May 28, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — After securing its fourth consecutive national regatta bid on the strength of a runner-up finish at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship on May 16, the University of Notre Dame rowing team kicks off the 2015 NCAA Championship Friday on Lake Natoma at the Sacramento State Aquatics Center in Gold River, California.
Notre Dame, ranked 16th in the final regular season Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA)/USRowing Coaches Poll that was released last week, open the NCAA Championship in the third heat of the Division I first varsity eight on Friday at 9:30 a.m. (PT). The Irish will be represented in the varsity eight by coxswain Reilly Kearney, Carlee Beckler, Sarah Kappers, Katie Skorcz, Hilary Shinnick, Anna Kottkamp, Ailish Sheehan, Alexis Olson and Joanna Mulvey. The Irish entry will occupy the fourth lane against No. 7 Stanford, No. 4 Virginia, No. 9 Washington State, No. RV Northeastern and Jacksonville.
Sheehan and Mulvey each earned all-ACC first team honors following a runner-up result for the Notre Dame first varsity eight at the ACC Championship. Kearney claimed second team all-conference recognition as the Irish coxswain in the varsity eight to cap her first career ACC Championship start.
The Notre Dame second varsity eight takes the water in lane four against Virginia, Washington State, No. 11 Texas and No. RV Central Florida on Friday at 10 a.m. (PT). Notre Dame’s lineup will include coxswain Alex Techar, Elizabeth Gilbert, Rose Doerfler, Ellen Gleadow, Catherine Wagner, Sarah Russel, Elizabeth Kelley, Gretchen Bruggeman and Madeline Loper.
Friday’s preliminary racing in the Division I draw is set to conclude with the varsity four competition, where 14th-seeded Notre Dame matches up with Virginia, No. 8 Yale, No. 15 Southern California, Navy and Central Florida at 10:50 a.m. (PT) the third of four heats. The Irish crew will consist of coxswain Jill Ryan, Bailey Amenabar, Elizabeth Walter, Madelynn Conlin and Treasa O’Tighearnaigh.
It is the first time that Notre Dame will have members of a senior class graduate as four-time NCAA competitors thanks to the program’s fourth straight championship selection. Seniors Sheehan, Kottkamp and Doerfler will each conclude their rowing careers as four-time NCAA Championship competitors, with Sheehan racing as a member of Notre Dame’s first varsity eight each season. The Irish are making their sixth appearance in the NCAA Championship as a full team after receiving their eighth NCAA regatta bid overall.
Notre Dame tied a program-best finish since the national championship regatta adopted its current team format by placing ninth as host of the 2014 NCAA Championship at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Notre Dame also finished 13th in 2013 and 15th in 2012 during its current qualification streak.
In its two other appearances in the NCAA team competition, Notre Dame placed ninth in 2006 and 12th in 2007. The Irish also rowed in the 2002 and 2004 NCAA Championship regattas after Notre Dame’s varsity eight boats earned at-large bids, finishing 16th and 11th, respectively, in those two years.
Notre Dame was one of two ACC teams to garner a bid to the 22-team NCAA field for the second straight season. Virginia, which won the ACC Championship for a sixth consecutive year, is representing the conference as the ACC’s automatic qualifier at the NCAA Championship.
Live video from the 2015 NCAA Division I, II and III Rowing Championships will be streamed at http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule, with live race results available at http://www.regattatiming.com/results/ncaa/.
Notre Dame 2015 NCAA Championship Rowing Lineups
Sacramento State Aquatics Center
Gold River, Calif.
First Varsity Eight, Heat 3, Friday at 9:30 a.m. (PT)
Coxswain Reilly Kearney, Carlee Beckler, Sarah Kappers, Katie Skorcz, Hilary Shinnick, Anna Kottkamp, Ailish Sheehan, Alexis Olson and Joanna Mulvey
Second Varsity Eight, Heat 2, Friday at 10 a.m. (PT)
Coxswain Alex Techar, Elizabeth Gilbert, Rose Doerfler, Ellen Gleadow, Catherine Wagner, Sarah Russel, Elizabeth Kelley, Gretchen Bruggeman and Madeline Loper