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Irish Varsity Eight Earns Spot In Petite Final

May 29, 2004

Sacramento, Calif. – The Notre Dame women’s varsity eight finished fifth in the first of two semifinal heats to advance to tomorrow’s Petite Final of the 2004 NCAA Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday morning at the California State University Sacramento (CSUS) Aquatic Center.

The No. 16th-ranked crew of Maureen Gibbons (Langhorne, Pa.), senior stroke Natalie Ladine (Sacramento, Calif.), senior Alice Bartek (Omaha, Neb.), sophomore Meghan Boyle (Pittsburgh, Pa.), junior Rachel Polinski (Mansfield, Ohio), freshman Melissa Felker (Bellevue, Wash.), junior Katie Chenoweth (East Lansing, Mich.), senior Danielle Protasewich (Duxbury, Mass.) and senior Jacqueline Hazen (Germantown, Tenn.) posted a time of 6:51.30, which was one-tenth of a second better than No. 12 USC (6:51.31).

In yesterday’s premlimary heat, Notre Dame finished the course in 6:48.70.

In today’s race, the Irish crew was in sixth for most of the race, and similar to yesterday in the prelims, had a strong final 500 meters. Notre Dame was clocked in 1:42.51 in the final stretch of the race, while USC was nearly three second slower than the Irish boat in the last 500 meters.

No. 7 Yale won the Heat 1 with a time of 6:36.60, while No. 8 Michigan was second in 6:37.40 and No. 3 Ohio State was third in 6:39.40. Those three boats each earned a spot in tomorrow’s Grand Final. No. 5 Virginia, which finished in 6:40.10, will also join the Irish and USC in tomorrow’s Petite Final.

No. 9 Brown posted the best time of the day in winning Heat 2 with its crew finishing in 6:33.40. No. 1 California was second in 6:36.40, while No. 2 Princeton had an identical time and placed third. By finishing in the top three, these three boats advance to tomorrow’s Grand Final.

The final three entrants coming from Heat 2 in Sunday’s Petite Final are No. 6 Washington, No. 4 Harvard and No. 10 Tennessee. Washington finished fourth in the heat with a time of 6:37.10, followed by Harvard (6:41.8) and Tennessee (6:48.50).

Tomorrow’s Petite Final will begin at 11:45 a.m. (PDT)