May 17, 2006
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame finished fifth in the final Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA)/US Rowing Poll Division I Varsity Eight Coaches Poll. It marked the highest ranking and best finish ever for an Irish varsity eight crew.
The varsity eight crew of coxswain Maria Romano (River Forest, Ill.), Julie Sobolewski (Haddonfield, N.J.), Amanda Polk (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Mary Quinn (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), Laura Pearson (Bloomington, Minn.), Allison Marsh (Mashpee, Mass.), Melissa Felker (Bellevue, Wash.), Meghan Boyle (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Sarah Palandech (Lakenheath, United Kingdom) began the spring season unranked in the first poll on March 13, but made its first appearance in the third ranking of the campaign on April 5 after the Irish garnered a fourth-place finish in the Grand Final of the Jessop-Whittier Cup race at the San Diego Crew Classic.
The Irish cracked the top-10 for the first time in school history on May 10 when they jumped to 10th in the poll, two weeks after winning the team title at the BIG EAST Championship for the third consecutive year. With its victory at the South/Central Regional Championships this past weekend, Notre Dame jumped five spots to fifth in the final poll released today.
Princeton topped the final ranking, followed by California, Washington State and Southern California in the final four. The Irish were followed by Brown, Ohio State, Yale, Tennessee and Wisconsin in the poll. Notre Dame earned its first-ever team berth into the 12-team NCAA Championship field with its varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four competing May 26-28 in West Windsor, N.J.