Burnt Hills boat surprise winner

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake alumnus Mike Meier used to wear football pads and a helmet. These days, he
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Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake alumnus Mike Meier used to wear football pads and a helmet.

These days, he’s hooked on boats, paddles and upsets.

Meier, who is studying in a combined Hudson Valley Community College-Russell Sage teacher educ­ation program, guided the Burnt Hills Rowing Association’s senior 8 boat to a state title in the New York State Scholastic Championship Regatta over the weekend on Fish Creek in Saratoga Springs.

Burnt Hills RA surprised Cham­inade, winner of five out of the last six state crowns, by a whopping 5.5 seconds.

“The last few years, we’ve been building and building. Each year, we thought we had a very good team. We’ve always had respectable finishes at the states,” said Meier, 25, who has been coaching the varsity club team since 2004.

“Last year, we won the boys’

senior 8 in the sectionals. We’ve been very competitive locally, but on the state scene, we usually finish in the top three over the last four years or so. This year was different. We went into this year knowing that we were faster than ever in the past. We knew our chances at being successful at the states was much better than ever before. The kids worked very hard, They were very focused on what they wanted to accomplish. They had their sights set on winning. It was something that they wanted to do, and it was non-stop work toward that goal.”

But beating state power Cham­inade by such a wide margin was a huge surprise.

“No one was expecting this, least of all Chaminade,” Meier said. “But the great thing about rowing is the sportsmanship involved. It’s much higher than in most of the other sports. It’s kind of a unique attitude that rowers have. After the race, all the kids from Chaminade came over and shook our hands. It was really respectful, and quite a nice gesture. We wanted to really celebrate, but we kept it really low-key, because we wanted to respect the other team. We realized they put up quite a good fight.”

Burnt Hills has a strong trad­ition in rowing, having won state regattas in 1998, 2000 and 2001, but the Spartans haven’t been on top since.

“Talk about jobs that you really love,” said Meier. “As soon as I got involved with rowing, I knew it was for me. I started rowing at UAlbany after high school, and that fall, I was approached by the [Burnt Hills] club president. He asked me if I wanted to coach, and I accepted very quickly. I really love coaching rowing.”

The championship team included Ian Robinson, Doug McErlean, Zack Robbiano, Mike Olbrych, Jame Flacke Andy Sayles, Aaron Heyde and Curt Shorkey. The coxswain was Matt Sammons.

“The great thing is that we also had a strong second boat this year, which finished second at states. I’ve got four of the kids — Robinson, McErlean, Robbiano and Olbrych — coming back next year, so I think we can keep our tradition going.”

The other major highlight at the state regatta was the performance of the host Saratoga Rowing Assoc­iation, which captured 12 champ­ionships and 23 medals overall.

The SRA girls’ varsity 8 (Emily Krison, Alexandra Torres, Caitlin Schufelt, Kate Russell, Madison Buemer, Rachael Conway, Shannon Craig, Alyssa O’Donnell and Columbia Herzinger) kept its state winning streak intact with its eighth straight championship, while the second 8 and freshman 8 also

secured titles.

Elihu Reynolds took home his second straight singles championship to pace the Queensbury Rowing Association boys.

Other highlights included Ballston Spa’s first state crew title in the senior 2 (Meredith Venerus and Sarah Martin) and Shenendehowa’s lightweight 2 title (Abby Knight and Lauren Boudreau). The Shaker Rowing Association (Austin Meyer and Tom Nessel) won the boys’ senior 2 final.

TOP LOCAL FINISHERS

BOYS

Freshman 4 — 1st, Saratoga A (Tony Stellato-coxswain, Matt Battle, Paarth Tanaja, Evan Krueger, Connor Arpey), 5:32.13; Freshman 8 — 3rd, Saratoga A (Brian Shepherd-coxswain, Tom Schwartz, Luke O’Brien, Justin Fabian, Andrew Alexander, Colin Magoolaghan, Alex Wakeman, David Peters, Brendan Snyder), 5:06.26; 4th, Niskayuna A (Kevin Eason-coxswain, Zack Wistorf, Eric Powzyk, Nick Wolfe, Lucas LeRe, Andy Patt, Eli Feenan, James Roche, William Koch), 5:06.70; 6th, Niskayuna B (Nate Hoffmann-coxswain, Alex Koste, Theodore Dalakos, Nate Wiegman, Alex Dwywer, Kyle Matuszyk, Luke Olson, Clay Kaledin, Kyle Ebert), 5:29.04; Petite — 1st, Adam Stein (Saratoga), 6:26.01; 3rd, Noah Levine (Saratoga), 6:38.75; 4th, Pat Ballantyne (Shenendehowa), 6:47.27; Senior 1 — 1st, Elihu Reynolds (Queensbury), 5:47.60; 3rd, Ian Fisher (Shenendehowa), 5:56.08; 5th, Will Schrade (Albany Rowing Center), 6:04.55; Lightweight 2 — 1st, Albany Rowing Center A (Dave McClain, Hugh Kelley), 5:40.10; 2nd, Saratoga Rowing Association A (Jon Bossailni, Jon Braga), 5:52.29; 3rd, Shenendehowa (Jared Benway, Chris Ehler), 6:01.22.5; 5th, Shaker (Travis Lemieur,

