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Rowing Travels To Compete In BIG EAST Rowing Challenge Sunday

April 26, 2003

THIS WEEK: The No. 24 ranked Notre Dame women’s rowing team will travel to the 2003 BIG EAST Rowing Challenge at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., on Sunday, April 27. The Irish will compete against Boston College, Connecticut, Georgetown, Miami, Rutgers, Syracuse, Villanova and West Virginia. The regatta is composed of six races – second novice eight, novice four, first novice eight, varsity four, second varsity eight and varsity eight.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: The BIG EAST Rowing Challenge is scheduled to begin Sunday at 8:10 a.m. with the first heat of the varsity four and conclude at 1:30 p.m. with the grand final of the varsity eight. An awards ceremony will follow at 2:00 p.m. The following is a complete schedule of Sunday’s events.

8:10 a.m.       Varsity Four (Heat One)8:20 a.m.       Varsity Four (Heat Two)8:40 a.m.       Novice Eight (Heat One)8:50 a.m.       Novice Eight (Heat Two)9:00 a.m.       Second Varsity Eight (Heat One)9:10 a.m.       Second Varsity Eight (Heat Two)9:20 a.m.       Varsity Eight (Heat One)9:30 a.m.       Varsity Eight (Heat Two)10:20 a.m.      Second Novice Eight (Final)10:40 a.m.      Novice Four (Final)11:30 a.m.      Varsity Four Petite11:40 a.m.      Varsity Four Grand12:20 p.m.      Novice Eight Petite12:30 p.m.      Novice Eight Grand12:50 p.m.      Second Varsity Eight Petite1:00 p.m.       Second Varsity Eight Grand1:20 p.m.       Varsity Eight Petite1:30 p.m.       Varsity Eight Grand

DIRECTIONS TO SUNDAY’S RACE: Directions to Sunday’s race can be found at:

THE CREWS FOR THE WEEKEND: Irish head coach Martin Stone will race the following crews at the BIG EAST Rowing Challenge:

First varsity eight – Cassie Markstahler (cox), Natalie Ladine (stroke), Ashlee Warren, Casey Buckstaff, Rachel Polinski, Alice Bartek, Meghan Boyle, Katie Chenoweth, Danielle Protasewich

Second varsity eight – Kathryn Long (cox), Shannon Mohan (stroke), Kerri Murphy, Kathleen Welsh, Meredith Thornburgh, Kati Sedun, Devon Hegeman, Erica Drennen, Melissa Felker

Varsity four – Kacy McCaffrey (cox), Katie McCalden (stroke), Christy Donnelly, Katie O’Hara, Andrea Amoni

Second varsity four A – Maureen Gibbons (cox), Kristen Mizzi (stroke), Sarah Keefer, Kristen Henkel, Jacqueline Hazen

Second varsity four B – Rebecca Campbell (cox), Courtney Quinn (stroke), Antionette Duck, Megan Sanders, Ann Mulligan

Novice eight – Shannan Lettieri (cox), Pamela Jefson (stroke), Julie Lewis, Morgan Ertel, Danielle Stealy, Jenna Redgate, Sarah French, Andrea Doud, Catherine Schmidt

Second novice eight – Nicole Barczak (cox), Megan Sheehan (stroke), Meghan O’Neil, Nikki Karis, Fallon Shields, Laura Joyce, Marcia Luttio, Katie Hanafin, Rachel Kemp

ABOUT NOTRE DAME: Notre Dame, ranked 24th in the country, is looking to build upon its success during the 2002 season in which the varsity eight qualified for the NCAA Championships, hoping the entire team will be invited to the 2003 regatta.

The varsity eight got back on the winning track April 14, defeating Dayton by over 33 seconds on the St. Joseph River. The varsity eight has struggled somewhat this spring as head coach Martin Stone is trying to find the right combination of rowers for the shell. The Irish have been defeated narrowly by national powers Iowa and Michigan and suffered tough losses to Michigan State, Clemson (by two seconds) and Tennessee. Notre Dame has defeated Indiana, Purdue, North Carolina and Dayton this season.

