Local Athletes Take on West Point Sprint Triathlon

The latest summer recreation and sports in the area.

The summer Patch season will showcase the Recreation Notebook each Friday. The College Sports Notebook will resume in September. Please continue to forward items of interest to Marc Maturo at marcmaturo@aol.com.


The West Point Sprint Triathlon, which was held for the 23rd time at Camp Buckner at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, is not exactly a day at the park.

It is not comparable to the U.S. Ironman Championship; the 140.6-mile race that took place in parts of New York City, Rockland County and New Jersey; but with an 800-meter swim, 14.3-mile bike race and a 3.1-mile run, it’s not going to attract your weekend warrior, either.

But some competitors among the 615 who completed their appointed rounds, in a total field of 626, are not as dedicated and involved as other seasoned triathletes — among those, such veterans as Nyack YMCA chief executive officer Chuck Maze, 57, of Pearl River, or 51-year-old Pearl River resident Mike Beckerle, comptroller at the family’s eponymous lumber company, or the husband-and-wife tandem of Bob and Laura Hudson of Sparkill.

Then there are those like Tappan Zee High School alum David Ruelas of Sparkill, who will turn 36 on September 15, devotes much of his time as Director of List Management at Nanuet-based Interactive Marketing Solutions.

Ruelas, who has a New York City Marathon under his belt (2008, clocking 5:04-plus), was taking part in only his third triathlon.

“But, it was my best one time-wise,” he said. “Swimming is the toughest for me because I only swim when training for a race. I do it just for the fun, and it was fun, absolutely.”

Helping to make it fun was gym buddy Glenn Goldberg of Upper Nyack, a 43-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep who met Ruelas about 10 years ago at Premier Fitness in Nanuet.

“He won, he won, yeah,” Ruelas responded, when questioned about their head-to-head duel in the sun. “He’s doing a half-Ironman in two month. That’s a big one. And has been training. His training routine includes longer distances (than mine).”

Adding to the pleasure was David’s enthusiastic and supportive rooting section, one that included his mother and father, two sisters, an older brother, two nephews and, not to be left unsaid, “my girlfriend.”

“It was a great day, perfect,” concluded a humble Ruelas, who finished in 1:48 (Goldberg, the buddy, clocked 1:42).

On the other hand

Beckerle, who was introduced to the sport by his cousin in the Westchester Triathlon years ago, competes is about one triathlon every year, although for the most part it has been at Lake Sebago, which was closed this year and postponed to September 9. That led Beckerle —a  self-proclaimed cynic whose position at work forges frugality — to enter the West Point event despite a higher entrance fee and more bells and whistles.

Additionally, September 9 is a day in conflict with the long-standing South Nyack 10-miler, a race that Beckerle has completed about five times. Tht race once again will showcase the reigning king, Arthur Gunther, an Upper Nyack stalwart who wins as often as the leaves turn to brown.

Beckerle, however, will run in South Nyack not to win but in preparation to yet another challenge. He will compete in the nationally recognized Ragner Relay, scheduled September 28 in bucolic Saratoga Springs.

“It’s the first time for me,” said Beckerle, a Nanuet High School alum who will join a 12-member team led by fellow scholastic alums Greg and older sibling Ed Mooney, and Mike Kelly, in a 200-mile trek (each runner on each team does three legs).

At West Point, Beckerle said it was a very satisfying day, but only following a protracted delay at the start due to an overflow crowd and attendant parking difficulties.

“Once you get going, it’s good, definitely so, but I was hoping to be the first to finish from Pearl River,” offered Beckerle, who was urged on by his wife, a couple of brothers, a niece and a nephew. “Matt Daly beat me, but I broke 1:30 (officially, 1:28).”

(Daly, 44, was timed in 1:27.)

Maze, who played football under legendary Coach Ralph Cordisco at North Rockland High Sschool and later played football and wrestled at Brown University, is another seasoned vet.

