NC crew comes away champions
Working out three hours a day, six days a week has paid off in gold for the New Canaan mens crew team at the 22nd annual USRowing Youth National Championships.
Under the expert coaching of Yan Vengerovskiy and Dan Walsh, the team traveled three time zones away to win two of the sport’s premier events Sunday on Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Ryan Sill, Ryan Borsy, Tyler Brennan, Reese Gregory with coxswain Carly Legenzowski had a big charge with 500 meters to go to capture the national title in the men’s lightweight four—a first win for New Canaan in this event. With a time of 6:50.878, they covered the 2,000-meter course more than six seconds ahead of the competition.
NC Crew continued its streak in the men’s quadruple sculls by winning its fourth consecutive national title. Will Legenzowski, Salim Onbargi, Nathan Phelps and Liam Galloway left nothing to chance finishing with a time of 6:25.328 to defeat GMS Rowing Center by again more than six seconds. When races are measured in thousandths of a second, six seconds is a lifetime. It’s almost enough time to stop and eat a sandwich for these boys. And to do it on a National stage is phenomenal.
“Our athletes are the cornerstone to our program. We strive to give them opportunities to achieve greatness and this weekend they did,” NC Crew head lightweight coach Dan Walsh said. “For an athlete to raise their hands as the best in America is a moment very few people experience.”
Not only did New Canaan take two gold titles, but the second varsity boats in the same events each won first place in the B finals placing them each seventh in the nation.
The NC mens seconnd varsity lightweight four manned by Max Lindeis, Nicholas Van Ingen, Andrew Orner, James Trentos with coxwain Skylar Severance cruised the course in 7:04.3. The second varsity quad madeup of Gus Kynast, James Hilton, Will Grotto and Alex Abbruzzese won with a time of 6:44.9.
Winning national titles is not new to Vengerovskiy, known to the rowing world simply as “Yan.” He and his boys have won eight titles in the past 11 years and he is still going strong. In fact, this year is the largest group of young men that the boathouse has sent to national competition. That’s astonishing if you consider that all the training this season was done while transitioning boathouses.
Other strong finishers for New Canaan included the mens first varsity lightweight eight, who fought hard with a fourth place finish in the C Final with a time of 7:00. The boys in the boat were Max Friedland, Nicholas Roeder-Yika, Andrew Gifford, Ben Castle, Dylan Koproski, Colin Vetterli, Daniel Loginsky, Kyle Brody and coxswain Skylar Severence.
Teammates Alex Williams and J.C. Sanzone teamed up to grab fifth place in the mens varsity double final B race. Alex Abbruzzese and Chandler Scheurkogel placed sixth with both teams finishing within a hundredth of a second apart.
“We believe that every seat matters at our program,” Walsh said. “It’s the culmination of all our athletes work that we were able to have such success.”
The championships, which serve as the premier youth rowing event in the United States, sees approximately 1,500 athletes competing in more than 350 crews, representing some 150 teams from across the country—all vying for national titles in 18 boat classes.
The three-day event, culminating Sunday, offered crews that qualified from around the country to crown national champions in 18 youth events for boys and girls, age 16-18.
NC Crew boats qualified by finishing in at least the top three in the Northeast Youth Championships in May on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.