The second varsity eight has had a good spring with the crew defeating Michigan and Iowa, as well as posting wins against Tennessee, Clemson, North Carolina, Dayton, Indiana and Purdue.

The fours have continued their success from the fall season. The first boat has defeated Michigan, Iowa and Tennessee among others, while the second four has defeated Michigan State by over 12 seconds and Clemson and North Carolina by over 20 seconds.

The novice crews have also performed well this spring with wins over Michigan, Iowa and Dayton.

ABOUT THE BIG EAST ROWING CHALLENGE: The BIG EAST Rowing Challenge is one of the top regattas of the spring season for the Irish. Syracuse won the 2002 BIG EAST Rowing Challenge and is the No. 3 team in the Atlantic region. Syracuse returns four starters form its team that placed 11th at the 2002 NCAA Championship. The Orangewomen began the season with a sweep of Boston University and Massachusetts at the Kittell Cup. Syracuse returned home to win the Orange Challenge Cup, winning three of five races against Northeastern and Pennsylvania.

Boston College enters the challenge in its third year as a varsity sport. At the Jesuit Invitational, the Eagles won three of four races. Against national powerhouse Northeastern, the Eagles varsity four took home top honors, while the varsity eight finished just 1.6 seconds behind the competition.

Connecticut earned two first-place finishes and a third-place spot at the Barry University Invitational in March. The varsity eight captured its race with a time of 7:14.68 and the novice four won as well. At Miami, the Huskies won both the second novice four and second varsity four races.

Georgetown varsity eight defeated Delaware and North Carolina early in the season. Against Jesuit, the Hoyas took fifth in the varsity eight, second in the novice eight, fifth in the varsity four and first in the varsity eight.

Miami opened its season winning six of eight races against Connecticut, including the varsity eight, second varsity eight and the novice eight. The Hurricanes enter the conference challenge after earning multiple victories against Cincinnati.

Rutgers finished second at Charles River in late March, competing against Boston College and Northeastern. The Scarlet Knights also hosted Princeton and Columbia, coming away with second-place finishes in the second varsity and second novice. Rutgers later swept Connecticut to be named the ECAC Women’s Sprints League Crew of the Week for April 8.

Villanova’s team had a successful season with several strong showings at the Rollins Invitational, the San Diego Crew Classic and the Knecht Cup in New Jersey. The Wildcats made the grand finals in the varsity eight, the novice eight and the second varsity eight at the Knecht Cup.

West Virginia’s spring season has been one of its best ever. The Mountaineers’ varsity eight had first-place finishes at Duquesne, the Cal Cup in San Diego and at the Knecht Cup.

Compliments of the BIG EAST

LAST YEAR AT THE BIG EAST ROWING CHALLENGE: Notre Dame, who was ranked 10th in the nation at this time last year, placed second at the second annual BIG EAST Rowing Challenge on Lake Quinsigamond in Worchester, Mass.

Syracuse, who was ranked 13th in the nation, finished first with 117 points, followed by the Irish (109 points), Boston College (87 points), Georgetown (67 points) and Rutgers (64 points).

Notre Dame took home the gold medal in the varsity four race, winning by almost six seconds. The Irish finished in 7:27.40, followed by Syracuse’s first and second boats finishing in 7:33.14 and 7:38.97, respectively. Notre Dame’s second varsity four was fifth. Syracuse won four of six races, including the varsity eight, winning by six seconds over the Irish.

Notre Dame also finished second to the Orangemen in the second varsity eight, in what was the closest race of the 2002 Challenge. Syracuse crossed the finish line in 7:04.15, while the Irish was a close second at 7:04.70. Boston College was third, 17 seconds behind both Syracuse and Notre Dame, finishing in 7:21.95.

Syracuse also won the novice eight, finishing in 7:16.83. Notre Dame was second in 720.28, while Georgetown was third in 7:26.83. The Irish also came in second in the second novice eight race.

