Rachael Louie coxed a very quick varsity four boat, posting two sub-six minute pieces and notching a pair of heat victories.

Irish Rowers Get Off To Quick Start For The Spring Season

March 13, 2010

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – The Notre Dame rowing team got its spring season off to a fast start, as the squad secured race victories in nine of the 10 races on Saturday from Oak Ridge, Tenn. against Duke and Buffalo. The Irish swept both heats in each of the second varsity eight, varsity four, second varsity four and novice eight races.

“Overall, we as a staff are pretty pleased with the team today,” stated Irish head coach Martin Stone. “We showed a good deal of patience and poise on the water today and I really like the way our team was able to pull through down the stretch.”

Race action was broken up with each Irish boat taking two runs on the 1,500m course, making for 10 total heats. In the first heat of each, action began with the boat rowing into the start, while the second trial got underway with the boats beginning from a dead stop.

The Irish varsity eight boat earned a split in their two races, finishing second in the opening heat but rebounding for the victory in the second piece. The boat crewed by coxswain Sarah Keithley, Stephanie Gretsch, Stephanie O’Neill, Genevieve Malone, Carol Ann Michel, Brittney Kelly, Katherine Linnemanstons, Casey Robinson and Morgan Kelley completed the first trial in 5:05.7, finishing just behind Duke (5:04.5) and topping Buffalo (5:10.7). In the second piece the boat rebounded for the victory, finishing at 5:12.3, besting both the Blue Devils (5:16.4) and Bulls (5:18.0).

In second varsity eight action the crew of coxswain Jacqueline Gilhooly, Christina Buckley, Emily Crosby, Erin McConnell, Emily Backer, Katie Suyo, Valerie Brencher, Braegan Padley and Megan Keegan notched a pair of victories over the likes of Duke and Buffalo, finishing the first heat at 5:14.5 and the second at 5:18.3. Duke finished second in the first trial at 5:18.6 before finishing third at 5:32.7 in the second race. Buffalo (5:19.0, 5:23.8) finished third and second respectively in the two heats.

Notre Dame’s varsity four boat turned in two strong performances next as they were the only crew in the race to post a sub-six minute pace in both of the two pieces. The boat of coxswain Rachael Louie, Joanna Poinsatte, Paige White, Hannah Jackson and Kathryn Monahan concluded the first heat with a time of 5:59.3 with the Bulls (6:00.9) and Blue Devils (6:18.2) following across in second and third, respectively. The finishing order remained the same in the second trial as Notre Dame stopped the clock first at 5:58.9 with Buffalo ending next at 6:06.7 and Duke rounding out the race at 6:27.6.

The Notre Dame second varsity four captured a pair of race wins against two Buffalo boats (both a second varsity four and novice four boat), while Duke did not have any boats in the pieces. The crew of coxswain Alicia Elliott, Andrea Archer, Ching-Ting Hwang, Meghan Salomon and Brianna Krafcik posted a 6:25.2 in the first heat to earn an outright victory with the Bulls coming in at 6:27.9 with their second varsity four and 7:09.3 with the novice four. The Irish and Bulls shared the race victory in the second heat as both boats finished at 6:10.0. The Buffalo novice four boat did not record a time in the heat.

The novice eight races rounded out the days action with a four-boat field featuring two boats apiece between Notre Dame and Buffalo. In the first race, Notre Dame’s first novice eight boat, crewed by coxswain Danni Schneider, Kelsey Murphy, Alyce Kanabrocki, Kelsey Haddad, Jennifer Lee, Maura Newell, Sarah McShane, Meghan Vertovec and Paige Aiello won the heat with a time of 5:26.0. Buffalo 1 finished second at 5:30.0. The Notre Dame second novice eight, made up of coxswain Kerry Casey, Catherine Hermann, Caitlin Connelly, Sarah Thompson, Analisa LaMair-Orosco, Camille Sharrow, Teresa Blumenstein, Sylvianne Velasquez and Kimberly Dunbar, finished third at 5:36.5. Buffalo’s second novice eight boat rounded out the first race at 5:37.7.

Notre Dame made some minor changes to its boats prior to the second piece. The first novice eight boat was made up of coxswain Abby Meyers, Kelsey Murphy, Alyce Kanabrocki, Analisa LaMair-Orosco, Sarah Thompson, Meghan Vertovec, Maura Newell, Teresa Blumenstein and Paige Aiello while the second novice eight was comprised of coxswain Lauren Peartree, Catherine Hermann, Caitlin Connelly, Jennifer Lee, Kelsey Haddad, Camille Sharrow, Kimberly Dunbar, Sarah McShane and Sylvianne Velasquez. The Irish grabbed the top spot with their first novice eight boat finishing in 5:30.5. The field was rounded out with Buffalo 1 (5:37.4), Notre Dame 2 (5:41.2) and Buffalo 2 (5:48.9).

Notre Dame will return to action in two weeks when it heads to East Lansing, Mich. to take on Michigan State and Michigan on Saturday, March 27.