May 28, 2006

West Windsor, N.J. — Notre Dame made the most of its first-ever appearance as a team in the NCAA Championships as the Irish finished ninth in the team standings with 22 points at the 2006 NCAA Championships in West Windsor, N.J.

With three boats in the Petite Finals heading into the final day of competition, head coach Martin Stone was hopeful of a top-10 finish in Notre Dame’s first-ever appearance as a team. California won the team title with 66 points, followed by Brown, Princeton, Washington State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Washington and Wisconsin. Behind the Irish in the team standings in 10th was Yale, followed Stanford and Tennessee.

Notre Dame’s finish was bolstered by its No. 5 varsity eight boat winning the Petite Final in one of their finest races of the season. By winning the Petite Final, Notre Dame’s varsity eight crew finished seventh overall. The second varsity eight crew was sixth in their Petite Final to earn a 12-place finish overall, while the varsity four was 11th overall, taking fifth in their Petite Final race.

“To finish ninth in the team standings is a monumental and unbelievable accomplishment for our program,” Stone said. “I couldn’t have been more proud of how we competed. It’s a great testament to the hard work and effort our team put into this season. This has been a trend-setting year for us as a program and it is an honor for us that we can finish the season as one of the top-10 programs in the country.”

Notre Dame’s varsity eight crew of coxswain Maria Romano (River Forest, Ill.), Julie Sobolewski (Haddonfield, NJ), Amanda Polk (Pittsburgh, PA), Mary Quinn (Plymouth Meeting, PA), Laura Pearson (Bloomington, MN), Allison Marsh (Mashpee, MA), Melissa Felker (Bellevue, WA), Meghan Boyle (Pittsburgh, PA), and Sarah Palandech (Lakenheath, United Kingdom) were outstanding in rowing one of their best and most convincing races of the season as they won their Petite Final race in 6:47.54. Minnesota was second to the Irish in 6:48.52, followed by Washington (6:49.14), Yale (6:49.66), Southern California (6:51.16), UCLA (6:56.31) and Stanford (7:02.36).

“Our varsity eight boat rowed a phenomenal race,” Stone said. “They stroked through everybody to come through the field. It was really a fantastic race and solidified their standing as one of the top varsity eight boats in the country.”

Top-ranked Princeton won the varsity eight Grand Final race in 6:36.785, while California was second in 6:43.26). Brown took third in 6:43.52, followed by Washington State (6:48.06), Ohio State (6:49.31) and Michigan State (6:52.22).

The second varsity boat of coxswain Eilleen Froehlke (Pittsburgh, PA), Sarah Kate Hafner (Tampa, FL), Pamela Jefson (Kalamazoo, MI), Elli Greybar (Western Springs, IL), Jessica Guzik (Annandale, VA), Casey Fairbanks (Dandridge, TN), Kendra Short (Everett, WA), Andre Doud, (Redford, MI) and Danielle Stealy (Culver, IN) finished sixth in its race in 7:05.00. Michigan State won the race in 6:57.22, followed by Washington, (6:58.7.82), Stanford (7:00.38), Yale (7:03.45) and Tennessee (7:04.68) The Grand Final of the second varsity eight was won by Brown in 6:48.76, followed by California (6:54.37), Wisconsin (6:54.66), Ohio State (6:55.96), Washington State (6:56.07) and Princeton (7:00.47).

The varsity four crew coxed by Sarah Keithley (Austin, TX), Anka Jedry (Chicago, IL), Christine Trezza (Staten Island, NY), Kristan Madison (Saginaw, MI), and Shannon Cassel (Bettendorf, IA) took fifth in their Petite Final in 8:01.96. Princeton was victorious in 7:49.34, followed by Wisconsin (7:53.41), Stanford (7:57.03) and Yale (7:57.68). Tennessee was sixth in 8:03.43. Brown won the Grand Finals of the varsity four in 7:41.03, followed by California (7:45.35), Ohio State (7:45.78), Washington State (7:46.09), Washington (7:49.33) and Michigan State (7:54.03).