July 9, 2010

LUCERNE, Switzerland – Former Notre Dame rower Amanda Polk (Pittsburgh, Pa.) helped the United States women’s eight boat qualify for the Grand Finals at the 2010 International Rowing Federation (FISA) Rowing World Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland. Polk’s boat won its preliminary heat in 6:07.76.

She was also scheduled to compete in the women’s pairs event with fellow American Erin Cafaro before her teammate was forced to withdraw due to medical reasons.

The 2010 FISA Rowing World Cup III is one of the largest series events on record, with 52 races being rowed on the opening day. The Rowing World Cup series initially began in 1997, and includes all 14 Olympic boat classes. The overall Rowing World Cup winners are determined after a series of three regattas. This year, the first two stages of the series were held in Bled, Slovenia (May 27-30) and Munich, Germany (June 18-20).

The 2008 graduate is no stranger to rowing on the international stage as she has helped lead the United States women’s four boat to the silver medal at the 2009 World Championships in Poznan, Poland and the Under-23 women’s eight boat to the top spot on the podium at the 2008 FISA World Rowing Championships in Brandenburg, Germany. She is the only Irish women’s rower to participate on a national team and earn a medal in the process.

Polk remains the standard in Notre Dame rowing with her accomplishments in the water from 2004-08. She is the only Irish rower to be named a Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) All-American four-times, including three years on the first team. She was also named a CRCA All-Central Region first-team honoree all four years at Notre Dame, while being named to the BIG EAST All-Academic team twice for her accomplishments in the classroom.

During her era in South Bend, the Irish achieved unprecedented success by earning back-to-back berths in the NCAA Championships. In `06, in the program’s first-ever appearance in the team competition, Notre Dame grabbed a ninth-place finish, and followed that up with a 12th-place finish in `07. Her ’06 varsity eight crew won the Petite Final at the NCAA Championships after winning the gold medal at the Central/South Sprints and finished fifth in the final CRCA/US Rowing rankings. In ’07, Notre Dame finished in the top-10 of the national rankings with a sixth-place finish after placing third at the Central/South Sprints.

Polk and the women’s eight boat will return to the water on July 11 at 8:03 a.m. (ET) in search of gold for the U.S. For live race updates go to www.worldrowing.com and be sure to check back with und.com for a complete recap of Polk’s bid to top the podium yet again in International competition.