Kelsey Otero and the second varsity eight boat was one of two Irish boats to earn Petite Finals victories

Irish Claim Eighth-Place Finish At South/Central Sprints

May 17, 2009

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The Notre Dame rowing team finished eighth overall and sixth in the Central Region at the South/Central Sprints held at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The Irish crew finished with 236 points for its race efforts, placing the team behind Michigan (348), Michigan State (332), Ohio State (328), Wisconsin (321) and Iowa (241) in the Central Regional. Virginia (387) and Clemson (311) also placed ahead of the Irish out of the South Regional in the event.

Notre Dame was able to capture two Petite Final victories on the day, as the second varsity eight boat and open four “A” boat were able to hold off their respective fields to grab first place. Notre Dame’s varsity four boat, the lone Irish boat competing in an event Grand Final, crossed with a sixth-place result (out of six boats) to earn 42 points for the Irish.

Notre Dame opened competition on Sunday with the Notre Dame “B” crew rowing in the open four C final. The Irish, crewed by coxswain Jacqueline Gilhooly, Ching-Ting Hwang, Lisa Bunn, Margot Debot and Andrea Archer, completed the course in a time of 7:18.13. The result earned the boat fourth place in the race behind Duke “B” (7:09.53), Kansas (7:14.63) and Indiana (7:17.73) respectively. Iowa “B” (7:20.73) and UCF (7:30.23) rounded out the six-boat field.

The Notre Dame “A” open four boat took to the water next, in the first of the teams four Petite Finals on the day. The crew of coxswain Rachael Louie, Laura Petnuch, Erika Shults, Bridget Leone and Hannah Jackson were able to hold off the six-boat field with a solid time of 7:03.60 for the race victory and 10 points to the Irish cumulative score. Duke “A” (7:05.40), Virginia “A” (7:06.70), Michigan State (7:11.40), Iowa “A” (7:17.50) and Clemson “B” (7:23.30) placed second through sixth respectively.

The Irish novice eight boat, led by coxswain Alicia Elliot, Maria Lang, Kacey Gergely, Carly Anderson, Colleen McKenna, Valerie Brencher, Megan Osterhout, Kaitlyn Meany and Tess Fitzpatrick, was next to compete in its Petite Final. The Irish crew raced to a time of 6:42.80, which placed the boat in fifth place and secured another 10 points for the team total. Clemson (6:33.90) earned the race victory, with Virginia “B” (6:35.70), Ohio State (6:37.60) and Michigan State (6:38.00) following the Tigers across. Alabama concluded the six-boat race in a time of 6:43.90.

Notre Dame’s varsity four boat was next to compete in the Irish’s only Grand Final. The crew of coxswain Katherine McMackin, Katie Suyo, Stephanie Gretsch, Braegan Padley and Genevieve Malone was able to qualify for the Grand Final by placing third in the semifinal heat on Saturday with a time of 6:59.10. The Irish boat would go on to finish in sixth place in the final by posting a race time of 7:13.40. The result added an additional 42 points to the Irish point total. Ohio State (6:58.00) went on to capture the Grand Final gold with Virginia (6:59.30), Minnesota (7:00.60), Clemson (7:07.50) and Michigan (7:08.80) following across the finish line.

The Notre Dame second varsity eight boat entered next in its Petite Final. The crew of coxswain Kelsey Otero, Emily Backer, Mallory Glass, Carol Ann Michel, Erin McConnell, Emily Crosby, Christina Buckley, Elli Greybar and Erica Copeland would capture the second Petite Final victory of the day as the boat crossed the finishing gate at 6:27.10 for the gold medal result. Iowa (6:28.40) was next to cross, followed by Minnesota (6:31.60), Tennessee (6:32.10), Texas (6:35.10) Louisville (6:43.90). The win earned the Irish 84 points towards its final cumulative total.

The Notre Dame varsity eight boat was next to race in the Petite Final. The crew of coxswain Stephanie Szegedi, Brittney Kelly, Katherine Linnemanstons, Lauren Buck, Morgan Kelley, Megan Keegan, Christine Trezza, Casey Robinson and Anni Nowhitney were able to complete the course in a time of 6:24.10 and earn a fifth-place finish. Iowa (6:11.70) grabbed the gold medal with Louisville (6:13.70), Minnesota (6:16.10) and UCF (6:20.10) next to cross the finishing line. Kansas State rounded out the field with a final time of 6:25.50. The finished netted the Irish the final 90 points of the 236 point team total.

FINAL CENTRAL REGION STANDINGS:1. Michigan         3482. Michigan State   3323. Ohio State       3284. Wisconsin        3215. Iowa         2416. NOTRE DAME            2367. Minnesota        2318. Indiana      1219. Kansas       11810. Kansas State    114
FINAL OVERALL TEAM STANDINGS:1. Virginia 3872. Michigan 3483. Ohio State 3284. Wisconsin 3215. Michigan State 3206. Clemson 3117. Iowa 2418. NOTRE DAME 2369. Minnesota 23110. UCF 204