Marc My Words!

Marc Maturo’s official sports column

O’Grady sets school mark as Lady Spartans triumph; King sparks Blue Angels in volleyball


Powered by sophomore standout Katie O’Grady of Tomkins Cove, the St. Thomas Aquinas College women’s cross country team earned first-place honors at the NJIT Highlander Challenge at Branch Brook Park in Newark, N.J.

O’Grady, a North Rockland High School alumna, set the pace while setting a Spartan 5k record of 18:40 as Coach Nicole Ballou’s deep and talented STAC squad placed five finishers in the top 15 and nine finishers in the top 25.

O’Grady, finishing fourth in the race, broke the previous STAC standard of 18:45, held by 2014 graduate Keeley Bateman of Pearl River.  Redshirt sophomore Meaghan Ventarola of Monroe finished just eight seconds later in fifth place while freshman Kristen Borriello of Monroe took eighth place in 19:07.

Junior Gabby Sloezen of Westwood, N.Jl, crossed the line in 19:21 and senior Ashley Weintraub of Hurleyville broke into the top 5 recording a 19:30.  All of the times are collegiate personal records.

Lady Spartans run to victory
Lady Spartans run to victory

“This was a great team win,” Ballou was quoted as commenting. “We had a lot of people step up and run their best times.  I am very proud of Katie for breaking the record and even more excited about her future as a Lady Spartan.  Ashley was a key in securing (the) win. We have a deep team this year and a great pool of talent.  Each race, we have different people in scoring positions.”

For the men, senior Joe Chegwidden of Hamburg, N.J., was the first Spartan finisher in 26:25, followed by freshmen Vinny Vazquez of Stony Point with a collegiate-best 26:44.  Classmate Asaad Jeffrey of Haverstraw and sophomore Ryan Gasser of Staten Island worked together crossing the line in 27:49 and 27:50, respectively.

Sophomore Jamer Linares of Nyack came through at 28:17 to finish the Spartans’ scorers, for an overall fifth-place finish.

The Spartans return to action Oct. 11 at the CTC Championship in Philadelphia, Pa.

BLUE ANGELS CLINCH:  The surging College of New Rochelle volleyball team clinched the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) regular-season championship with two 3-0 conference wins in a tri-match at the Wellness Center in New Rochelle. The Blue Angels (17-4, 5-0 HVIAC) took down title contender Pratt Institute (11-2, 3-1 HVIAC) in the opener before defeating Culinary Institute of America (4-5, 1-3 HVIAC). Fabiola Padilla Rios of San Juan had a match-high 14 kills and 15 digs to pace the Blue Angels against Pratt, while Meghan King of New City, who has fought back from two shoulder surgeries and was named athlete of the week in the Hudson Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference, added 11 kills.  King, a Clarkstown North HS alumna, came back with a match-high eight kills and seven digs against CIA, while Rios served up a match-high five aces.

Dan Citardi, sets pace for Setters
Dan Citardi, sets pace for Setters

SETTERS ON PACE: Tappan Zee High School graduate Dan Citardi of Blauvelt, a freshman, led the men’s cross country team at Pace University with a time of 30:17 on a 8k course in the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. Leading the way for the women on a 6k course was Mary O’Shea of Bronxville, who clocked 25:09. The Setters return to action on Oct. 12 when they head to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to compete at the CCNY Invitational. Action is set to start at 10 a.m.

HAWKS FLYIN’ HIGH: Senior midfielder and team captain Eleni Anselmi of Garnerville scored one goal and had a team-high five shots as the New Paltz women’s soccer team battled visiting Brockport to a 2-2 double-overtime deadlock. The Hawks will host Plattsburgh on Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. Senior defender Bryce Kristall of Dix Hills also scored for the Hawks and tied Anselmi with five shots while freshman goalkeeper Katelyn Cordero of Airmont recorded eight saves. Anselmi scored her third goal of the year and 11th of her career on a breakaway in the second half, firing a shot in the left side to hand the Hawks a 2-1 edge with less than 10 minutes in regulation. But Brockport responded with the tying goal in the 86th minute. New Paltz nearly won the match in the waning seconds of regulation with a flurry of shots, including a header by senior midfielder Sarah Painter of Blue Point, and a shot by Anselmi that sailed just high of the cage.

