April 7, 2002

San Diego, Calif. – The Notre Dame first varsity eight crew of Jayme Szefc, Michelle Olsgard, Ashlee Warren, Becky Luckett, Diane Price, Natalie Ladine, Katie Besson, Katherine Burnett and coxswain Cassie Markstahler placed fifth in the grand final of the Jessop-Whittier Cup at the prestigious San Diego Crew Classic. The Irish, ranked 20th in the nation, finished the grand final in 6:35.31, while top-ranked Washington placed first in 6:24.69, followed by No. 3 Ohio State (6:27.62), No. 11 California (6:28.94) and 13th-ranked Stanford (6:38.00).

The fifth-place finish concluded a successful weekend in which the Irish recorded faster times than many teams ranked above them coming into the San Diego Crew Classic. On Saturday, Notre Dame posted faster times than No. 9 USC, No. 14 Texas and No. 19 Oregon State. On Sunday, the Irish finished ahead of sixth-ranked Virginia.

“The race was a barnburner today,” head coach Martin Stone said. “This is the best day of racing in the history of our varsity program. The athletes were phenomenal for us today as they caught Virginia with 500 yards to go and powered through them. It is fantastic what we accomplished today and gives us great confidence for the rest of the season.”

The second varsity eight crew of Megan Feely, Kerri Murphy, Erica Drennen, Courtney Mercer, Jacqueline Hazen, Melissa Alberding, Kathleen Welsh, Danielle Protasewich and coxswain Kathryn Long finished sixth in the petite final after catching a crab in the first 500 yards of the race. Notre Dame’s time of 7:33.32 was well behind petite winner Oregon, who finished in 7:02.10.

Jessop-Whittier Cup Final1.  Washington          6:24.692.  Ohio State          6:27.623.  California          6:28.944.  Stanford            6:33.005.  Notre Dame          6:35.316.  Virginia            6:36.467.  Washington State        6:39.79

Junior Varsity Petite Final1. Oregon 7:02.102. Stanford 7:08.013. Minnesota 7:09.124. Kansas 7:11.205. UNC 7:22.826. Notre Dame 7:33.32