Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Notre Dame Claims Team Title At Fourth Annual BIG EAST Rowing Challenge

April 25, 2004

Worcester, Mass. – Determined not to finish second for the fourth straight year, the No. 17 Notre Dame women’s rowing team put forth a total team effort in capturing the team title for the first time in school history at the fourth annual BIG EAST Rowing Challenge. The Irish outdistanced second-place Miami by 24 points to earn the crown at Lake Quinsigamond.

Led by its four individual title races in the varsity eight, second varsity eight, varsity four and second varsity four, Notre Dame finished with 116 points, followed by Miami (92), three-time defending champion Syracuse (82), Rutgers (74), Georgetown (73), Boston College (70), Connecticut (46), Villanova (40) and West Virginia (31).

Irish head coach Martin Stone was garnered Coach of the Year for the first time in his career.

“This was a total team effort for everyone involved,” Stone said. “Since losing by such a close margin last year at this event, I believe our team was focused and dedicated to winning the team title this year. All of our boats raced extremely well and everyone contributed to this team title.

“I was worried about how all of our boats would race today after yesterday’s regatta against Boston University and Northeastern, because we faced some tough races. But I think yesterday set the tone four our performance today at the BIG EAST. We were ready to compete.”

Notre Dame’s 17th-ranked varsity eight crew of Maureen Gibbons (cox), Natalie Ladine (stroke), Alice Bartek, Meghan Boyle, Rachel Polinski, Melissa Felker, Katie Chenoweth, Danielle Protasewich and Jacqueline Hazen (bow) won its second race in as many days. After defeating No. 15 Boston University, the Irish came back today to defeat No. 18 Syracuse by more than five seconds. Notre Dame crossed the finish line in the Grand Final in 6:54.89, while the Orangewomen were second with a time of 7:00.43. Miami took third in the race with a time of 7:01.95, followed by Boston College (7:04.13), Rutgers (7:04.25) and Villanova (7:04.29).

“Yesterday we beat a very good Boston University team (ranked No. 15) and today we beat out another top-notch crew, Syracuse (ranked No. 18). With our performances this weekend, I feel that we have positioned ourselves to move up in the rankings this week. This is very important as we look to position ourselves for a berth in the NCAA Championship.”

Notre Dame also claimed top honors in the second varsity eight race, winning the Grand Final by more than four seconds over second-place Georgetown. The Irish second varsity eight crew of Kacy McCaffrey (cox), Kati Sedun (stroke), Kathleen Welsh, Jessica Guzik, Jenna Redgate, Elizabeth Specht, Megan Sanders, Danielle Stealy and Andrea Doud (bow) won the race in 7:09.17, while Georgetown finished in 7:13.37. Miami took third in the race with a time of 7:13.37, with Syracuse in fourth (7:13.51), followed by Rutgers (7:19.23) and Boston College (7:33.27).

Notre Dame won the varsity four Grand Final by more than nine seconds over Miami. The Irish crew of Kathryn Long (cox), Katie O’Hara (stroke), Kristen Mizzi, Pamela Jefson and Ashley St. Pierre (bow) was victorious with a time of 7:36.66, while the Hurricane boat finished in 7:36.66. Syracuse took third in the race with a time of 7:54.07, followed by Rutgers (7:59.55), Connecticut (7:59.70) and Georgetown (8:13.64).

The Irish were first and fourth in the Grand Final of the second varsity four race. Notre Dame’s “A” crew of Caitlin Rackish (cox), Sarah Keefer (stroke), Meredith Thornburgh, Kristin Henkel and Tricia David (bow) won the race in 7:35.74, outdistancing second-place Syracuse by just under 21 seconds as the Orangewomen crew finished in 7:56.41. Georgetown took third in the race with a time of 7:56.76, while Notre Dame’s “B” crew of Shannan Lettieri (cox), Courtney Quinn (stroke), Ann Mulligan, Meghan Chidsey and Jennifer Connolly (bow) was fourth in 8:00.29. Rounding out the six-boat field were Rutgers (8:07.93) and Boston College (8:09.69).

The novice eight crew of Maria Romano (cox), Sarah Kate Hafner (stroke), Ariel Klingaman, Alyssa Close, Beth Hatch, Danielle Potts, Colleen Larson, Shannon Cassel and Sarah Shaw (bow) finished third in the Grand Final. The Irish were clocked in 7:26.81, behind first-place Georgetown (7:18.82) and Miami (7:24.12). Boston College finished fourth in 7:26.86, followed by Rutgers (7:27.88) and Connecticut (7:55.95).

The novice four crew of of Eileen Froehlke (cox), Audrey deGuire (stroke), Jana Miller, Colleen McCotter and Kaitlin Sharkey (bow) claimed the trophy in that three-team race, although this was a non-scoring event (one of two in the meet). Notre Dame crossed the finish line in 8:00.08, followed by Rutgers (8:10.93) and Georgetown (8:27.37).

Final Team Standings

1. Notre Dame 116

2. Miami 92

3. Syracuse 82

4. Rutgers 74

5. Georgetown 73

6. Boston College 70

7. Connecticut 46

8. Villanova 40

9. West Virginia 31