“I competed as part of a relay in the first Westchester Triathlon, about 30 years ago, and I’ve been doing them to stay in shape, physically fit,” recalls Maze, who enjoys the multi-faceted challenge. “Each sport has their own things that are tough about it, and you have to be in top shape to compete in any of them. The triathlon is a longer event, of course, and you must be in very good cardiovascular shape.”

Maze finished in 1:40, and was happy to note this time marked an improvement from a year ago.

“Maybe I’m getting better with age,” he laughed.

All in the family

The Hudsons—Bob and Laura--both venerable competitors and outdoor enthusiasts, had to go it alone since their son Matt was otherwise occupied at work while their daughter Jillian, a full-scholarship gymnast, is preparing for her junior year at the University of New Hampshire.

“She (Jillian) will probably get into it (triathlons) once she’s finished with gymnastics. You can’t do that too long,” said the elder Hudson, 56, who was spotting his wife three years in age and finished three minutes behind in 1:35.

Bob, a teacher at William O. Schaefer Elementary School in Tappan, attributed his loss to Laura on a lack of focus. Laura, a bereavement counselor and employee at the Diplomat Health Club in Piermont, says Bob, “trains a lot more than I do; all the time, she’s an exercise addict.”

Proving his point, Bob added that his season is over but that Laura’s will continue on Labor Day with the “Big George,” a half Ironman set for the Lake George area.

“She’s very into it,” continued Bob, who enjoyed the West Point event, as always, having competed for the 10th time.

“West Point is very organized, it’s fun. It’s local, and the cadets put on a good show. They take a lot of pride in what they do. They have one of the best (triathlon) teams in the nation,” said Hudson, returning to his effort and boasting, of a sort, “I did win the swim this year, but she took everything else.”

The extra mile: , 46, of Upper Nyack placed second in his age group in a very-fine time of 1:14, which was good for 11th place overall—quite a solid performance. Nazaroff is part owner of the TOGA Bike Co., which has a store in Upper Nyack.  A bevy of TOGA Multisport Club members, many of whom train at the Nyack YMCA, were in the field. … Irene Kelly, 58, of New City was second in her age bracket. … Former Yankees catcher and current YES TV announcer John Flaherty of Pearl River lowered his time from last year, clocking an impressive 1:39 in the 45-49 age division. … Steve Borton of Valley Cottage, 66, was runner-up in his bracket. Others from Valley Cottage included Alisa Carbone, 45, and John Carbone, 46. … Other competitors from Pearl River included Jocelyn Dexter, 34, Mike Hayes, 45, and Wojciech Cieszkowski, 43. … Maria Murphy, 42, of West Nyack placed third in her bracket. … Pat Lobo, 53, of Nyack and Tom Latorre of Nanuet, 51, also completed the race, along with Shaawn Michaels, 35, and Jordan Lender, 24, both of New City.

Nyack College recognized

The Nyack College women’s athletic program--along with the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia--has been recognized as winner of the 2010-11 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Team Sportsmanship Awards.

The Warriors, led by athletic director Keith Davie, have won the women’s award every year since it was first handed out in 2006-07. USP has captured the men’s award three times in its history.

A sportsmanship award is handed out at the conclusion of each season for all 13 CACC sports, and institutions receive points for each sport based on a vote by the league’s coaches. The point total for each school is then divided by the number of sports the institution sponsors. One men’s program and one women’s program receives a plaque each year.

USP won men’s sportsmanship awards this year in basketball and finished first in the overall standings with 13.6 points, just ahead of Nyack (11.4). The Warriors took the men’s soccer honor, while the Golden Falcons won in cross country.

Nyack won the women’s standings with 29.0 points, far surpassing second place Post University, which garnered 12.0 points. Concordia College in Bronxville and Caldwell were next in the rankings with 10.75 and 10.5 points, respectively.

Nyack won sportsmanship awards in women’s soccer, cross country, volleyball, softball and women’s basketball as it cruised to the award.

