March 21, 2000
vs. Indiana, Louisville and Michigan State
March 25, 2000
St. Joseph’s River
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s rowing team opens the spring season Saturday, March 25, with a home regatta on the St. Joseph’s River. The Irish will play host to Indiana, Louisville and Michigan State. This will be the first-ever home varsity regatta for the Notre Dame rowing program, which is only in its second season of varsity competition.
The action is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Margaret Prickett Park in Mishawaka, Ind., which is located off Jefferson Street behind Wyland’s Marine across from the Humvee plant.
There will be seven races during the day beginning with the Novice Four at 1 p.m. The seven races are scheduled as follows:
|1:00 p.m.||Novice Four|
|1:20 p.m.||Third Novice Eight|
|1:40 p.m.||Second Novice Eight|
|2:00 p.m.||First Novice Eight|
|2:20 p.m.||Varsity Four|
|2:40 p.m.||Second Varsity Eight|
|3:00 p.m.||First Varsity Eight|
There will be no lightweight races and the schedule is subject to change depending on the weather conditions at the time of the races.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: Notre Dame is familiar Michigan State, but this is the first meeting against Indiana and Louisville. Last season, the Irish traveled to East Lansing, Mich., to row against the Spartans and Creighton. The Irish were second to Michigan State in the Varsity Eight and the Varsity Four races, while winning the Lightweight Eight race.
MICHIGAN STATE: The Spartans have entered the national scene quickly in only their third season of competition. MSU qualified for the NCAA Championships in both 1998 and 1999. This season, under head coach Bebe Bryans, the Spartans Open Eight boat is ranked eighth in the coaches poll.
LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals are in their first season of varsity competition. Head coach Julio Viyella will lead the first-year program.
INDIANA: Indiana is also in its first season of varsity competition. Originally scheduled to begin in the 2003-04 season, school officials moved up the inaugural season to this year. Head coach Mark Wilson leads the Hoosiers’ initial campaign.
HISTORY LESSON: Notre Dame rowing, in only its second season, was granted varsity status in 1996, making it the 26th varsity sport at the University. Martin Stone was hired in ’97 as the first varsity head coach and the Irish competed in their first varsity regatta in 1998. Last season, in the first full year of varsity competition, Notre Dame rowed against a tough schedule, including the prestigious Georgetown Invitational and Midwest Championships, in gaining valuable experience. The lightweight eight boat had a great year and finished the season ranked 12th in the nation.
2000 SEASON OUTLOOK: Irish head coach Martin Stone has recruited some of the nation’s finest young rowers to go along with his outstanding club athletes to form what is quickly becoming one of the region’s and nation’s best rowing schools. Notre Dame took the rowing scene by storm in 1999 as it successfully competed amongst the Midwest’s and nation’s elite programs in its first season. The Irish hope to build on that success in reaching their ultimate goal of qualifying for this year’s NCAA Championships.
“Our goals this year are to represent the University of Notre Dame to the best of our abilities and to qualify for the NCAA Championships,” Stone says. “To achieve the second goal, we are going to have to work very hard. In order to get there, we are going to have to be among the top two or three teams at the Georgetown Invitational and the Midwest Championships.
The open weight category is where Stone has a battle ahead of him as he tries to find a way to place 20 athletes into eight seats, as well as having the right combination. Returning to the Irish this season from the first varsity eight boat are seniors Allison Bartsh (Bettendorf, Iowa), Elizabeth Nerney (Waynesville, N.C.), Katrina Ten Eyck (Keystone, S.D.) and junior Kristin Vandehey (Denver, Co.). Another strong contender for a seat in the varsity eight boat is sophomore Michelle Olsgard (Fort Collins, Co.). A member of the novice team last season, Olsgard was one of 12 rowers selected to compete at the women’s freshman rowing camp at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Others who will challenge for seats in the first boat include freshman Kerri Murphy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), sophomores Katie Besson (Hales Corner, Wis.), Amy Braun (Indianapolis, Ind.), Katherine Burnett (Germantown, Tenn.) and Courtney Mercer (Herndon, Va.), juniors Emily Deye (Montgomery Village, Md.) and Lauren Lyons (Marietta Ga.) and seniors Joslyn Moreau (Pearland, Texas) and Kelly Natter (Washington, DC).
Added to the varsity eight mix is new coxswain junior Claire Bula (Madison, Wis.). Bula coxed the second varsity eight last season that was third at the Midwest Championships. The Irish have already shown a great deal of improvement under Bula’s guidance as the varsity eight placed sixth in October at the Head of the Rock Regatta.
THE CAPTAINS: While Martin Stone and the coaching staff are busy finding the right combination for their boats, the have already found the right leadership formula in senior captains Kelly Natter, Elizabeth Nerney and Katrina Ten Eyck.
THE SCHEDULE: The schedule that lies ahead for the captains and the rest of the team in the spring is very difficult. The team is scheduled to compete in nine races with the ever-demanding Midwest Sprints in Madison, Wis., the Georgetown Invitational (Washington D.C.), and the NCAA Championships (Camden, N.J.) May 26-28, all circled in red on everyone’s calendar. The schedule is also highlighted by two home regattas. The Irish will host Indiana, Michigan State and Louisville March 25, on the St. Joseph River, and then row against Drake on April 2. The Irish then travel to the Indiana Championships (April 8), the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn. (April 15-16), the Midwest Sprints in Madison, Wis. (April 22) and Navy (April 29). The Irish then have their biggest test of the season at the Georgetown Invitational in Washington D.C. (April 30), before traveling to the Central Regionals in Oak Ridge, Tenn., May 12-14. The Georgetown meet will feature the eight BIG EAST Conference schools, including Notre Dame, which currently sponsor women’s rowing (Georgetown, Syracuse, Rutgers, Connecticut, Miami, West Virginia and Villanova).
THE FALL SEASON: The Irish are coming off a solid fall season in which they competed in two regattas. At the Head of the Rock Regatta in Rockford, Ill., Notre Dame was paced by the lightweight four and lightweight eight teams as they both notched third-place finishes. Also, the Irish finished fourth in the open-four race. The rowing team collected even better results at the Head of the Elk Regatta in Elkhart, Ind. Notre Dame’s novice eight and lightweight four boats both took gold medals. Also the women’s open four placed second in both the “A” and the “B” races, while the women’s open eight registered a season-best time.
PRESEASON POLLS: The Irish lightweight eight boat was ranked 14th in the country in the preseason Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/US Rowing Collegiate Coaches poll, while the open eight boat is unranked in the opening tally.
|Lightweight Eight Poll||Open Eight Poll|
|7t.||St. Joseph’s||73||8.||Michigan State||427|
|13.||San Diego State||48||13.||Ohio State||190|
|17.||Sacramento State||34||17.||Oregon State||88|
UP NEXT: The Irish will play host to Drake on Sunday, April 2, at the St. Joseph River and Margaret Prickett Park. The start time of the regatta is 9 a.m.