Oct. 20, 2012

BOSTON, Mass – The Notre Dame rowing team will compete in its first official races of the fall schedule Sunday at the Head of The Charles Regatta on the Charles River.

The Fighting Irish have a pair of boats entered in the 48th running of the regatta, one in the championship four scheduled for a 2:40 p.m. (ET) launch and one in the championship eight that is scheduled to begin its race at 3:08 p.m.

“The Head of The Charles will give our kids an idea of the speed we will need to keep during the spring season,” Notre Dame head coach Martin Stone says. “It’s also a wonderful way for us to promote the University. Last year we had a four (boat) in and finished fifth, did a great job in the champ four race. Interestingly, their picture was taken as they were passing one of the boats, and its been hanging in Boston the last few weeks promoting the Head of The Charles.”

This year’s championship four entry features a completely new lineup, with coxswain Christina Dines (Buffalo, N.Y.), Teresa Rubinger (Arlington, Va.), Kelsey Sekanick (Girard, Ohio), Teresa Blumenstein (Westmont, N.J.) and Paige Aiello (Rochester Hills, Mich.) rounding out the Fighting Irish crew. Notre Dame will look to improve upon its time of 18:40.01 in the championship four in last year’s race when it starts from the sixth position.

The Fighting Irish will send their championship eight entry into the water in the 31st position of a 40-boat field. Coxswain Abby Meyers (Dayton, Ohio), Molly Bruggeman (Dayton, Ohio), Erin Boxberger (Overland Park, Kan.), Ailish Sheehan (Kildare Co. Limerick, Ireland), Courtney Gaberino (Pewaukee, Wis.), Stephanie O’Neill (Vienna, Va.), Anna Kottkamp (Wenatchee, Wash.), Rose Doerfler (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Joanna Poinsatte (Chattanooga, Tenn.) will compete against an elite field that features both collegiate and international championship entries.

“There are 10 of the 16 programs from last year’s NCAA Championship entered in the eight,” Stone says. “Also, the gold medal (United States) Olympic eight, the silver medal (Canada) Olympic eight, the bronze medal (Netherlands) Olympic eight, the fifth place eight (Great Britain) at the Olympics, and a crew made up of competitors from various Olympic events are in the field.

“I think it’s a wonderful experience, and the crowd expectations are 100,000 to 150,000 people watching the race. It will be really exciting.”

The Head of the Charles is the second largest two-day regatta in the world, with more than 8,900 athletes rowing in an estimated 1,750 boats in 55 events. The competitive field includes individual and team collegiate, high school and club participants from nearly all American states and various countries, with the championship races representing the most prestigious races at the event.