May 2, 1999

Madison, Wis. – The Notre Dame women’s rowing team recorded two second-place finishes in grand finals at the 1999 Midwest Championships in Madison, Wis. The Irish crew, in its first season of varsity competition and competing in its first-ever Midwest Championships as a varsity sport, had three of its boats earn spots in grand finals during the two-day event.

The top-seeded Novice Eight boat of coxswain Kim Benard (Burr Ridge, Ill.), Michelle Olsgard (Fort Collins, Colo.), Courtney Mercer (Herndon, Va.), Katherine Burnett (Germantown, Tenn.), Kelly Cooney (Rochester, N.Y.), Amy Braun (Indianapolis, Ind.), Erin Dowd (Concord, N.H.), Katie Besson (Hales Corner, Wis.) and Megan Feely (University City, Mo.) fell short in its bid as the Irish crew placed second to Wisconsin. The Badger boat finished with a time of 6:30.0, while Notre Dame crossed the finish line in 6:34.4. Michigan placed third in the race with a time of 6:38.20.

Earlier in the day, the Novice Eight boat advanced to the grand final by placing second in its heat with a time of 6:30.73.

The Second Novice boat of coxswain Allison Henisey (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Katie Lewis (Rockford, Ill.), Theresa Ferry (Tamaqua, Pa.), Annie Sutera (Shawnee Mission, Kan.), Cecilia Lavelle (San Jose Calif.), Amber Thill (Springfield, Pa.); Kristen Courtney (Auburn, Me.); Stephanie Morris (Minnetonka, Minn.) and Katie Cleary (Birmingham, Mich.) also earned a second place finish in one of the meet’s most exciting races. The Irish crew finished 2.4 second in back of Ohio State. The Buckeyes turned in a time of 6:48.50, while Notre Dame finished with a time of 6:50.90. Wisconsin took third in the race with a time of 6:51.90.

The Novice Four boat of coxswain Suzanne Kellman (Fremont, Calif.), Jennifer Spanbauer (McKeesport, Pa.), Amber Thill (Springfield, Ohio), Tara Driscoll (Westport, Conn.) and Mary Lampe (St. Louis, Mo.) which had advanced to the grand final following yesterday’s races placed fifth out of six boats as the Irish finished with a atime of 7:54.90. Creighton’s crew was victorious with a time of 7:34.50.

The Lightweight Eight boat, ranked 12th nationally, of coxswain Erin Kiernicki (Chicago, Ill.), Lezlie Potter (Engelwood, Colo.), Emily Miner (West Hartford, Conn.), Kathryn Hammel (Indianapolis, Ind.), Jeannette McKenna (Brookeville, Md.), Sarah Nelson (Santa Ana, Calif.), Angela Chaput (Arlington Heights, Ill.), Barbara Arleth (Roscommon, Mich.) and Katherine Miller (South Bend, Ind.) finished third to two boats from Wisconsin. Wisconsin “A” won the race in 6:29.25, Wisconsin “B” was second in 6:40.23, while the Irish were third out of five crew as they turned in a time of 6:47.98.