Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Novice Rowers Compete at The Head Of The Eagle

Oct. 19, 2001

Notre Dame, Ind. – Selected crews from the Notre Dame women’s rowing team continues its fall season this weekend with the Head of the Eagle in Indianapolis, Ind.

IRISH CREWS: The Irish will race four crews this weekend at the Head of the Eagle including: Boat A: Coxswain – Maureen Gibbons, Tricia David, Casey McCormick, Rachel Polinksi, Alice Bartek, Christy Donnelly, Katie Chenoweth, Jen Connolly, Shannon Mohan (bow)

Boat B: Coxswain – Erin Diminick, Katie Lawlor, Gwen Schmiedebusch, Nicole Rapagnani, Megan Connelly, Erica Ruddy, Kristen Wright, Courtney Quinn, Katie Solan (bow)

Boat C: Coxswain – Suzanne Stryker, Cory Roman, Colleen Case, Gale Bowman, Devon Hegeman, Jill Klima, Tori Blainey, Beth Monteleone, Sara Will (bow)

Boat D: Coxswain – Nicole Kennedy-Villafane, Lyndsey Grunewald, Sarah DeLeeuw, Maria Smith, Abbi Daugherty, Meryl Guyer, Cassandra Meyer, Kate Burmon, Erin Walker (bow)

IRISH REWIND IN CHICAGO AND ROCKFORD: The Notre Dame rowing team completed a successful weekend by winning three races Oct. 13 at the Chicago Chase, while the novice eight won its race and the varsity eight was second at the Head of the Rock (Oct. 14) in Rockford, Ill.

At the Chicago Chase, the Irish won the varsity eight, the novice eight and the pairs race on the 2.75-mile course on the Chicago River. In the varsity eight race, Notre Dame claimed three of the first five spots, including finishing 1-2 as the shell of Kerri Murphy, Diane Price, Natalie Ladine, Ashlee Warren, Michelle Olsgard, Casey Buckstaff, Katherine Burnett, Jayme Szefc and coxswain Cassie Markstahler won in 16:12.90. The second eight of Danielle Protasewich, Kathleen Welsh, Melissa Alberding, Kati Sedun, Courtney Mercer, Erica Drennan, Ann Marie Dillhoff, Katie Besson and Kathryn Long was second in 16:42.20. The third varsity finished fifth, while the fourth eight was 10th.

In the pairs race, the duo of Szefc and Burnett was first in 19:32.50. Notre Dame’s Dillhoff and Drennan were second in 19:47.40, followed by the pair of Warren, who won the pairs race at the 2000 Chicago Chase with partner Becky Luckett, and Ladine.

The novice eight team of Ann Mulligan, Beth Franzosa, Alice Bartek, Kristen Henkel, Meredith Thornburgh, Elizabeth Specht, Sedun, Kristen Mizzi and Caitlin Rackish also finished first in 17:27.90. A team from Dublin High School was second, followed by Indiana in third.

In the open four race, Indiana took first place in 18:55.70, followed by Northwestern in 19:10.50. The Notre Dame boat of Alberding, Katie O’Hara, Mercer, Welsh and Long was third in 19:15.60, while the crew of Laura Aull, Maureen Carr, Meg Feely, Kolleen Myers and Markstahler were fourth in 19:17.40.

In Rockford, the novice eight crew of Mulligan, Franzosa, Bartek, Henkel, Thornburgh, Specht, Sedun, Mizzi and Rackish won its second race of the weekend in 17:06.74.

The varsity eight crew of Murphy, Price, Ladine, Warren, Olsgard, Buckstaff, Burnett, Szefc and Markstahler placed second in 16:15.32. Wisconsin was first in 16:12.47, while Iowa was third (16:36.86) and Wisconsin’s lightweight crew was fourth (16:40.95). The crew of Protasewich, Welsh, Alberding, Sedun, Mercer, Drennan, Dillhoff, Besson and Long was ninth (17:29.21).

In the pairs race, Notre Dame claimed four of the top five positions, as Iowa won the race in (18:41.29). The duo of Szefc and Burnett, fresh off its victory at the Chicago Chase, was second in 18:50.22. The team of Buckstaff and Olsgard was third (18:54.82), followed by the pair of Warren and Ladine (18:54.32) and Murphy and Besson (18:59.17).

In the open four, Notre Dame was fifth in 18:05.46 and 12th in 18:47.90.

IRISH HIRES SCHLOSBERG AS ASSISTANT COACH: Martin Stone announced the hiring of Joe Schlosberg as assistant coach on Oct. 16. In his new role with the Irish, Schlosberg is responsible for alumni relations and equipment management. He also assists in coaching both the novice and varsity programs.

