Martin Stone and the Irish look to rebound after tough first day

Irish Rowers Capture Third Straight BIG EAST Rowing Crown

April 30, 2006

Worcester, Mass. – For the third consecutive year, the Notre Dame rowing squad proved to be the BIG EAST Conference’s top team as the Irish earned their third consecutive team title by winning the 2006 BIG EAST Championship on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. Notre Dame swept all three varsity races winning the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four events. In addition, the Irish captured first in the second varsity four race and was second in the novice eight and novice four events.

Notre Dame outdistanced second-place Louisville by 19 points to win the team title as the Irish finished with a final team score of 122 compared to the Cardinals’ 103. Syracuse was third with 76 points, followed by Rutgers (73), Connecticut (63), Cincinnati (62), Georgetown (47), Villanova (45) and West Virginia (21).

The Irish coaching staff of Martin Stone and assistants Joe Schlosberg and Marnie Stahl was honored as the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year. The rowing title marked the 10th BIG EAST crown for Irish teams in 2005-06 as Notre Dame ties its own school record (set in 2004-05) for league titles in a single season.

“We are obviously extremely happy to have to the team competition,” Irish head coach Martin Stone. “We’ve worked very hard to get to this point in the season. And while were are very pleased with our results today, I think this team is looking forward to some bigger challenges and goals that are coming up for us in a couple of weeks at the South/Central Region Championship.”

The Irish varsity eight crew, ranked 12th nationally in this week’s Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing poll, had an impressive showing throughout the day of competition. The boat of coxswain Maria Romano (River Forest, Ill.), Julie Sobolewski (Haddonfield, N.J.), Amanda Polk (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Mary Quinn (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), Laura Pearson (Bloomington, Minn.), Allison Marsh (Mashpee, Mass.), Melissa Felker (Bellevue, Wash.), Megan Boyle (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Sarah Palandech (Lakenheath, United Kingdom) advanced to the Grand Final with a strong showing in its preliminary heat. Rowing in the first heat of the morning, Notre Dame’s varsity eight boat posted a time of 6:31.659, besting Villanova by more than 10 seconds as the Wildcats crossed the finish line in 6:41.82, followed by Connecticut (6:41.82), Cincinnati (6:49.19) and West Virginia (7:11.9).

Louisville won the second heat with a time of 6:33.47, followed by Georgetown (6:38.61), Syracuse (6:41.29) and Rutgers (6:45.77).

In the Grand Final, the Irish crossed the finish line in 6:28.32, six seconds ahead of Louisville’s second-place time of 6:34.83. Syracuse took third in 6:41.55, Georgetown (6:45.65) and Villanova (6:46.07) and Connecticut (6:51.57).

Notre Dame second varsity eight boat was dominant in its victory. The crew of coxswain Eileen Froehlke (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Sarah Kate Hafner (Tampa, Fla.), Pamela Jefson (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Elli Greybar (Western Springs, Ill.), Jessica Guzik (Annandale, Va.), Casey Fairbanks (Dandridge, Tenn.), Danielle Stealy (Culver, Ind.), Andrea Doud (Redford, Mich.) and Kendra Short (Everett, Wash.) won the first heat of the second varsity eight race by more than 13 seconds over second-place Rutgers as the Irish posted a winning time of 6:40.49. The Scarlet Knights finished in 6:53.42, followed by Cincinnati (6:54.91) and Connecticut (6:58.78).

In the second heat, Louisville posted a time of 6:42.83, followed by Syracuse (6:47.31) and Villanova (7:14.77).

Notre Dame defeated Louisville in the Grand Final race as the Irish were clocked in 6:39.62, six seconds better than the Cardinals’ time of 6:46.74. Syracuse took third in 6:50.68, followed by Rutgers (6:55.22), Connecticut (7:00.56) and Cincinnati (7:04.30).

The Irish varsity four crew of coxswain Sarah Keithley (Austin, Texas), Ankica Jedry (Chicago, Ill.), Lindsay McQuaid (Beaverton, Ore.), Kristan Madison (Saginaw, Mich.) and Brittany Burnham (Hilton Head, S.C.) rowed very strongly in both of its races. In the heat one of the prelims, Notre Dame stroked its way to a time of 7:35.80, well ahead of Rutgers’ second-place finish of 7:46.09. The Scarlet Knights were followed by Cincinnati (7:52.55) and Connecticut (7:55.43).

Heat two of the varsity four race saw Louisville finish with a time of 7:41.53 as the Cardinals were followed by Georgetown (7:49.13), West Virginia (7:56.16) and Villanova (8:02.00).

In the Grand Final, Notre Dame posted a time of 7:33.00, followed by Louisville (7:40.41), Rutgers (7:43.88), Georgetown (7:47.57), Cincinnati (7:59.78) and West Virginia (8:08.22).

Notre Dame’s second varsity eight crew of coxswain Christina Padayhag (Kwajalein, Marshall Islands), Ashley St. Pierre (Kingston, N.H.), Shannon Cassel (Bettendorf, Iowa), Alyssa Close (South Dennis, Mass.) and Kaitlin Jackson (West Bloomfield, Mich.) won its crown with a 12 second win over Connecticut. The Irish finished with a time of 7:46.92, while the Huskies were clocked in 7:58.96. Rutgers took third in the race with a time of 7:59.28, followed by Cincinnati (8 :06.88) and Louisville (8:36.87).

The Irish were second in the Grand Final of the novice four race. The crew of coxswain Kelsey Young (McClean, Va.), Stephanie Bauer (Wilmington, Ohio), Kelsey Reno (Freeland, Mich.), Anni Nowhitney (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) and Kate Sylvia (Tiburon, Calif.) posted a time of 7:54.29 as Georgetown finished more than four seconds better than Notre Dame as the Hoyas posted a time of 7:49.87. West Virginia took third in the race in 8:08.45, followed by Louisville (8:19.27), Villanova (8:34.47) and Syracuse (8:44.05).

Syracuse won the Grand Final of the novice eight race as the Orange finished with a time of 6:54.97. Notre Dame’s crew of coxswain Stephanie Szegedi (South Lyon, Mich.), Mallory Glass (Okemos, Mich.), Laura Petnuch (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Christine Trezza (Staten Island, N.Y.), Lauren Buck (Flint, Mich.), Megan Black (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Amanda Gonzales (Redlands, Calif.), Danielle Leary (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Erica Copeland (Marietta, Ga.) registered a time of 6:58.92. Rutgers took third in 7:07.87, followed by Louisville (7:12.23), Cincinnati (7:16.02) and Connecticut (7:25.56).

Notre Dame returns in two weeks when the Irish travel to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the South/Central Regional Championships, May 13-14.