Manhasset Crew Wins The National Championships

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Men’s Lightweight 4 Greg Menke, Alex Hom, Ashley Kim, Bret Weisberg and Manhmoud Khalifa with coaches

Manhasset High School sent six boats to the High School National Championships, and three boats to the Youth National Championships in California. The boats earned their way with top finishes at the New York State championships in Saratoga and the right to race against the top schools and clubs in the country.

The Women’s lightweight four, lightweight eight, and freshman eight had strong showings at the High School championships with the lightweight eight leading the way with a fifth place finish. The lightweight eight was coxwained by Nicole Carpentiere and led by senior Meghan Lyons. The rest of the boat was filled with a senior laden group of Elizabeth Kim, Belle Caton, Victoria Papadakos, Julia Mason, Andrea Crewe, Maria Fournaris and sophomore Kimberly Wu. The women’s senior four, coxswained by Annie Miller, which included seniors Emily Kiley, Rose Corcoran, Ashley Panzone and Grace Dreyer, took the top three at states to qualify for nationals. The ladies had a strong qualifying race placing them among the leaders, and finished in the top 20 in the country. The freshman eight had a great season finishing in the top three of the state to land at nationals. They were coxswained by Alexa Kim and Sarah Kim, and led by freshman of the year Kaitlyn Clarke; the eight included Angelina Kapper, Caitlin Kim, Olivia Robson, Ev Vasilatos, Gabby D’Angelo, Katherine Lee and Taylor Fox. The future of the program is bright with the depth of talent they will bring to the varsity level next year. The women’s lightweight four, coxswained by Abby Goodwin, was led by co-female rowers of the year Kate Miller and Deme Apostolou, and Fran Flood and Hailey Morris. The four capped a season of finishing as the top high school four in the state, a top 10 finish in the country at the high school championships, and top 15 boat at the youth championships. The entire group returns next year to go after the gold at nationals.

Postrace toss into the water of the coxswain.

The men’s side saw the varsity pair of Michael Canino and male rower of the year Mahmoud Khalifa take the state title and move onto the National Championships. At the National Championships in California, Canino raced with junior Ryan Muni, for a top 15 finish, that saw them sprint away from their competitors at the start in their final. The Men’s junior eight, coxswained by Michael Lee and led by Judge Leadership award winner William Apostolou, took home the state championship. William was joined by Ryan Muni, Jonathan Kim, Michael Cuneo, Theo Tsimis, Danny Khuen, Luke Chan and Ryan Weisberg as they traveled to compete at the National Championships at the Cooper River. The boat had a tough heat, but still fought to a top 12 finish in the country and looking at a bright future.

The highlight of the season for the team was the men’s lightweight four, coxswained by Ashley Kim, with junior Greg Menke, and seniors Alex Hom, Bret Weisberg, and Mahmoud Khalifa. The men rebounded from a second place finish at the state championships to win the high school national championship by less than three inches. It was a back and forth race down the course when the boats separated themselves in the last three strokes to take Belen Jesuit of Florida. It was the 6th National Championship for the boys program and the 12th overall for the crew team. The men’s four continued onto California where they posted one of the top 5 times at the regatta in the semifinals and finished eighth overall.

The team graduates one of the top classes ever to walk through the doors of Manhasset High School, and welcomes the next generation of rowers as they prepare for next season. It is never too late to join; if interested, contact Steve Panzik at coachstevepanzik@manhassetcrew.org.

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