North Allegheny rowers have strong showing in championships | TribLIVE.com
North Hills

North Allegheny rowers have strong showing in championships

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North Allegheny rowers Derek Oczypok (front) and Michael Urich at the Midwest Scholastic Championship.
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Fox Chapel Area’s Mallory McIvor (left) and Anna Vignali flank Coach Katie McCarthy.
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Hampton rower Ronald Misencik at the Midwest Scholastic Championship.
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Hampton’s Ronnie Misencik is with coach Stephanie Sholhead.
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Ksenia Suddeth (front) and Camie Peters of Hampton prepare to row.
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Chris Catalano (front) and Lucas Zwastetzky on the water for Pine-Richland.
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Lucas Zwastetzky (left) and Chris Catalano after winning medals in the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championships.
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Hampton’s Ronnie Misencik prepares to hit the water.
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Ksenia Suddeth and Cammie Peters from Hampton prepare for competition.
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Fox Chapel Area rower and Midwest Scholastic Championship bronze medalist Sam Gilmore in action.
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Dr. Mark Bellinger, the Fox Chapel coach, with Sam Gilmore following his bronze medal performance.

Four northern Allegheny County rowing teams made the finals at the Midwest Scholastic Championships May 11-12 at Dillon Lake, Ohio.

North Allegheny saw its women’s high school lightweight 2x team of sophomore Haley Dubovecky and junior Anjana Suresh (7:23.199) and men’s high school lightweight 2x of juniors Derek Oczypok and Michael Urich (6:24.111) come in fifth and sixth, respectively. Tiger coach Bailey Chick is encouraged all are underclassmen.

Urich looks forward to next season.

“There is still work to do,” he said.

Fox Chapel senior Sam Gilmore placed third in men’s high school varsity 1x in 6:38.618 seconds on the 1,500-meter course. Teammates, senior Mallory McIvor and junior Anna Vignali (6:50.403), were third in women’s high school varsity 2x.

Longtime Fox Chapel coach Mark Bellinger believes the Foxes now have earned medals every year since 2002 at the regatta, which includes 11 states, plus Western Pennsylvania.

The two boats just missed qualifying for a return trip to Dillon Lake for the Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championship Regatta May 24-25, which disappointed Gilmore.

“I put in one of the best races of my life, but I wasn’t able to capture the second-place position,” Gilmore said.

McIvor was pleased with her performance.

“Both (semifinals) and finals provided us with talented competition, making the races challenging, yet fun,” McIvor said.

Vignali said she and McIvor gave it their all.

“I’m so glad I was able to row in this double with Mallory,” Vignali said. “As a junior, I look up to her.”

Also placing in the top six for the Foxes were the men’s high school lightweight 2x team of senior Trevor Klatt and junior Harrison Hinz (6:02.752) and the women’s high school varsity 4x of sophomore Ainsley Good, senior Claudia Bohman, sophomore Annabelle Cullen and senior Maria Luciana (6:34.634). Klatt and Hinz, who were fourth, just missed a medal.

Pine-Richland’s best showing came in men’s high school varsity 2x, where seniors Ryan Farbacher and Ranier Spears placed fourth (5:59.889).

Other Ram finalists were the men’s high school junior 2x of juniors Chris Catalano and Lucas Zwastetzky (6:04.515) and the women’s high school varsity 4+ of freshman coxswain Alex Catalano, sophomore Kristen Vigna, senior Grace Crankovic and freshmen Savannah Ungor and Savanna Foote (6:28.097).

“The kids really wanted to place as high as possible, so I know they were a little disappointed to leave the weekend without medals,” Pine-Richland coach Sam DiMarzio said. “Given the age and size of our crews, they should be proud of where they finished.”

Hampton had two finalists: the men’s high school varsity 1x of sophomore Ronnie Misencik (6:43.392) and the women’s high school junior 2x of junior Cammie Peters and sophomore Ksenia Suddeth (7:01.150), both fifth.

“(Peters and Suddeth) are very dedicated to making (their) boat fast, even after facing setbacks over the winter with injuries,” Hampton coach Stephanie Sholhead said. “Ronnie surprised many of his competitors because he was competing in a varsity event as only a sophomore.”

Karen Kadilak is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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