June 3, 2006
Notre Dame, Ind. – For the second time in as many seasons, Amanda Polk (Pittsburgh, Pa.) earned All-America honors as the Irish sophomore became just the second rower in school history to be named a first team All-America selection by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA). As a first-team honoree this year and a second-team selection as a freshman, Polk becomes the program’s first-ever two-time All-American.
In addition to Polk, sophomore Julie Sobolewski (Haddonfield, N.J.) and senior Sarah Palandech (Lakenheath, United Kingdom) were honored as second-team selections, marking the first time in story history that Notre Dame has had more than one rower earn All-America honors in the same season. With the naming of Sobolewski and Palandech this season, five different Irish rowers have earned All-America honors. Notre Dame’s first All-American was Ashlee Warren in 2002, a second-team selection, while Natalie Ladine became the school’s second honoree as she earned first-team recognition in 2004.
Forty-two student-athletes were honored, including 20 first-team and 22 second-team honorees. Nine schools had multiple selections, led by Princeton and California with four each. Notre Dame and Brown placed had three rowers on either the first or second team. The Central Region produced the second-most All-American with a total of 10.
Polk, Palandech and Sobolewski, all named to the CRCA all-Central Region fist team, helped lead the Irish to its most successful season in school history as Notre Dame finished ninth in its first-ever appearance in the team competition at the 2006 NCAA Championships. All three were key members of the Irish varsity eight boat that won the Petite Final at the NCAAs to earn a program-best seventh-place finish overall. En route to finishing fifth in the final CRCA/US Rowing Poll, Notre Dame’s varsity boat won gold medal at both the BIG EAST and Central/South Region Championships (a first-ever win at that regatta for an Irish varsity eight boat) and finished fourth (its best ever finish) in the prestigious Jessop-Whittier Cup race at the San Diego Crew Classic.