Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Rowers Open Fall Season In Chicago and Rockford, Ill.

Oct. 5, 2000

Notre Dame, Ind. – THIS WEEK: The Notre Dame women’s rowing team opens its season this weekend with two regattas. The Irish first travel to Chicago for the Chicago Chase Saturday, Oct. 7, followed by the Head of the Rock Sunday morning in Rockford, Ill. The Chicago Chase starts with the pairs race at 7:45 a.m., while the Head of the Rock begins with the same race Sunday at 8:45 a.m.

CHICAGO CHASE: The 2.75 mile race takes place on the Chicago River. The course starts in Chinatown Park going north to the finish line at the Chicago Bridge. The pairs races begins at 7:45 a.m., followed by the Varsity and Lightweight Eight races at 9:00 a.m. The Open and Lightweight Four race concludes the regatta for the Irish at 11:45 a.m.

HEAD OF THE ROCK: The Head of the Rock is a 2.75 mile race. The pairs race begins at 8:45 a.m., followed by the Varsity and Lightweight Four race at 10:00 a.m. The Varsity Eight race starts at 2:20 p.m. and the Lightweight Eight race ends the day at 3:25 p.m.

THE IRISH BOATS FOR THE WEEKEND: Here are the boats Irish head coach Martin Stone is going with this weekend: Pairs: Becky Luckett/Ashlee Warren, Katherine Burnett/Jayme Szefc, Diane Price/Ann Marie Dillhoff, Casey Buckstaff/Julia Kelly, Laura Aull/Leah Ashe, Anne Starks/Kerri Murphy
First Varsity Eight: Ann Marie Dillhoff, Melissa Alberding, Julia Kelly, Casey Buckstaff, Becky Luckett, Ashlee Warren, Katherine Burnett, Jayme Szfec, Erin Kiernicki
Second Varsity Eight: Anne Starks, Kristi Schmidt, Maureen Carr, Elizabeth Kinnier, Diane Price, Katherine McCauldren, Erica Drennen, Kolleen Myers, Cassie Markstahler
Lightweight Eight: Sara Andrews, Erin Shea, Rebecca Campbell, Jessica Manske, Diana Laquinta, Kerri Murphy, Laura Aull, Leah Ashe, Claire Bula
Varsity Four: Caitlin Murray, Allyson Spacht, Ann Gurucharri, Andrea Amoni, Cassie Markstahler
Lightweight Four: Tara Driscoll, Kathryn Long, Jessica Manske, Rebecca Manske, Rebecca Campbell, Pamela Swan
Sunday Pairs: Luckett/Warren, Burnett/Szefc, Price/ Dillhoff, Buckstaff/Kelly, McCauldren/Drennen, Kinnier/Starks
Sunday First Varsity Eight: Dillhoff, Alberding, Kelly, Buckstaff, Luckett, Warren, Burnett, Szfec, Bula
Sunday Second Varsity Eight: Starks, Schmidt, Carr, Kinnier, Price, McCauldren, Drennen, Myers, Swan
Sunday Varsity Four: Alberding, Schmidt, Carr, Myers, Bula
Sunday Lightweight Four: Murray, Spacht, Gurucharri, Amoni, Swan
Lightweight Eight: Andrews, Shea, Campbell, Manske, Laquinta, Murphy, Aull, Ashe, Kiernicki

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.

2000-01 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 its first two seasons as it successfully competed amongst the Midwest’s and nation’s elite programs. The Irish hope to build on that success in reaching their ultimate goal of qualifying for this year’s NCAA Championships.

“We have been steadily progressing toward our goal of qualifying for the NCAA Championships,” Stone says. “We have a number of talented newcomers this season who will sit in key positions in our boats. Combine that with an experienced group of returning athletes, especially the coxswains, and we will be on target to achieve our goals.”

The open weight category is where Stone has a battle ahead of him as he needs to replace a number of athletes in the Varsity Eight vessel. Gone are Amy Braun and Katrina Ten Eyck, while three other athletes, Michelle Olsgard (Fort Collins, Colo.), Courtney Mercer (Herndon, Va.) and Lauren Lyons (Marietta, Ga.) are studying abroad the first semester.

But Stone does have returning senior captains Erin Kiernicki (Chicago, Ill.) and Claire Bula (Madison, Wis.) Bula coxed the Varsity Eight last season, while Kiernicki guided the Second Varsity Eight. This weekend, Bula will steer the Lightweight Eight boat on Saturday an the Varsity Eight Sunday, while Kiernicki will have the Varsity Eight vessel. Junior Katherine Burnett (Germantown, Tenn.) is the only other returning athlete in the Varsity Eight boat from last season.

Newcomers who look to make an immediate impact are Melissa Alberding (Decatur, Ill.), who is back after studying abroad last year, Ann Marie Dillhoff (Cincinnati, Ohio), Casey Buckstaff (Mt. Prospect, Ill.), Becky Luckett (Columbus, Ohio) and Ashlee Warren (Gibsonburg, Ohio), all of whom rowed on the novice squad last season. Freshmen Julia Kelly (Irvine, Calif.) and Jayme Szefc (Westport, Conn.) also will row in the top boat.

THE CAPTAINS: Head coach Martin Stone will have strong leadership this season as Claire Bula and Erin Kiernicki have been named captains for the 2000-01 season. Bula is in her third season with the Irish and was a nominee for the US Rowing Honor Roll last year. She is enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters, majoring in American studies. Kiernicki is also in her third season of competition for the Irish and is enrolled in the College of Business, majoring in marketing and sociology.

THE SCHEDULE: The schedule that lies ahead for the captains and the rest of the team this fall is a challenging one as the Irish are on the road for four regattas. The Irish start with the Chicago Chase and the Head of the Rock this weekend before traveling to East Lansing, Mich., October 14, to row against one of the nation’s best teams in Michigan State. After the Irish play host to an Alumni Day (October 28), Notre Dame travels down the Indiana Toll Road to Elkhart, Ind., for the Head of the Elk (October 29).