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Community Hospital Fitness Pointe Members Row, Row, Row Their Way into First Place in World Challenge, Ninth Consecutive Win


For a ninth consecutive year, members of the Community Hospital Fitness Pointe® team have been named champions of the World Rowing competition. Overall the team placed first, this time rowing a whopping 24,549,595 meters, beating out 67 other international teams entered in the Health/Fitness division.

Sponsored by Concept2, a manufacturer of indoor rowing equipment, the challenge took place March 15 to April 15 at the medically-based fitness center, 9950 Calumet Avenue. Some 198 rowers, comprised of healthcare system employees and facility staff and members, participated, keeping the title in Munster.

“We are proud to call our team ‘champions’ and appreciate their personal efforts to strive to be their very best,” said Nikki Sarkisian, exercise program manager Fitness Pointe. “It takes commitment, endurance, strength and stamina to earn this even title one time. Our team has done that nine-times over.”

Five team members ranked within the National Top Ten ratings: Gary DeYoung (Munster), 1st overall - 2 million meters; Billie Jo Spence (Highland), 4th overall – 1 million meters; Judy Abbott (Munster), 7th overall – 1 million meters, Franco Molinaro (St. John), 8th overall – 1 million meters and Tony Alessandri (Dyer), 9th overall – 1 million meters.

One member of the team racked up more than 2 million meters. Gary DeYoung rowed a whopping 2,301,175 meters.

Five members of the rowing team achieved more than 1 million meters: Billie Jo Spence, 1,300,460; Judy Abbott, 1,234,567; Franco Molinaro, 1,101,000; Tony Alessandri, 1,021, 361 and Shailash Bhatt (Munster), 1,001,014.

Eight members of the Fitness Pointe team rowed more than 500,000 meters: John Neighbors (Griffith), 940,147; William Russell (Dyer), 900,369; Michele Beigle (Griffith), 800,000; Anna Konda (Munster), 725,000; Ed Lebryk (Munster), 656,205; Ken Morton (Lansing), 577,154; Gene Evancic (St. John), 528,403 and Rich White (Munster), 505,555.

In order to attain this level of recognition, teammates put their lives on hold for the four-week period of the competition and focus on rowing and one goal, according to Joe Arias of Schererville.

“We row from six to eight hours every day – two or three hours or so in the morning, then again in the evening,” explained Arias. “You have to be dedicated. You really have to set yourself a goal and stay focused to do your best every day.”

“There is an amazing camaraderie among the rowers,” said Sue Arias. “You have to give up a lot, putting your life on hold for one month, but that’s ok. We do it and we get back a whole lot more in support, encouragement and friendships.”

Community Hospital Fitness Pointe helps individuals achieve life-long health and fitness through innovative, quality programs, state of the art equipment and highly credentialed staff. For more information about the programs and services available, visit our web site at www.comhs.org/community/fitness_pointe.asp.

For more information about Concept2 programs and challenges, visit online at https://log.concept2.com/challenges/wec/2016/teams

PHOTO CAPTION: For a ninth consecutive year, members of the Community Hospital Fitness Pointe® team have been named champions of the World Rowing competition. The challenge took place March 15 to April 15 at the medically-based fitness center, 9950 Calumet Avenue. 

Community Healthcare System
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