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 www.bigeast.org.
Irish Boatings for BIG EAST Championship: