Rowing's Laura Pearson and women's lacrosse's Caitlin McKinney are among 21 inaugural BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sports Excellence Award winners.

No. 16 Notre Dame Varsity Eight Produces Two Of The Biggest Wins In School History With Victories Over No. 5 California and No. 7 Stanford At Windemere Classic

April 14, 2007

Redwood Shores, Calif. – The 16th-ranked Notre Dame varsity eight crew registered two of the biggest wins in school history as the Irish produced stirring victories over No. 5 and two-time defending national champion California and No. 7 Stanford on the opening day of competition at the Windemere Classic.

Notre Dame’s varsity eight crew of coxswain Maria Romano (River Forest, Ill.), Lauren Buck (Flint, Mich.), Meghan Boyle (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Christine Trezza (Staten Island, N.Y.), Allison Marsh (Mashpee, Mass.), Laura Pearson (Bloomington, Minn.), Mary Quinn (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), Amanda Polk (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Julie Sobolewski (Haddonfield, N.J.) was extremely impressive in both of its races, leading from start to finish against Cal and Stanford.

In the win over the Bears, the Irish finished with of 7:04.46 over the 2,000-meter course, nearly six seconds ahead of Cal’s time of 7:10.05. Notre Dame Irish had splits of 1:39.15 following 500 meters, 3:23.712 after 1,000 meters and 5:14.50 heading into the final 500-meter stretch. Notre Dame opened up its leading following the first 500 meters with a split time of better than four seconds.

Notre Dame jumped out on Stanford quickly and finished the race with a more than seven-second advantage. The Irish completed the race in 7:17.03, while Stanford posted a time of 7:24.57. Notre Dame got out quickly and led by better than five seconds after the first 500 meters with a split of 1:41.28. The Irish opened up nearly an eight-second lead after 1,000 meters with a time of 3:26.13 and led by better than nine seconds following 1,500 meters with a time of 5:23.39.

“Our varsity eight boat had a great day of competition,” head coach Martin Stone said. “Despite some windy conditions that made the course tough, I felt that we performed very well. We were really impressive against Cal and rowed a very strong race from start to finish. We wanted to come out here and make a strong showing against the teams from the West coast. Our team was very focused in its approach. We want to continue to make a good showing out here tomorrow against UCLA.

The Irish second varsity eight and varsity four crew also raced against California with both boats finishing second in their respective events and then rebounded with a sweep of Stanford in the afternoon.

The second varsity eight crew of coxswain Eileen Froehlke (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Sarah Kate Hafner (Tampa, Fla.), Casey Fairbanks (Dandridge, Tenn.), Kristan Madison (Saginaw, Mich.), Lindsay McQuaid (Beaverton, Ore.), Ankica Jedry (Chicago, Ill.), Elli Greybar (Western Springs, Ill.). Brittney Kelly (Wexford, Pa.) and Jessica Guzik (Annandale, Va) turned in a time of 7:28.07 following California’s winning time of 7:13.25.

The second varsity crew rebounded from its loss to Cal earlier in the day to post a win over Stanford in the afternoon session. Notre Dame defeated the Cardinal boat by better than 10 seconds as the Irish finished with a time of 7:54.01, while Stanford posted a time of 8:04.26. In its second race, the varsity eight led from start to finish after opening up a five-second advantage after the first 500 meters.

“Our second varsity eight crew rowed a great race against Stanford after not really having a good race earlier in the day against Cal,” Stone said. “We rowed with a great deal of vengeance and purpose and showed great character by coming out and performing well in the second race.”

The varsity four crew of coxswain Sarah Keithley (Austin, Tex.), Laura Petnuch (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Anni Nowhitney (Ballston Spa, N.Y.), Shannon Cassel (Bettendorf, Iowa) and Mary Kate McNamara (North Potomac, Md.) was edged out by the Bears in the morning competition. Notre Dame posted a time of 7:43.18, while California finished with a winning time of 7:40.71.

Against Stanford, the crew was impressive as it crossed the finish line with just under a 25-second victory. Notre Dame posted a time of 8:06.59, while Stanford finished in 8:06.59.

Notre Dame’s novice eight crew of coxswain AZ Tice (Woodsbury, Minn.), Lisa Bunn (Wilsonville, Ore.), Casey Sullivan (Wilmettte, Ill.), Emily Backer (Cannelton, Ind.), Melissa Miller (Redding, Calif.), Kathleen Donahue (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Dana Gates (Peoria, Ill.), Casey Robinson (Dulles, Va.) and Kellyn Nestor (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) continued its outstanding season with a victory over UCLA. After defeating California on Friday night, the Irish boat edged out the Bruins in what was a very exciting race. Notre Dame finished with a time of 7:32.48, while UCLA crossed the finish line in 7:35.28.

With the two victories over the week, this particular novice eight crew has yet to lose a race and is 7-0 on the season.

Notre Dame’s varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity fours will row against UCLA in action tomorrow.