Yuhao Shi, 6:07.22; 6th, Niskayuna A (Shane Porter, Sean Frank), 6:16.52; Junior 2 — 2nd, Ballston Spa (Ryan Allen, Eric Newton), 5:53.56; 5th, Schenectady (Jack Parisella, Ben Lansing), 6:43.09; 6th, Saratoga (Joe Fitzhenry, Tom Hayes), 6:541.94.

Junior 4 — 4th, Niskayuna A (Naji Simmons, Hamza Syed, Benjamin Cutler, Todd Whitmarsh), 6:48.05; 2nd 8 — Burnt Hills Rowing Association (Tim Szablewski-coxswain, Bryan Murray, Quinn Leahy, Mike Young, Cameron Heyde, Aaron Pape, Tyler Bechand, Zeb Johnston, Jordan Adey), 5:11.72; Lightweight 4 — 3rd, Saratoga A (Tom Corona-coxswain, Jeff Schumann, Ben Torpey, Matt Schwartz, Greg Lewis), 5:27.53; Junior 4 — 2nd, Saratoga A (Emma Flynn-coxswain, Jarod Backens, Wes Wander,

Colin Polumbo, Chip Dooley), 5:26.87;

Senior 2 — Shaker Rowing Association (Austin Meyer, Tom Nessel), 5:23.20; 4th, Shenendehowa A (Peter Lyden, Murtaza Zavery), 6:06.76; Senior 4 — Albany Rowing Center A (Sam Garrison, Alex Timmons, Tyler Quinn-Holloway, Brian Cal­uori), 5:24.38; Senior 4 petite — Saratoga A (Reeves Courtney, Jon Sutton, Adam Jaquad, Peter Snyder, Sebastian Wheeler), 5:23.89; Senior 8 petite — 6th, Niskayuna A (Erin Roche-coxswain, Tucker Conklin, Zack Spitzer, Andrew Young, John Dohring, Andrew Flumano, Sean Mayo, Jacob Reich, Sam Fisher), 5:27.73; Senior 8 — 1st, Burnt Hills Rowling Association (Matthew Sammons-coxswain, Ian Robison, James Flacke, Andrew Sayles, Aaron Heyde, Mike Olbrych, Zack Robbiano, Doug McErlean, Curtis Shorkey), 4:41.00; 4th, Shaker A (Kate Ever­itt-coxswain, Justin Bassett, Brendan

Malone, Pavel Sidorenko, Kingsley Nephew, Geoffrey Gerfin, Stephen Maxwell, Travis Thorn, Chris Loonan), 4:58.86.

GIRLS

Novice 4 — 2nd, Shenendehowa A, 6:27.85; Freshman 8 — Saratoga A (Rae Backens-coxswain, Caroline Blackington, Mia Jeffreys, Lizzy Fitzhenry, Chelsea Brown, Thora Olsen, Kat O’Connell, Sierra Monroe, Isabel Price), 5:30.51; 2nd; Shaker A (Laura Hough-coxswain, Amanda Marsh, Haley Bryk, Khalela Francis, Melissa

