Thursday, 27 June 2024 15:09

Saratoga Rowers Compete in Youth National Championships

Rower Christian Penny poses with his dad Chris after winning a silver medal at the USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida this month. Photo provided by Chris Penny. Rower Christian Penny poses with his dad Chris after winning a silver medal at the USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, Florida this month. Photo provided by Chris Penny.

Homeschooler Wins Silver Medal

SARASOTA, FLORIDA — Despite not having the advantages of a public school athletic program, Mohawk Homeschool Rowing Association’s Christian Penny captured a silver medal in the Men’s U17 1x at the USRowing Youth National Championships in Florida earlier this month.

Christian, who lives in Saratoga Springs, was coached by his father Chris Penny at the event.

“Based on his times,” Chris said, “we were pretty confident or hopeful that he would make it to the grand finals.”

In the finals, Christian finished with a time of 07:38.46, about 7 seconds behind first.

Chris, who is also board president of the Mohawk Homeschool Rowing Association, said it’s important for homeschoolers to “have an athletic outlet that isn’t just recreation, where you can compete at a pretty high level.”

The association doesn’t have the funding or resources of public school rowing teams, and thus subsists on dues and private fundraising efforts. 

“Homeschoolers are sort of a different breed,” Chris said. “Our resources are relatively limited.” 



But none of that has stopped Christian from becoming a successful rower. He took up the sport in fifth grade and hopes to continue through college. He placed first in the Men’s U17 Single event at the New York State Rowing Championships, which allowed him to qualify for the Youth National Championships in Florida.

Girls and Boys Teams Successful

The Saratoga Rowing Association (SRA) also competed at nationals, with six teams qualifying for the event in Florida.

“After having watched the group qualify in person at the State Championships, I can attest that this group was on a clear mission to not only achieve top results with the most senior boats, but qualify and contend with a strong deep program,” SRA’s Co-Executive Director Eric Catalano told Saratoga TODAY.

The U16 girls team finished 9th in the country in the eights division.

Team members included Emilia Acquavella (coxswain), Sophie Sampanthar (seat 8/stroke), Caroline Jackson (seat 7), Isabella “Pisa” Bonitatibus (seat 6), Meghan Kempf (seat 5), Sabrina Maglienti (seat 4), Rylie Sheldon (seat 3) Katie Oke (seat 2), and Catherine Fedoroff (seat 1/bow).

The team is coached by Ronnie Cantrell, who recently accepted an offer to become the men’s freshman rowing coach at the University of Virginia. 

Other SRA achievements included top 10 finishes with the senior boys eight and the senior girls eight.   

“We, the greater community, are so proud of the work and effort the youth rowers put into this sport, and were thrilled to see those efforts rewarded with strong performances at the national level,” Catalano said.

Read 906 times


  • Saratoga  County Court Lorenzo J. Parker, 28, of Schenectady, was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in a state correction facility and 1 year post-release supervision, after pleading to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth-degree, charged February 2022 in Clifton Park.  Annmarie Balzano, 54, of Ballston Spa, pleaded to felony DWI, charged June 2023 in Malta. Sentencing Sept. 19.  Cedric D. Sanchez, 28, of Yonkers, N.Y., pleaded to attempted burglary in the second-degree, charged in Milton. Sentencing Aug. 2.  Matthew G. Peck, 46, of Saratoga Springs, pleaded to felony DWI, charged November 2023 in Milton. Sentencing Aug. 16.  Lacey C.…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON  Lynn Joyce sold property at 88 Beacon St to Elizabeth Demuro for $400,000 Adrianne Abbruzzese sold property at 67 Cornerstone Dr to Marjorie Young for $366,000 US Bank Trust NA as Trust sold property at 56 Ballston Ave to Olivia Mannion for $325,000 Eastline Holdings LLC sold property at 8 Aspen Dr to TongCheng Chen for $536,069 American Estate and Trust sold property at 151 Kingsley Rd to Susan Messere for $200,000 Bernard Ingram sold property at 17 Everson Way to Michal Pastore for $549,000 CORINTH Carey Mann sold property at 18 Pine St to William Freeman for $200,000…
  • NYPA
  • Saratoga County Chamber
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Discover Saratoga
  • Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association