Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Rowing Has Great Success At Head of the Charles and Head of the Eagle

Oct. 18, 2003

The Notre Dame crew of coxswain Kacy McCaffrey, Rachel Polinski, Elizabeth Specht, MeredithThornburgh, Jacqueline Hazen, Danielle Stealy, Andrea Doud, Sarah Palendech and Megan Sanders finished third out of 47 boats in the Club Eight race at the prestigious Head of the Charles in Boston, Mass. Riverside Club was first, followed by the University of Tennessee and the Irish.

Notre Dame was making its first-ever appearance at the Head of the Charles, which is the nation’s premier rowing event. Over 300,000 spectators enjoyed some of the nation’s best racing today on a beautiful day in Boston. The races take place in a head-style format with crews starting 10-15 seconds apart. The Irish started the race 26th out of the 47 boats and stroked an amazing race to finish third. Notre Dame’s third-place finish also earns the crew an automatic invitation to the 2004 Head of the Charles in the Club Eight race.

“Today was a tremendous day for our program,” head coach Martin Stone said.

“The third-place finish was great. We rowed a fantastic race and pulled extremely hard. It was great to see us move the boat that well after only rowing this particular crew the last two days.”

The Irish also sent four crews to the Head of the Eagle in Indianapolis, Ind. The Irish “B” crew of Erin Weeden (cox), Kristen Mizzi, Morgan Ertel, Ann Mulligan, Cat Schmidt, Sarah Kate Hafner, Eileen Froehlke and Danielle Potts placed first in the varsity eight race in a time of 14:29.00. Indiana was second in 14:32.00, while the Irish “A” crew of Shannon Lettieri (cox), Kati Sedun, Jessica Guzik, Alyssa Close, Kristin Henkel, Pamela Jefson, Colleen Larson, Megan Sheehan and Sarah Keefer was third in 14:36.00.

In the novice eight event, Notre Dame took third and fifth. Purdue was first in 15:13.00, followed by Louisville in 15:30. The Irish “A” crew was third in 15:54, while Purdue B finished fourth in 16:20 and Notre Dame’s B crew placed fifth in 16:22. Names of the Irish crews were unavailable at press time.

“The success of our split squad at the Head of the Charles and the Head of the Eagle shows the tremendous depth of our program. The third and fourth eight and the novice crews performed great today against some very good teams. We are really looking forward to the spring season.”

The Notre Dame first varsity eight continues action on Sunday at the Head of the Charles when they will compete in the Championship Eight race at 4:08 p.m. in Boston. Results will be available on