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Chaminade, St. Anthony's tops in rowing

If you're ever up a creek without a paddle, you might consider calling Chaminade's Connor Murphy for help. Or Dominic Bellissimo. Or Christian Coletta for that matter.

The Flyers' trio placed first through third, respectively, in the Men's High School Varsity category at the Strong Island Sprints on Feb. 12, part of a banner day for CHSAA schools involved in Long Island rowing.

Rowing on an ergonomic machine, Murphy won his category with a time of 6 minutes, 31.8 seconds. The Sprints took place not in the water, but on rowing machines, indoors at St. Anthony's in South Huntington.

The host team also supplied its share of victors.

Kevin O'Shea placed first in Men's Coxswains (3:46.9), Matt Gembarzewski took first in Men's Freshman (7:19) and Emily Barclay won the Women's Lightweights (8:05.3) for the Friars, the team that tallied the most first-place finishers.

Matthew Bellesheim won the Men's Lightweight (6:30.9) for Chaminade and Jason Keschner was first in the Men's Novice (7:22.7) for the Long Island Rowing Club.

Manhasset and St. John the Baptist also had finishers in the top three of several categories. Row New York, Montclair, Sagamore, Ridgewood and the Nereid Boat Club were among other participants.

St. Anthony's and Chaminade each placed five rowers among the top three finishers of the 10 events. Montclair placed six contestants, the most of any school.

But participating schools weren't the only big winners as the day benefited Island Harvest with nearly 500 pounds of collected food.

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