April 25, 2010
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Notre Dame women’s rowing team secured its seventh consecutive BIG EAST Conference title on Sunday, April 25 at Lake Quinisigamond in Worcester, Mass. The Irish won gold medals in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four, second varsity four and novice eight races, while the novice four crew finished second.
The current streak of seven straight championships stands as the second-longest active championship run in the BIG EAST conference – second only to Notre Dame’s stretch of 14 straight titles in women’s swimming and diving.
“This was a great team effort by everyone and I couldn’t be more pleased with how all of our boats went out and competed,” head coach Martin Stone said. “Our goal heading into the championship was not only to win the BIG EAST, but to have our best day of rowing to date. I think that we went out and accomplished that with our results today.
“I was so impressed with how fearlessly our crews competed today,” Stone continued. “We were going up against some good boats that had turned in solid performances over the past couple of weeks. I was particularly pleased with our speed and the poise that we showed in all of our races. I’m happy for our team and how we went about winning this championship.”
The Irish got off to a very quick start in the qualifying heats, capturing the best time in each of the varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four and novice eight races.
Notre Dame would not slow down as it entered into grand final races. After finishing second in the opening grand final (novice four), the Irish went on to sweep each of the remaining five races.
The varsity eight race got action underway in the morning session. The Irish boat captured the heat victory with a final time of 6:53.989. Syracuse was next to cross at 7:03.693. The Irish time went on to end as the best time of the two heats, besting Louisville’s heat one, race-winning time of 6:58.308.
Notre Dame made it two-for-two in qualifications by next capturing the second varsity eight trials. The Irish boat entered as the No. 1 seed in heat one and held to form, finishing the race in 7:05.373 to hold off Georgetown (7:12.122) who earned the second fastest finishing time.
Next on the water was the varsity four race. Notre Dame eclipsed the field, posting the only sub-eight minute time (7:56.782) of either heat. Georgetown, again, was second to cross the finishing gate at 8:06.158.
The Irish completed the qualifying sweep in the novice eight trials. The crew also entered as the No. 1 seed in the opening heat and stopped the clock at 7:26.996. Connecticut, out of heat two, was able to earn the second best time in the race, finishing at 7:37.861.
Grand Final Race Recaps:
The Irish novice four boat, which entered the grand final as the second seed to Villanova, finished behind the Wildcats with a final time of 8:51.112. Villanova secured the race victory with a time of 8:41.882. Connecticut (8:56.977) and Georgetown (9:26.299) rounded out the four-boat race.
The second varsity four boat was the first to grab a race win for the Irish in the next race. The boat completed the course in a time of 8:24.238 to earn the win by a full 25 seconds over second-place Georgetown (8:49.265). Syracuse (8:56.985), Connecticut (9:12.391) and West Virginia (9:27.963) finished third, fourth and fifth respectively.
In varsity four action, the Irish added to their margin of victory from the qualifying races by winning the grand final by nearly ten seconds more than the morning race. The crew finished the race with a time of 8:08.885 while second-place Georgetown needed 8:27.224 to cross the finish line. It marks the ninth consecutive year that the Irish varsity four boat has gone on to win the BIG EAST Grand Final, dating back to the 2002 championship.
Notre Dame made it three-in-a-row, capturing the novice eight title next. The boat stopped the clock at 7:32.732 to win the final and held off second place Connecticut that finished second with a time of 7:39.961. Georgetown took third in 7:53.835, while West Virginia (8:02.346), Louisville (8:03.654) and Syracuse (8:24.194) wrapped up the field.
The Irish second varsity eight boat, which qualified with nearly a seven second advantage over the nearest finisher, added two seconds to that advantage in their Grand Final run. The boat completed the race in a time of 7:21.397 with Georgetown coming across next at 7:30.332. The field finished with Louisville (7:31.798), Syracuse (7:32.219), Rutgers (7:43.870) and Connecticut (7:47.968) placing third through sixth, respectively.
Notre Dame’s varsity eight boat was the last to capture gold, holding off the top-seeded Louisville boat for the victory. The Irish crew ended the run with a time of 7:17.587, topping the Cardinals in second who finished in 7:23.621. Syracuse took third in 7:28.766. The six-boat field finished with Rutgers (7:32.068), Georgetown (7:39.481) and Connecticut (7:57.584).
Along with capturing the team championship, the Irish coaching staff of head coach Martin Stone, associate head coach Joe Schlosberg and assistant coach Marnie Stahl, was named the 2010 coaching staff of the year upon conclusion of the races. It is the fourth time that the group has been named staff of the year after garnering the award in back-to-back-to-back years from 2006-2008.
