Molly Bruggeman becomes the first Irish CRCA All-American since Amanda Polk in '08.

Irish Claim Three Grand Finals En Route To Sweeping BIG EAST Invite

April 28, 2012

BIG EAST Invite ResultsGet Acrobat Reader

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame rowing team wrapped up its regular season in grand fashion, winning all three grand finals while also winning a total of 12 races Saturday on Eagle Creek Reservoir. The Irish varsity eight boat recorded the widest margin of victory in grand final action.

The varsity four earned its lane in the grand final after the boating of coxswain Danni Schneider, Joanna Poinsatte, Katie Suyo, Stella Willoughby and Kelsey Sekanick won their morning race in 7:37.3. Iowa finished nearly 13 seconds behind the Irish boating, stopping the clock at 7:50.2, while West Virginia finished third in 8:10.4.

In the grand final race, Notre Dame pulled away over the final 1,000m of the course to secure a near 11-second victory with a time of 7:44.9. Syracuse was next to cross the line (7:55.7), while Louisville (8:05.1) and Iowa (8:06.3) came across in third and fourth, respectively.

The closest grand final of the day came in varsity eight racing. After earning a berth in the final with a preliminary heat victory of nearly 16 seconds, the Irish boating of coxswain Abby Meyers, Courtney Gaberino, Morgan Kelley, Stephanie O’Neill, Erin McConnell, Olivia Kacsits, Ailish Sheehan, Erin Boxberger and Molly Bruggeman edged Syracuse by .6 seconds, using one final push going into the finish line to post a time of 6:41.0. The Orange concluded at 6:41.6 followed by Iowa (6:47.6) and Louisville (6:51.2) in third and fourth, respectively.

The Irish made it three-for-three in grand final competition when the second varsity eight boat of coxswain Christina Dines, Ingrid Woelfel, Lauren Tharp, Rose Doerfler, Anna Kottkamp, Paige Aiello, Kelsey Haddad, Teresa Blumenstein and Teresa Rubinger knocked off Syracuse (6:48.5), Iowa (6:55.0) and Louisville (6:59.9) by crossing in 6:47.4. Notre Dame earned its lane in the grand final with a heat victory of over 22 seconds in the morning.

The remaining races featured multi-heat formats as opposed to qualifying for finals. In second varsity four action, the Irish boating of coxswain Becca MacDonald, Carlee Beckler, Elizabeth Linnemanstons, Sarah McShane and Sarah Hart earned a pair of victories, winning in the morning over Iowa (8:18.1) and Louisville (8:31.4) with a time of 7:57.2 before winning in the afternoon over Syracuse (8:08.2) in 7:56.8.

Coxswain Leah Corachea, Stephanie Winsch, Anna Sliwinski, Kelly Gawne, Kelsey Murphy, Valerie Brencher, Kiersten DeHaven, Ching-Ting Hwang and Analisa LaMair-Orosco crewed the third varsity eight boat for Notre Dame in the morning session, earning a race victory over Iowa (7:28.4) and Rutgers (7:56.4) after finishing in 7:14.0.

The final race of the morning session pitted Notre Dame’s fourth varsity eight boat of coxswain Mikaela Prego, Christine McGough, Madeline Loper, Hayley Johnson, Greer Cully, Kathryn Monahan, Carolyn Perez, Madelynn Conlin and Victoria Ryan against Iowa’s second novice eight. The Irish earned the victory with a time of 7:30.1, while the Hawkeyes finished second in 7:55.3.

The largest race of the day came in a five-lane heat that featured two Irish boats, two Iowa boats and a Rutgers entry. Notre Dame’s crew of coxswain Prego, Sliwinski, Johnson , Gawne, Murphy, Brencher, Monahan, Loper and Conlin won the heat in 7:10.9. Iowa “A” (7:24.3) finished second, while Notre Dame’s “B” boat of coxswain Stephanie Boggs, Elena Brindley, McGough, Carly Syta, Paige Burke, Kiran Ikram, Lucy Hewitt, Kendra Rask and Meghan Salomon finishing third in 7:30.7. Iowa “B” (7:39.9) and Rutgers (7:48.6) rounded out the heat in fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Irish then closed out the perfect day of racing in a three-boat third varsity four race. Notre Dame’s boating of coxswain Corachea, LaMair-Orosco, Winsch, DeHaven and Hwang won with a time of 8:02.3 followed by Iowa (8:26.0) and West Virginia (8:40.9).

Notre Dame now turns its attention to postseason competition as the team heads to the 2012 BIG EAST Championship May 13 on Mercer Lake in Mercer, N.J., in search of a ninth consecutive conference crown.