June 14, 2001
Notre Dame, Ind. – Senior rower Leah Ashe (Orchard Park, N.Y.) closed out her final year at Notre Dame by being one of three student-athletes selected to the Verizon Academic All-American At-large team for spring sports.
The lone Irish selection to the women’s at-large team, Ashe was a second team selection. She is joined by lacrosse standout Mike Adams (Sr., Wilton, Conn.) and golfer Steve Ratay (Jr., Arlington Heights, Ill.) as Notre Dame athletes chosen for the spring of 2001. Adams was a first team selection while Ratay was named to the third team.
Ashe, a key member on the Notre Dame rowing team becomes the first Irish rower in the three-year history of the program to take Academic All-American honors. Rowing in the bow seat of the second varsity eight that finished second at the BIG EAST Rowing Challenge, she was her team’s winner of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley’s Rockne Student-Athlete Award. For the year, the Notre Dame crew team was ranked 16th in the nation and won four races including the Indiana Cup, the Chicago Chase, the Head of the Rock and the Head of the Elk while placing second at the San Diego Crew Classic. Ashe graduated summa cum laude (with high honors) as she finished with a 3.873 grade-point average in mechanical engineering.
The selection of Adams, Ratay and Ashe to the Verizon Academic All-American team gives the Irish a total of 11 student-athletes selected during the 2000-01 school year, surpassed only by the 12 athletes selected during 1995-96. Notre Dame now has 135 Academic All-Americans (second most all-time) since the program began in 1952.
Over the past two years, Notre Dame has had 20 student-athletes, representing 10 different teams selected Academic All-American. Baseball, with four, leads the way, followed by softball (3), women’s basketball (2), women’s soccer (2), men’s lacrosse (2), men’s golf (2), hockey (2), men’s soccer (1), women’s track (1) and rowing (1).
The Academic All-America Spring At-Large teams are chosen from student-athletes participating in seven spring sports – rowing (women), lacrosse, indoor/outdoor track, water polo (women), golf, tennis and volleyball (men). The teams are then selected in voting by the College Sports Information Directors of America.