYAC conference play at Oneonta, overcoming a rally by the host team to post a 3-2 victory as Grix had 10 digs, then lost to New Paltz. Cortland hosts Ithaca on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. … Freshman forward Ky Tyler of Nyack has appeared in four games, starting twice, on the men’s soccer team at Newberry (S.C.) College. The Wolves visit Queens University in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 5 and then host Anderson (S.C.) University on Oct. 8. … Goaltender Steven Hegner of Pomona made six saves as the Dominican College men’s soccer team improved to 3-3 overall with a 2-0 victory over Post University in Waterbury, Conn. Matheus Sousa of Cuiaba, Brazil and Luis DelPezo of Port Chester scored for the Chargers. … Nyack College newcomer Ariana Nash of Jackson, N.J., was named Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference female cross country rookie of the week. … Sophomore kicker Shane Cronin of West Nyack, a Clarkstown South graduate, made 3-for-4 field goal attempts and both of his point-after kicks as the Cortland football team was upended by host Morrisville State, 38-31, in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opener for both teams. The Red Dragons, who fell to 0-3 with their three losses by a combined 13 points, return home on Oct. 4 to meet defending NJAC champion Rowan (N.J.) University at 1 p.m. Matt Haney of Nanuet is a freshman linebacker at Morrisville (3-1), which hosts The College of New Jersey on Oct. 4 at noon.… The College of New Rochelle volleyball team swept two matches at the Wellness Center, defeating College of St. Elizabeth and Mitchell College in straight sets. Clarkstown North HS alumna Meghan King of New City posted a match-high 11 kills without an error against St. Elizabeth. In the finale against Mitchell, King again led the offensive effort for the host, tallying a match-high 10 kills. … Emily Lopez of Staten Island, placing 38th, and Renee Roncaceof Valley Cottage, in 57th, led the way as the Dominican College women’s cross country team finished 12th at the 35th Philadelphia Metropolitan Cross Country Championships at Belmont Plateau. … Senior defensive back AkwasiDegraft of Haverstraw had two solo tackles and sophomore linebacker Gavin Maher of Stony Point had one solo and assisted on another as the Pace University football team fell to Saint Anselm 52-26 in Northeast-10 Conference action at Manchester, N.H.

THIS & THAT:The FCC dumped the sports blackout rule, dealing a blow to the NFL at a time of growing scrutiny for the league in Washington.In a unanimous 5-0 vote, the commission eliminated the decades-old regulation, which prevents cable and satellite TV from airing games that are blacked out locally when the team fails to sell enough tickets to fill its stadium. The NFL has defended the rule as a tool to ensure robust attendance, but a growing number of regulators and lawmakers say it unfairly punishes football fans.The sports blackout rule applies to all professional sports teams, but it’s become closely linked to the NFL, which uses it the most and has fought hardest to keep it in place.Read more:

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