Five youth boats from Pelham Community Rowing Association (PCRA) joined 150 teams from all over the United States for National Rowing Championships in Oak Ridge, TN. PCRA rowers had qualified for Nationals in the recent New York State Scholastic Rowing Championships, held last month in Saratoga Springs, New York.
After qualifying heats on Friday and Saturday, the Girls Quad came away with PCRA’s best showing at Sunday’s finals, coming in 10th out of 22 boats, notwithstanding humid temperatures in the mid-90’s each day. This was an impressive achievement, as the girls had only been rowing together since March. Freshman Liliane Lindsay (Harrison High School) joined juniors Tessa Dikkers (Pelham Memorial High School), Yasmine Hemida (Mamaroneck High School) and Claudia Jensen (Bronxville High School) and narrowly only missed coming in 9th place by 2.5 seconds. A PCRA Girls Lightweight Double was the fourth fastest boat in their division, although they finished 13th due to the structure of the racing heats. That impressive boat was rowed by Nina Byers (Junior, Bronxville High School) and Maraiah Ippolito (Sophomore, Pelham Memorial High School).
“It was so exciting,” said Mieke Dikkers, mother and PCRA rower. “I was watching the boats come in to view halfway down the 2,000 meter course live at the Tennessee venue while receiving play-by-play color commentary from my brother, who was watching the finals live streaming on his computer a quarter of a world away in Amsterdam, courtesy of US Rowing! “
The Boys Quad, consisting of Pat Goldstein and Nick Ippolito, both seniors at Pelham Memorial High School, Giancarlo Paternoster (Junior, Scarsdale High School) and Matt Palmer (Junior, Pelham High School) also had an impressive showing, placing 11th out of 22 boats in their event. Rowing in a Double, Kaitlin Campbell (Senior, Rye High School) and Mary Gail DiBuono (Junior, Mamaroneck High School) finished 11th out of 14 boats in their event. The Boys Lightweight Double was rowed by Ian Klein and Christopher Selvaggio, both juniors at Scarsdale High School, and garnered a 16th place finish out of 20 other lightweight doubles in their event.
This recognition of her rowers was quite a feather in the cap of PCRA’s new head youth coach, Kaitlin Coulter of New Rochelle, who herself was a varsity rower at Rutgers University, trained for the National Team and is a current member of the New York Athletic Club, for whom she has also competed.
“It’s is a huge achievement for that so many of our kids got to Nationals and I think the fact that they were all invited to attend a national development camp because of their achievements is great,” added Jean Ippolito, who rows, runs the PCRA Master and Youth programs and is a rower herself.
As many PCRA members were departing for Nationals, rowers back at home were competing in the 5th annual New York Athletic Club/PCRA Invitational. This 1000 meter regatta included community rowers from local clubs like Saugatuck Rowing Club in Connecticut and Nereid Boating Club in New Jersey. Pelham resident Susan Sales came in second in the women’s age 40-49 single. In the men’s single, PCRA Master Gerry Houlihan came in second in the men’s over 50 race. Laura Aust and Kristy Skeffington came in second in the Women’s Double and a quad comprised of PCRA rowers Charles Ippolito, Angelo Rubbo and NYAC rowers Khalil Shalabi and Chuck Windeknecht came in first.
PCRA’s summer season is about to begin and there’s still time to register for the Masters programs. The community club welcomes any adults who may be beginners, recreational rowers and experienced rowers to join us on the water under the guidance of our expert coaches. We also offer opportunities for rowers of all levels to compete in regattas throughout the season. For more information or to register, please visit www.pelhamrowing.net
PCRA is a not‐for‐profit 501©(3) corporation dedicated to sharing the benefits of rowing with athletes of all ages and abilities. PCRA encourages the pursuit of excellence—fitness, discipline and teamwork—through community youth and adult rowing. If you’re interesting in learning to row, junior or adult competitive rowing, email Jean Ippolito at email@example.com for information about Pelham Community Rowing Association.