KYLE RUNS IN STYLE: Fredonia, powered by a pack led by junior Kyle Collins of Suffern, picked up a a fourth-place finish at the Harry F. Anderson men’s collegiate cross country meet in Rochester. The top five Blue Devils were separated by 65 seconds and the top seven by just under 1 minute, 30 seconds to total 104 points, placing behind Cortland (40), Cornell (42), and host Roberts Wesleyan (71). Molloy finished fifth with 196. Collins, whose dad, Michael, ran four years for the Blue Devils, was Fredonia’s first finisher — and 10th overall — in 26:08 for 8,000 meters. Collins was followed by senior Chris Shartrand  of Ballston Lake, 15th overall in 26:21.1; senior Jed Kovalovsky of Lisle, 20th in 26:44.7; sophomore Bobby Cooper of Macedon, 27th in 27:03.8; and sophomore Cody Martini of Palmyra, 32nd in 27:13.5.

MERCY, MERCY, MERCY: Senior Roberto Dashi of Nyack, a Clarkstown South graduate, opened the scoring in the 13th minute, sparking the Mercy College men’s soccer team to a 3-0 victory over Daemen College in Amherst. In a follow-up loss to Wesleyan College, Dashi again scored against a formidable Redhawks squad (6-2-2). Jonathan Garcia of Falls Church, Va., and Danny Leon Jr. of Flushing completed the scoring for the Mavericks in the win over Daemen. The Mavericks are home in Dobbs Ferry for their next two games – against the University of the District of Columbia on Oct. 11, at 3 p.m.; and NYIT on Oct. 15, also at 3 p.m. The Mavericks will be in Rockland County on Oct. 18 to challenge St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill in another 3 p.m. start. Also playing for the Mavericks are seniors Chuong Tran of West Nyack and Alex Cruz of Suffern. Junior Sam Charles of Nyack plays for the Warriors, who host Holy Family University of Philadelphia on homecoming at Mosley Field at 3 p.m. on Oct. 11.

TERRIFIC TUNE-UP: The SUNY New Paltz women’s tennis team defeated Mount Saint Mary College 9-0 in Newburgh in the final tune-up for the Hawks before the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament from Oct. 10-12. New Paltz (7-2) will face SUNY Fredonia in the quarterfinals on Oct. 10 at 4:30 p.m. in Binghamton. In doubles action, freshman Sara O’Brien of Orangeburg and sophomore Veronika Paikin of North Woodmere won 8-0 at flight two while freshmen Brittany Grandville of Tappan and Carol Tyson of Clinton Corners also won 8-0 to take flight three honors.

QUICK HITTERS: At Geneseo, Rachel Ollis of Suffern is 4-1 on the women’s tennis team, which improved to 6-0 on the season with a victory over host Cortland. The undefeated Knights compete at the SUNYAC Tournament at the Binghamton Tennis Center Oct. 10-12. Ollis was a two-time section all-star at Suffern HS, where she also golfed and was named a conference all-star four times. … Clarkstown South alum Nicholas Laurent of New City, a former all-county and all-selection standout, is the second-leading scorer as a freshman forward on the men’s soccer team at Plattsburgh. Laurent has seven points on three goals and one assist for the Cardinals (5-5-1), who host Oneonta on Oct. 11 at 1 p.m. … McKenzie John of Lafayette, La., led all attackers with 15 kills and completed a double-double with 10 defensive digs as the surging Dominican College women’s volleyball team raised its record to 9-1 with a 3-0 victory over visiting Goldey-Beacom College at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg. … Taylor Jo Gillen of Orangeburg is a junior forward on the CCNY women’s soccer team. Gillen, a Tappan Zee HS alumna, is second on the team in scoring with 14 points on five goals and four assists. Senior forward Yanique Newman of Kingston, Jamaica, is the leading scorer for the Beavers, who travel to the College of Staten Island on Oct. 11 for a game at 1 p.m. … The Cortland football team was overwhelmed by visiting Rowan University of Glassboro, N.J., 38-14, but senior defensive end Gabe Ostrow of Nanuet had an impressive effort for the Red Dragons, leading the team with 11 tackles, two for losses. Cortland looks to rebound at The College of New Jersey on Oct. 11 at noon. … Senior back Chris Klass of Nanuet, with two pass breakups and four tackles, and senior Hugh O’Brien of Westbury, with 13 tackles and a sack, led a strong defensive effort as the Maritime football team bowed to Mount Ida, 7-6, in Newton, Mass.  Greg Caneparo of Nanuet, another senior, had a 33-yard kickoff return for the Privateers, who return home to Reinhart Field in Throggs Neck on Oct. 11 for their home conference opener against the Husson Eagles for a 1 p.m. kickoff. … Freshman Kelly Ball of Nanuet, a tennis player at The College of New Rochelle, was named Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Conference (HVIAC) rookie of the week.

THIS & THAT: The 9th Ivy Sports Symposium will be held on Nov. 14 in Princeton, N.J. The event draws some of the most diverse leaders from around the world in sport. Details are at

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