March 28, 2009
LANSING, Mich. – The No. 20 ranked Notre Dame rowing team returned to the water on Saturday, March 28 as it squared off with No. 7 Michigan State for the second time this spring. The Irish finished second to the Spartans in all six races on the day.
In first varsity eight competition, the crew of coxswain Stephanie Szegedi (South Lyon, Mich.), Anni Nowhitney (Ballston Spa, N.Y.), Casey Robinson (Alexandria, Va.), Katherine Linnemanstons (Mequon, Wis.), Brittney Kelly (Wexford, Pa.), Christine Trezza (Staten Island, N.Y.), Emily Crosby (Middletown, N.J.), Christina Buckley (Huntington, N.Y.) and Lauren Buck (Flint, Mich.) completed the 2,000m course in 7:47.14, falling to the tough first varsity eight boat of Michigan State, who finished the race in 7:21.34.
“We were extremely disappointed with how our varsity eight crew performed today,” head coach Martin Stone said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Michigan State because they rowed extremely well, but I felt we could have rowed a better race.”
The Irish would rebound nicely in the second varsity eight competition as the crew of coxswain Kelsey Otero (Mequon, Wis.), Megan Keegan (Marietta, Ohio), Mallory Glass (Fernandina Beach, Fla.), Carol Ann Michel (Princeton, N.J.), Erin McConnell (Simsbury, Conn.), Genevive Malone (Dayton, Ohio), Morgan Kelley (Windermere, Fla.), Elli Greybar (Western Springs, Ill.) and Erica Copeland (Marietta, Ga.) were able to cross the finish line with a strong time of 7:32.03. Michigan State won the race, however, with a final time of 7:24.06.
In the varsity four competition, the Irish rowers turned in a strong overall performance with the boat of coxswain Katherine McMackin (Chevy Chase, Md.), Braegan Padley (Boise, Idaho), Emily Backer (Cannelton, Ind.), Katie Suyo (Yardley, Pa.) and Stephanie Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill.) racing across the finish line with a time of 8:29.18, falling a mere .93 seconds behind the Michigan State crew who finished the race with a final time of 8:28.25.
“I was very pleased with how our second varsity eight and varsity four boats raced,” Coach Stone remarked. “The varsity four crew led for the entire race, but was overtaken by the Michigan State boat in the last five strokes. The second varsity eight crew did a good job early in the race of establishing the pace, but Michigan State midway through took control and kept the lead from that point on.”
In second varsity four competition, the Irish would see its boats earn second and third-place finishes as the “A” crew of coxswain Rachael Louie (Westfield, N.J.), Bridget Leone (Garden City, N.Y.), Erika Shults (Maple Glen, Pa.), Lisa Bunn (Wilsonville, Ore.) and Hannah Jackson (Moscow, Idaho) were able to get across the line in a time of 8:50.30 – seven seconds off the clip of the Spartans “A” boat which finished in a time of 8:43.16. The Notre Dame “B” boat crossed shortly thereafter as the crew of coxswain Jacqueline Gilhooly (Palos Heights, Ill.), Brianna Krafcik (Aurora, Ohio), Laura Petnuch (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Andrea Archer (Redding, Conn.) and Casey Sullivan (Wilmette, Ill.) stopped the clock with a solid time of 9:01.83. The Michigan State “B” boat rounded out the race field as they ended in a time of 9:12.47.
Coming off of a strong showing in Oak Ridge, Tenn. against the likes of Virginia, Boston University and these same Spartans, the novice eight boats continued to show toughness on Saturday. In the first novice eight race, the crew of coxswain Alicia Elliot (Ambler, Pa.), Maria Lang (Harrison, Ohio), Kacey Gergely (Valparaiso, Ind.), Colleen McKenna (Ellicott City, Md.), Megan Osterhout (Mundelein, Ill.), Margot Debot (Stevens Point, Wis.), Valerie Brencher (Lumberton, N.J.), Claire Kueny (Richboro, Pa.) and Kaitlyn Meaney (Ringgold, Ga.) held their own the entire way, finishing the course in a time of 8:06.59, just behind the Spartan boat which completed the course in 8:01.32.
The Irish and Spartans rounded out the day with the second novice eight competition. Michigan State secured the race victory with a final time of 8:35.56, but the Irish crew of coxswain Christina Carson (Carmel, Ind.), Ashley Satterlee (Carlisle, Pa.), Paige White (Boise, Idaho), Iraissa Ann Reilly (Egg Harbor, N.J.), Meredith Figg (Indianapolis, Ind.), Erin Connors (Wellesley, Mass.), Carly Anderson (Westford, Mass.), Tess Fitzpatrick (St. Louis, Mo.) and Ching-Ting Hwang (Chesterfield, Mo.) put in a good effort as they stopped the clock with a time of 8:46.90.
The matchup with the Spartans marked the fourth consecutive ranked opponent the Irish have faced – according to the Collegiate Coaches Rowing Association (CRCA)/USRowing poll.
The Irish will race next on Sunday, Mar. 29 when they square off against Indiana and Purdue in Indianapolis, Ind., with competition scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m.
“I am glad that our varsity eight crew can get right back in the boat tomorrow and race,” Stone said. “We’re going to learn from today, but today’s result isn’t something that is going to drag us down.”