May 16, 2004
Oakridge, Tenn. – Notre Dame finished tied for sixth in the final overall team standings at the 2004 Lexus Central/South Region Sprints on Melton Hill Lake in Oakridge, Tenn., and was fifth among schools in the Central Region.
Five of the top seven schools in the team competition were from the Central Region. The No. 14 Irish finished tied with No. 13 Tennessee in the overall team standing with a point total of 295. Virginia, ranked seventh in the country, finished first with an overall score of 404, followed by No. 5 Ohio State (391), No. 10 Wisconsin (363), No. 3 Michigan (362) and No. 11 Michigan State (303).
Heading into today’s final day of competition, the Irish had three boats – varsity four, open four and novice eight – racing in the Grand Finals, while the varsity eight and second varsity eight boats were competing in the Petite Finals.
The No. 14 Irish 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 finished second in the Petite Final as Notre Dame was edged out by Michigan State by less than two seconds. The Irish crossed the finished line in 6:51.3, while the Spartan boat posted a time of 6:51.3. Ohio State won the Grand Final with a time of 6:34.8.
The second varsity eight boat of Kacy McCaffrey (cox), Jessica Guzik (stroke), Ashley St. Pierre, Elizabeth Specht, Kathleen Welsh, Kati Sedun, Sarah Kate Hafner, Danielle Stealy and Megan Sanders also took second in its Petite Final race. Notre Dame finished less than three seconds behind Duke (6:58.2) as the Irish covered the course in 7:01.2. Virginia was the top finisher in the Grand Final with a time of 6:44.5.
In the Grand Final of the first varsity four, the crew of Kathryn Long (cox), Katie O’Hara (stroke), Pamela Jefson, Kristen Mizzi and Andrea Doud finished fifth overall with a time of 7:44.5, edging out Michigan’s boat which registered a time of 7:45.3. Virginia was victorious in the race with a time of 7:33.1, followed by Wisconsin (7:37.0), Ohio State (7:38.4) and Clemson (7:39.3)
The open four crew of Caitlin Rackish (cox), Sarah Keefer, Kristin Henkel, Jenna Redgate and Tricia David was fourth overall in its Grand Final race as the Irish were clocked in 7:50.2. Michigan was the winner in 7:42.8, followed by Virginia (7:45.9) and Wisconsin (7:48.5). Ohio State took fifth in 7:53.2, while Clemson was sixth in 8:08.0.
The first novice eight boat of Maria Romano (cox), Danielle Potts (stroke), Ariel Klingaman, Alyssa Close, Beth Hatch, Shannon Cassel, Colleen Larson, Sarah Shaw and Meghan Chidsey took sixth in the Grand Final as the Irish crew covered the course in 7:20.7. Kansas won the race in 7:05.2, followed by Ohio State (7:09.4), Clemson (7:09.7), Wisconsin (7:10.8) and Miami (7:16.0).
“All of our boats raced very hard today and I was very pleased and proud with the effort of everyone,” head coach Martin Stone said. “All of our crews gave it everything they had today and it was a terrific day of racing for us.
“I think our varsity eight boat is still in contention to receive an at-large bid for the NCAA Championship. We are probably one of three teams who will be considered for the 16th spot. Regardless of the outcome, I’m happy with our effort today and I couldn’t have asked any more from our rowers.”