Final Team Standings:1. NOTRE DAME 121 points2. Georgetown 93 points3. Syracuse 84 points4. Louisville 80 points5. Connecticut 70 points6. West Virginia 63 points7. Rutgers 54 points8. Villanova 36 points
Race Results: Preliminary Heats:
Varsity Eight (8 boats):
1. NOTRE DAME (Sarah Keithley (C), Casey Robinson, Stephanie O’Neill, Emily Crosby, Katherine Linnemanstons, Brittney Kelly, Erin McConnell, Stephanie Gretsch, Morgan Kelley) – 6:53.989; 2. Louisville – 6:58.308; 3. Georgetown – 7:02.852; 4. Syracuse – 7:03.693; 5. Rutgers – 7:08.225; 6. West Virginia – 7:13.201; 7. Connecticut – 7:14.433; 8. Villanova – 7:16.850
Second Varsity Eight (8 boats):
1. NOTRE DAME (Rachael Louie (C), Katie Suyo, Megan Keegan, Christina Buckley, Kathryn Monahan, Braegan Padley, Emily Backer, Carol Ann Michel, Genevieve Malone) – 7:05.373; 2. Georgetown – 7:12.122; 3. Louisville – 7:19.456; 4. Syracuse – 7:22.949; 5. Rutgers – 7:24.638; 6. Connecticut – 7:31.593; 7. West Virginia – 7:41.388; 8. Villanova – 8:21.344
Varsity Four (7 boats):
1. NOTRE DAME (Jacqueline Gilhooly (C), Andrea Archer, Valerie Brencher, Paige White, Joanna Poinsatte) – 7:56.782; 2. Georgetown – 8:06.158; 3. Villanova – 8:17.514; 4. Syracuse – 8:17.970; 5. Connecticut – 8:20.262; 6. West Virginia – 8:21.323; 7. Louisville – 8:26.765
Novice Eight (7 boats):
1. NOTRE DAME (Abby Meyers (C), Teresa Blumenstein, Meghan Vertovec, Maura Newell, Kelsey Haddad, Paige Aiello, Caitlyn Connelly, Alyce Kanabrocki, Kelsey Murphy) – 7:26.996; 2. Connecticut – 7:37.861; 3. West Virginia – 7:43.776; 4. Georgetown – 7:56.009; 5. Louisville – 8:00.768; 6. Syracuse – 8:07.541; 7. Rutgers – 8:28.186
Grand Final Races:
Novice Four (4 boats):
Second Varsity Four (5 boats):
1. NOTRE DAME (Alicia Elliott (C), Meghan Salomon, Sarah Thompson, Brianna Krafcik, Ching-Ting Hwang) – 8:24.238; 2. Georgetown – 8:49.265; 3. Syracuse – 8:56.985; 4. Connecticut – 9:12.391; 5. West Virginia – 9:27.963
Varsity Four (6 boats):
1. NOTRE DAME (Jacqueline Gilhooly (C), Andrea Archer, Valerie Brencher, Paige White, Joanna Poinsatte) – 8:08.885; 2. Georgetown – 8:27.224; 3. West Virginia – 8:33.214; 4. Syracuse – 8:40.020; 5. Villanova – 8:45.287; 6. Connecticut – 8:49.753
Novice Eight (6 boats):
1. NOTRE DAME (Abby Meyers (C), Teresa Blumenstein, Meghan Vertovec, Maura Newell, Kelsey Haddad, Paige Aiello, Caitlyn Connelly, Alyce Kanabrocki, Kelsey Murphy) – 7:32.732; 2. Connecticut – 7:39.961; 3. Georgetown – 7:53.835; 4. West Virginia – 8:02.346; 5. Louisville – 8:03.654; 6. Syracuse – 8:24.194
Second Varsity Eight (6 boats):
1. NOTRE DAME (Rachael Louie (C), Katie Suyo, Megan Keegan, Christina Buckley, Kathryn Monahan, Braegan Padley, Emily Backer, Carol Ann Michel, Genevieve Malone) – 7:21.397; 2. Georgetown – 7:30.332; 3. Louisville – 7:31.798; 4. Syracuse – 7:32.219; 5. Rutgers – 7:43.870; 6. Connecticut – 7:47.968
Varsity Eight (6 boats):
1. NOTRE DAME (Sarah Keithley (C), Casey Robinson, Stephanie O’Neill, Emily Crosby, Katherine Linnemanstons, Brittney Kelly, Erin McConnell, Stephanie Gretsch, Morgan Kelley) – 7:17.587; 2. Louisville – 7:23.621; 3. Syracuse – 7:28.766; 4. Rutgers – 7:32.068; 5. Georgetown – 7:39.481; 6. Connecticut – 7:57.584