Urquhart, Erin Czupil, Michelle Li, Jillian

Keating, Martina Olstad), 5:33.58; 4, Burnt Hills Rowing Association A (Jeremy Krupa-coxswain, Bridget Rudgers, Erin Neely, Molly Waters, Stacy LaRose, Mary Hall, Katie Snively, Jen Royal, Morgan Esperti), 5:45.28; Freshman 4 — 2nd, Saratoga A (Tara Am­azon-coxswain, Maggie Morrissey, Erica McBain, Azeb Averill, Lexi Snow), 6:16.52; 6th, Niskayuna A (Clare Griffith-coxswain, Chetna Prasad, Kate Tepper, Faye Dohring, Amy Yao), 7:04.26; Senior 1 — 2nd, Jaclyn Postulka (Shenendehowa), 6:32.26; Victoria Haltermann (Albany Rowing Association), 7:01.28; Lightweight 2 — Shenendehowa A (Abby Knight, Lauren Boudreau), 6:13.44.2; 2nd, Albany Rowing Association (Morgan Lansing, Hanna Bogan), 6:22.74; 3rd, Sar­atoga (Vanessa Dean, Casey Stein), 6:28.57; Junior 2 — 2nd, Shenendehowa A (Rachel Boudreau, Taryn Wilson), 6:37.84.3; 3rd, Emma Willard (Maggie Denison, Angela Kung), 6:48.99; 5th, Saratoga A, 7:16.71; 6th, Shenendehowa B (Sarah Mailloux, Laura Neelly), 7:45.56; 2nd 8 — 1st, Saratoga A (Andrea Bambara-coxswain, Courtney Krueger, Leanne Bryan, Alie Mihuta, Holly Dodge, Christina Dagle, Taylor Murray,

Jamie Logan, Morgan Moore), 5:38.70; 3rd, Burnt Hills Rowing Association A (Emily White-coxswain, Christine Crawford, Erin Hunt, Shelby Delgado, Kerry Boyd, Kellie Knubbenbacher, Rachael Massonne, Emily Hoskinson, Julianne Fogg), 6:01.21; Lightweight 4 petite — 3rd, Saratoga A (Kate LaFalce-coxswain, Sara Franke, Breigh Madigan, Caroline Krison, Sydney Hyland), 6:56.04; 4th, Schenectady A (Elizabeth Frederick (coxswain), Mary Szymanski, Kelly Spencer, Grace Lieberes, Sarah Steinchen), 7:02.51; Lightweight 8 — 4th, Saratoga A (Kiki Hines-coxswain, Kristen Fay, Margot Albrezzi, Julianna Wakeman, Madison Townley, Emily LaFalce, Hannah Blackington, Chantal Jean, Kara Lucia), 5:49.98;

Junior 8 — 5th, Bethlehem A (Abbey Bierman-coxswain, Killfa Kite, Sarah Gannon, Maggie Morrell, Liz Helmer, Emilie Johnston, Alanna Dugan, Erin Delaney, Cindy Royal), 6:6.84.

Senior 2 —1st, Albany Rowing Assoc­iation (Kara Johannesen, Claire Burns), 6:16.20; 2nd, Saratoga Rowing Association (Maddie Tucci, Caroline Williams), 6:28.80; 3rd, Ballston Spa A (Sarah Martin, Meredith Venerus), 6:30.78; 4th, Saratoga A, 6:54.68; Senior 4 — 2nd, Saratoga A (Kathleen Ronayne, Katelin McGowan, Anna Card, Katelin Alexander), 6:10.20; 3rd, Queensbury A (Sarah Reynolds, Katie Hughes,

Laura St. Andrews, Ariel Frank), 6:23.05; 5th, Albany Rowing Association (Becca Herron, Alexandra Walters, Logan O’Neil, Meaghan Keefe), 6:47.43; Senior 4 petite — 3rd, Schen­ectady Rowing Club (Tracy Stinebrickner-coxswain, Maggie Fitzmaurice, Jill Herbert, Sarah Wells, Catie Szymanoski), 6:29.48; 4th, Shaker A (Mariah Maloy-coxswain, Michele Grenier, Carolyn Lasky, Katie Mielcznikowski, Caey Connolly), 6:36.34; Senior 4 — 4th, Shenendehowa A (Victoria Allers-coxswain, Jenn McKay, Kirsten Jesaitis, Lauren Beyer, Mandi Labbe), 6:15.16; Senior 8 petite — 6th, Emma Willard A (Shibani Das-coxswain, Julia Johnson, Margaret Speer, Caroline Banfield, Alex Graff, Sarah Stock, Libby Hughes, Emily Dollar, Gretchen Long), 6:15.37; Senior 8 — 1st, Saratoga A (Emily Krison-coxswain, Alexandra Torres, Caitlin Schufelt, Kate Russell, Madison Buemer, Rachael Conway, Shannon Craig, Alyssa O’Donnell, Columbia Herzlinger), 5:16.57; 3rd, Burnt Hills Rowing Association (Alanna Guay-coxswain, Kate Halbig, Joanna Smith, Katie Fogg, Jackie Esperti, Victoria Cath­erine, Amanda Primett, Jesse Burdett, Kelsey Piel), 5:26.00; 5th, Shaker A (Bridget Hilton-coxswain, Christie Chenot, Stephanie June, Shannon Rivenburg, Amanda Urquhart, Jess Niles, Anna Colquhoun,

Patricia Shen, Madison Branigan), 5:35.94.

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