Martin Stone has guided the Irish to the most successful season in the program's history which culminated today with the announcement of the Irish earning an NCAA team berth.

Irish Rowers Have Impressive Showing In Spring Debut

March 18, 2006

Knoxville, Tenn. – The Notre Dame women’s rowing team turned in some impressive performances on Saturday afternoon as the Irish opened up the spring portion of their season in a meet against nationally-ranked Tennessee and Minnesota. After a week of intense training in Tennessee during its spring break, Notre Dame performed well in its first competition since the fall season.

Saturday’s competition was divided up into three separate rounds among the six separate crews — varsity eight, varsity four, second varsity eight, second varsity four, novice eight and second novice eight. The distance for all three of the rounds was 1,500 meters.

Notre Dame’s varsity eight crew had one second-place finish and two third-place finishes, while the novice eight and second novice eight boats finished second in all three of their races.

“I was very pleased with how hard we raced today,” Irish head coach Martin Stone remarked. “We spent the past week during our spring training very hard in terms of volume and intensity; we were very productive and efficient. We had great weather throughout the week and got a lot of things accomplished.

“I have nothing but praise for all of the teams that competed today. For this early in the season, all three of the teams that competed today rowed very well.”

In the first round of racing, Notre Dame’s varsity eight crew of coxswain Eileen Froehkle (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Julie Sobolewski (Haddonfield, N.J.), Amanda Polk (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Mary Quinn (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), Laura Pearson (Bloomington, Minn.), Allison Marsh (Mashpee, Mass.), Melissa Felker (Bellvue, Wash.), Andrea Doud (Redford, Mich.) and Sarah Palandech (Lakenheath, United Kingdom) was third in 4:52.60. Minnesota was first in 4:50.35, followed by Tennessee was in 4:51.70.

Notre Dame’s varsity eight crew remained the same for each of the other two rounds of racing. In the second round, Minnesota again was the winner as the Gophers posted a time of 4:49.66, followed by Tennessee in 4:52.03, while the Irish were third in 4:53.98. The third and final round saw the Irish finish second with their best time of the day in 4:48.09. Minnesota posted a time of 4:46.69 and Tennessee finished in 4:50.97.

Both of Tennessee and Minnesota’s varsity eight boats came into the season ranked in the preseason Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association poll as the Lady Vols were ranked 12th and the Gophers 19th. The Irish were in the receiving votes category for the season’s inaugural ranking.

Notre Dame was third in each of the varsity four races with the boat of coxswain Christina Padayhag (Kwajalein, Marshall Islands), Shannan Cassel (Bettendorf, Iowa), Kristan Madison (Saginaw, Mich.), Casey Fairbanks (Dandridge, Tenn.) and Mary McNamara (North Potomac, Md.) racing in all three of the rounds.

In the first round, Notre Dame finished with a time of 5:40.17. Tennessee was first in 5:31.73, followed by Minnesota in 5:32.43. In the second varisty four race, the Lady Vols crossed the finish line in 5:45.26, while the Gophers and Irish posted times of 5:45.26 and 5:49.43, respectively. In the final race, Notre Dame registered its fastest time of the afternoon in 5:37.31. Minnesota was victorious in the third round with a time of 5:32.92, while Tennessee finished in 5:35.72.

Notre Dame’s second varsity crew of coxswain Shannan Lettieri (Cairo, N.Y.), Ankica Jedry (Chicago, Ill.), Jessica Guzik (Annandale, Va.), Meghan Boyle (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Danielle Stealy (Culver, Ind.), Alyssa Close (South Dennis, Mass.), Kendra Short (Everett, Wash.), Sarah Kate Hafner (Tampa, Fla.) and Pamela Jefson (Kalamazoo, Mich.) rowed in each of the three races. The Irish were third in all three races. In the first round, Notre Dame posted a time of 5:06.29, behind Tennessee (4:55.35) and Minnesota (5:00.84). Tennessee, which swept the three races, finished with a time of 4:57.24 in the second round, while Minnesota and Notre Dame posted times of 5:02.47 and 5:08.19, respectively. In the final race, the Lady Vols posted a time of 4:55.99, followed by the Gophers (4:59.96) and the Irish (5:08.84).

Notre Dame had a second and two third-place finishes in the second varsity four race as the three different crews competed each time for the Irish. In the first round, the crew of coxswain Sarah Keithley (Austin, Texas), Ashley St. Pierre (Kingston, N.H.) Lindsay McQuaid (Beaverton, Ore.), Alyssa Teves (Denver, Colo.) and Erica Castron-Larsen (Lake Matthews, Calif.) took third in 5:50. 61. Minnesota produced a winning time of 5:38.52, while Tennessee finished with a time 5:42.81.

In the second round, the boat of Keithley, St. Pierre, McQuaid, Elli Greybar (Western Springs, Ill.) and Castro-Larsen took second in 5:49.64, behind Minnesota (5:46.56) and ahead of Tennessee (5:51.22). In the final round of competition, the crew of Keithley, St. Pierre, Brittany Burnham (Hilton Head, S.C.), Teves and Kaitlin Jackson (West Bloomfield, Mich.) was third in 5:55.84, behind both Tennessee (5:39.35) and Minnesota (5:41.43).

Notre Dame’s novice eight crew of coxswain Stephanie Szegedi (South Lyon, Mich.), Mallory Glass (Okemos, Mich.), Anni Nowhitney (Ballston Spa, N.Y.), Christine Trezza (Staten Island, N.Y.), Lauren Buck (Flint, Mich.), Megan Black (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Amanda Gonzales (Redlands, Calif.), Laura Petnuch (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Erica Copeland (Marietta, Ga.) earned three second-place finishes as Minnesota swept all three rounds. In the first race, Notre Dame finished with a time of 5:10. 52, while Minnesota posted a time of 5:03.25 and Tennessee had a time of 5:22.31. In the second round, the Gophers crossed the finish line 5:09.80, followed by the Irish (5:17.05) and Tennessee (5:32.30). Notre Dame improved its time by nearly two seconds in the third round with a time of 5:15.73, with Minnesota and Tennessee posting times of 5:09.48 and 5:31.49, respectively.

Notre Dame used two different crews in the three second novice eight races as all three of the Irish boats finished second. The first round saw the crew of coxswain Sarah Sullivan (Norwich, Conn.), Stephanie Bauer (Wilmington, Ohio), Danielle Leary (Shrewsbury, Mass.), Kate Sylvia (Tiburon, Calif.), Bridget Leone (Garden City, N.Y.), Vanessa Milano (The Woodlands, Texas), Kelsey Reno (Freeland, Mich.), Sabrina Barbosa (Azusa, Calif.) and Katherine Notter (Bloomington, Ind.) posted a time of 5:32.70 as Minnesota was first in 5:24.60 and Tennessee was third in 5:56.40.

In the second and third rounds, the boat consisted of coxswain Kelsey Yound (McLean, Va.), Bauer, Leary, Sylvia, Leone, Milano, Reno, Barbosa and Notter. In the their second round race, they had a time of 5:34.29, behind Minnesota’s time of 5:20.20 and ahead of Tennessee (5:58.38). In the final round of racing, the Gophers were clocked in 5:30.12, followed by Notre Dame (5:43.99) and Tennessee (6:06.22).

The Irish will be in action again next week when they travel to Grand Rapids, Mich., for the Lubbers Cup on Sat., April 25.