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Sagamore Rowing Celebrates 40 Years

Current and former Olympic champions

honored at anniversary party

The Sagamore Rowing Association (SRA) hosted a special evening of activities at the Brookville Country Club on Saturday, Jan. 5, in celebration of its 40th anniversary, an event that drew more than 130 people.

As part of the night’s activities, the association honored Bob Kaehler, Sagamore alumni, three-time Olympian and four-time World Champion, and Taylor Ritzel, U.S. Women’s 8+ 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist.

“We were truly excited to celebrate this very momentous occasion,” said Gunther Uthgennant, co-founder of SRA. “It has been an honor to have touched so many lives with a sport of a lifetime.”

Founded in 1972, the Sagamore Rowing Association has been responsible for training thousands of athletes and developing some of the top coaches in the tri-state area.  SRA’s activities include high school and college programs as well as master programs, both recreational and competitive.

Uthgennant is the only remaining founder of the club. He said that it began in a boathouse on Center Island Beach, with only a few people who loved the sport. The club then moved to Huntington and a second boathouse opened at Friends World College, and then moved back to Oyster Bay, on Beekman Beach, where it is today. He says that it currently has about 500 members, ranging from as young as 13 to older than 80. It is a nonprofit club run by volunteers.

During rowing season, members are training regularly. Uthgennant himself, at age 83, is out there four times a week. He began rowing with his family when he was young, and his love of the sport helped spark the creation of the rowing club.

Two races are held in Oyster Bay every year, in the spring and the fall, and Uthgennant says last June, there were 900 participants and about 3,000 spectators. Every year he says they have people rank at a national level.

 Some of Sagamore’s more notable alumni include Dave Collins, 1996 Olympic Bronze Medalist and National Team member in ‘93, ‘94 and ‘95; Jennie Gilder, member of the 1973 National Team; Scott McKee, a member of the 1985 National Team and former head rowing coach at Columbia; and Nancy Storrs, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist.

 Uthgennant says one of the reasons for the club’s long-term success is that it is open to anyone who shows an interest. And he says, “Once they’re in, they’re hooked.”

In addition, Sagamore has been instrumental in the growth of rowing on Long Island, especially in the creation of high school and college programs, including Chaminade HS Crew, Cold Spring Harbor HS Crew, Friends Academy Crew, Hofstra University Crew, Huntington HS Crew, LIU Post Crew, Long Island Rowing Club, Our Lady of Mercy HS Crew, St. Anthony’s HS Crew and Crew Club Of Oyster Bay.

Uthgennant notes that rowing is a terrific form of exercise, and says, “Kids love the camaraderie, and they feel a sense of accomplishment.”

News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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