Stephanie Szegedi and the Irish varsity eight crew will have to contend with a very deep field at the BIG EAST Championships

Irish Rowers Look To Continue Success At BIG EAST Championships

April 24, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame rowing team returns to the water on Saturday, April 25 at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, N.J., in search of its sixth consecutive BIG EAST crown. Races are slated to being at 7:00 a.m. (ET) with eight preliminary heats. Following the preliminary heats, the first grand final of the day is scheduled to take place at 9:40 a.m.

In each of the past five years the BIG EAST championship crown has been secured by Notre Dame, a streak that was extended emphatically last year as the Irish became the first BIG EAST team to capture the grand final gold in all six races at the championships. The five consecutive BIG EAST titles is the second-longest current active streak in the conference. Only the Irish women’s swimming and diving team – which captured a record-setting 13th straight championship in February – has more consecutive league titles. Since joining the conference in rowing in 2001, the Irish have finished no lower than second, with Syracuse being the only team to best the Irish on the final scoreboard (’01-03).

The Irish will be tested in this year’s championship with a very competitive field taking part. Notre Dame is the No. 2 seed in the varsity eight race. The crew from Louisville, whose varsity eight boat is currently ranked 19th nationally in the most recent Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA)/USRowing poll, was able to capture the No. 1 seed for their efforts on the season. The Irish and Cardinals are no strangers to being at the top of the BIG EAST conference together, as each of the past three years the teams have finished first and second respectively in the final standings. Rounding out the eight-team field will be Syracuse at No. 3, Rutgers at No. 4, Cincinnati at No. 5, Georgetown at No. 6, Villanova at No. 7 and West Virginia closes out the list with the No. 8 seed.

A complete racing schedule, map of the venue and directions can be found at the BIG EAST Women’s Rowing Championship Central page on

Irish Boatings for BIG EAST Championship:

Varsity Eight: Stephanie Szegedi (coxswain), Brittney Kelly, Katherine Linnemanstons, Lauren Buck, Christina Buckley, Emily Crosby, Christine Trezza, Casey Robinson and Anni Nowhitney

Second Varsity Eight: Kelsey Otero (coxswain), Megan Keegan, Mallory Glass, Carol Ann Michel, Erin McConnell, Genevieve Malone, Morgan Kelley, Elli Greybar and Erica Copeland

First Varsity Four: Katherine McMackin (coxswain), Katie Suyo, Stephanie Gretsch, Braegan Padley and Emily Backer

Second Varsity Four: Rachael Louie (coxswain), Laura Petnuch, Erika Shults, Bridget Leone and Hannah Jackson

Novice Eight: Alicia Elliot (coxswain), Ching-Ting Hwang, Kacey Gergely, Colleen McKenna, Megan Osterhout, Valerie Brencher, Kaitlyn Meaney, Maria Lang and Tess Fitzpatrick

Novice Four: Jacqueline Gilhooly (coxswain), Carly Anderson, Margot Debot, Meredith Figg and Claire Kueny