Schlosberg comes to Notre Dame after serving as an assistant rowing coach at Northwestern in 2000-01. At Northwestern, Schlosberg worked with the men’s novice team and assisted with the men’s and women’s varsity squads, teaching the fundamentals of rowing and designing workout programs for the teams. He also was responsible for all rowing equipment and was involved in the recruiting process.

The native of New Jersey, Schlosberg also worked with some of the elite collegiate rowing coaches during the summer of ’01 at the Northeast Rowing Center in Maine.

“Joe is going to be a definite asset to our program. He has a tremendous background in engineering, which will help us in preparing the boats on a daily basis. He also took the initiative this summer to train with some of the nation’s best rowing coaches and has brought new drills and ideas to our team,” Stone said.

A 2000 graduate of Northwestern with a degree in mechanical engineering, Schlosberg competed for the Wildcats’ crew team from 1996-99. He was a two-time captain in 1998 and 1999 as his team won the Midwest Sprints and the Big Ten Sprint Championship in 1998. Schlosberg was an executive board member of the rowing team from 1998-2000, as well as the team’s marketing assistant and equipment manager.

In addition to his coaching responsibilities at Northwestern last season, Schlosberg worked as a project engineer at ITW Buildex in Itasca, Ill. While at ITW Buildex, he led a multimillion-dollar product upgrade focusing on a new dimensional profile for the company. He has also worked as a graphics specialist at Exxon Research and Engineering in Clinton, N.J.

“I am extremely excited about joining the Notre Dame family. I look forward to challenging this team and driving them toward continued success.” Schlosberg said.

HISTORY LESSON: Notre Dame rowing, in only its third 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 head coach and the Irish competed in their first regatta in 1998.

The Irish had its best season in history last year when they finished the year ranked 16th in the nation, narrowly missing the NCAA Championships. The varsity eight boat won its first five races of the spring season and placed an impressive fifth at the Central Sprints in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Both Ashlee Warren and Michelle Olsgard earned all-Central Region honors for the Irish, while Warren, Becky Luckett, Ann Marie Dillhoff and Katherine Burnett earned the CRCA National Scholar-Athlete Award.

2001-02 SEASON OUTLOOK: Notre Dame head coach Martin Stone and his Irish rowing squad is poised for its best season yet, returning all but four women from last year’s team that finished the season ranked 16th in the nation. Notre Dame is fast becoming one of the region’s and nation’s best rowing schools, and hope to achieve its ultimate goal of qualifying for this year’s NCAA Championships.

“I think we are further along than we were last season,” Stone said.

“These early races will be a great way to measure our progress as we race against Iowa, Wisconsin, Tulsa, Minnesota and Indiana. Our main goal for the 2001 season is to improve on last year. Everyday in practice, we work on helping each other get better. Now it is time to see if we can carry it over into competition.

The open weight category, led by all-region honorees Michelle Olsgard and Ashlee Warren, returns all but junior Becky Luckett (Luckett is studying abroad this semester) and coxswain Claire Bula (graduation) to this year’s shell. The varsity eight crew narrowly missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships in 2001, after winning five races to start the season. Junior Cassie Markstahler assumes Bula’s role as the coxswain for the varsity eight. Markstahler has a great deal of experience for the Irish and is an excellent leader. Others returning to the roster this season from the top boat are Casey Buckstaff, Katherine Burnett, Diane Price, Ann Marie Dillhoff and Jayme Szefc. Look for sophomore Natalie Ladine, who rowed on the novice team last season, and junior Kerri Murphy to challenge for seats in the top boat this season as well.

The second varsity eight boat also returns four rowers from last year’s shell. Back are seniors Melissa Alberding, Katie Besson and Courtney Mercer and junior Erica Drennan. Sophomore Kathryn Long assumes the coxswain position in the second varsity eight shell, replacing graduated senior Erin Kiernicki.

Newcomers who look to make an immediate impact on the 2001-02 roster are freshmen Kristin Henkel, Kristen Mizzi, Ann Mulligan, Katie Sedun, Elizabeth Specht and Meredith Thornburgh.

THE CAPTAINS: Head coach Martin Stone will have strong leadership this season as Michelle Olsgard and Courtney Mercer have been named captains for the 2001-02 season. Olsgard is in her fourth season with the Irish, earning all-Central Region and BIG EAST academic all-star honors last season. She is enrolled in the College of Science, majoring in environmental science. Mercer is also in her fourth season of competition for the Irish and is enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters, majoring in sociology. Mercer was also a member of the BIG EAST academic all-start team.

THE SCHEDULE: After this weekend, Notre Dame concludes the fall season by heading down the Indiana Toll Road to Elkhart, Ind., for the Head of the Elk (October 28).