This and that

  • Athletes who have advanced to a higher level of play might consider examining Travel Sports News at http://www.travelsportsnews.com/content.php. The site is geared towards players, coaches and parents, where discussions are held on everything from youth sports to adult league sports. They claim it is a one-stop shop to search for players, teams, book scrimmages and post tournaments, among other benefits.
  • Registration for Dutchmen Flag Football, a non-contact endeavor for students entering third through eighth grades, is ongoing and open to students of all school districts. Play is scheduled on Saturdays from Sept. 8 through Nov. 3 at Cottage Lane Elementary in Blauvelt. To register call 845-323-9080. Practices are held one per week. The program is conducted by Tappan Zee High School football Head Coach Andy DiDomenico, who has brought the Dutchmen back to a high level in regular Section 1 competition, along with assistants Dan Linehan and Ralph Ianucci.
  • The Rockland Boulders (43-46), coming off a rugged 12-day Midwest road trip, are back at Provident Bank Park in Pomona, hosting the New Jersey Jackals tonight, Saturday and Sunday. After a final road swing at Worcester, MA, they wrap up the regular Can-Am League season with a three day Fan Appreciation Weekend series against the American Association’s Lincoln SaltDogs from September 1-3. Suffern native Ryan Mollica has 25 doubles, second-best in the league while outfielder Keith Brachold leads the league in homers (27) and RBI (76). Pitcher Bobby Blevins of Briarcliff Manor ranks fourth in the league with a 3.75 ERA. For Information, call 845-364-0009, or visit the box office.
  • Tony DeFrancesco, a 1981 Suffern High School graduate, has reached the big league after more than 500 games as a catcher in the minor leagues and more than 2,300 games as a minor-league manager. DeFrancesco, who was a high school teammate of former Oakland A’s rookie of the year shortstop Walt Weiss, will be at CitiField this weekend to meet the Mets as interim manager of the Houston Astros, following the dismissal of Brad Mills. After his Suffern career, DeFrancesco went on to become an all-America catcher at Seton Hall.
  • The Shriners Circus (www.KlownKlub.org) is coming to German Masonic Park (120 Western Highway, Tappan) on Sept. 21-23. The opening at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 21 is free, but there is a night session at 6:30 p.m. with a charge of $15 for adults. $13 seniors, $7 children 12-and-under, and no charge for toddlers under the age of 2. The show continues at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sept. 22, with shows at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 23.0 
  • The Nyack College men’s soccer team, which returns 13 players from last season’s squad that captured the Central Atlantic Athletic League (CACC) championship, has been selected to finish second behind Post University according to a vote by the league’s coaches. The Warriors, who received a league-high five first-place votes, upended the sixth-seeded Eagles, 1-0, in extra time in the tournament final. Post had won the regular-season crown at 11-4-4. Nyack (10-10-0 overall; 5-4-2 in CACC play) is expected to be led by Felix Horn of Halle, Germany, who was one of just two sophomores named to the all-CACC first-team in 2011.
  • Children 13-and-under who are inclined towards baseball, and are willing to commit to three-to-four travel tournaments in the tri-state area, can try out for the Orangetown Mustangs, a fall weekend tournament team. Tryouts will be held right after Labor Day at a time and place to be determined. For more information please email mhghotel@aol.com, or call 845-461-3263.
  • Pat Kivlehan of West Nyack, a third baseman on the Everett (WA) AquaSox in the Northwest League, is tied for the team lead in homers with 10, is second in RBI with 44 and is tied for third with a .294 batting average. The AquaSox, who clinched a postseason playoff berth by winning the first-half title in the West division, are fourth in the second half with a 13-16 record.
  • The Ivy Sports Symposium will be held at Columbia University in New York in November; they are looking for nominations from around the world of young professionals who are excelling in the business of sport who are under 30…nomination info and other details can be found at http://www.sportspromedia.com/10_next_class_of_2012_nominations


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