May 13, 2000

Notre Dame, Ind. – The First Novice Eight boat of Kassie Murphy, Ann Marie Dillhoff, Ashlee Warren, Rebecca Luckett, Juliet Buckstaff, Julia Kelly, Elizabeth Fruzynski, Elizabeth Jeub, and Erica Drennan advanced to the six-team Grand Final at the Central Regional Championships on Melton Hill Lake. The team captured second in its Saturday semifinal with a time of 6:49.4 to advance to Sunday’s Grand Final.

The rest of the Notre Dame boats did not qualify for the Grand Final, but will compete tomorrow in the Petite Finals.

“We raced really well, but the speed of the races were really good,” stated Head Coach Martin Stone after the Regatta.

The Varsity Eight Team of Claire Bula, Michelle Olsgard, Courtney Mercer, Kristen Vandehey, Katrina TenEyck, Lauren Lyons, Amy Braun, Katie Besson, and Katherine Burnett competed in the most exciting race of the day. After taking second in the morning heats, Notre Dame competed in a highly contested race for third place with North Carolina. After Michigan and Texas pulled out to early leads, Notre Dame and North Carolina battled for third with each boat side-by-side over the last 1,000 meters. At the end, the Tar Heels made one last push and nudged the Irish at the line by 1.1 seconds, sending the Varsity Eight Team to tomorrow’s Petite Finals.

“It was our best race of the year,” said Stone “The race was bow-ball to bow-ball through 1,000 meters, but North Carolina just got us at the end.”

The Notre Dame rowing team will be in action again tomorrow as they finish out the weekend at the Central Regional Championships, hosted by the University of Tennesse