IRISH REWIND VS. MICHIGAN STATE: On Tuesday, April 22, the Notre Dame rowing team fell in five of six races to 10th-ranked Michigan State on Lake Ovid in East Lansing, Mich. All crews were forced to row into a strong headwind, forcing times to be higher than normal, as the Irish only won the second varsity four.

Notre Dame’s second varsity four dominated its race, winning by almost 12 seconds with a time of 8:32.70. Michigan State was second in 8:44.70, while Notre Dame’s B boat was third in 9:06.10.

Michigan State’s first varsity eight set the tone for the rest of the events, defeating the Irish by over eight seconds. The Spartans posted a time of 7:28.05 to defeat the Irish, which finished in 7:36.17. The Spartans’ second varsity eight turned in an impressive effort, beating the Irish by more than 20 seconds with a time of 7:28.8. Notre Dame’s crew finished in 7:49.60. Michigan State’s other varsity victory came in the varsity four, as the Spartans’ won in 8:23.48, while the Irish finished in 8:33.52.

The Spartans swept the first novice and second novice eight races, posting winning times of 7:54.37 and 8:34.00, respectively. The Notre Dame first novice eight posted a time of 8:08.50, while the second eight crossed the line in 8:59.10.

IRISH IN THE REGIONAL AND NATIONAL POLLS: Notre Dame was ranked fifth as a team in the first regional rankings released April 15. Michigan, which the Irish defeated in eight of 12 races earlier this spring, is first and is followed by Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa and Notre Dame. In the first varsity eight, Notre Dame is tied with Minnesota for sixth in the region. Michigan is first once again as the top four positions are the same as the team rankings. Wisconsin is fifth in the first varsity eight rankings. In the second eight, Notre Dame is third, trailing only Michigan and Michigan State, while the Irish are fourth in the fours behind the Wolverines, Spartans and Buckeyes.

In the latest national poll, Notre Dame is ranked 24th, receiving one vote. California is first for the third consecutive week, followed by Washington (Notre Dame’s opponent on May 3), Harvard and Stanford. Notre Dame is facing its toughest schedule in history as the Irish have already rowed against ranked teams Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa and Tennessee and still have races against Washington, Ohio State, Washington State, Oregon State, Syracuse, West Virginia and Texas.

Regional rankings for April 15, 2003:

1. Michigan
2. Michigan State
3. Ohio State
4. Iowa
5. Notre Dame
6. Wisconsin

First Eights
1. Michigan
2. Michigan State
3. Ohio State
4. Iowa
5. Wisconsin
t6. Notre Dame

Second Eights
1. Michigan
2. Michigan State
3. Notre Dame
4. Iowa
5. Ohio State
6. Wisconsin

1. Michigan
2. Michigan State
3. Ohio State
4. Notre Dame
5. Iowa
6. Wisconsin

The following is the 2003 CRCA/US Rowing National Poll for April 23, 2003:

1. Cal-Berkeley
2. Washington
3. Harvard
4. Stanford
5. Princeton
6. Michigan
7. USC
8. Brown
9. Yale
10. Michigan State
11. Ohio State
12. Washington State
13. Virginia
14. Oregon State
15. Cornell
16. Syracuse
17. Iowa
18. Boston
19. Texas
20. Tennessee

Others receiving votes: Penn 31, Duke 4, Columbia 2, Notre Dame 1, West Virginia 1.

NOTRE DAME INVITED TO PRESTIGIOUS WINDERMERE CUP: Notre Dame has been invited to Seattle to compete in the prestigious Windermere Cup on May 3. The Irish varsity and second eight will help the University of Washington celebrate its 100th anniversary of rowing. The Windermere races are the feature event of the 34th annual Opening Day Regatta on Lake Washington’s Montlake Cut. The races are held in conjunction with the Seattle Yacht Club’s annual celebration of the opening of yachting season. The regatta is the preliminary event to the yacht club parade, as thousands of spectators annually line the cut, both on land and water, to enjoy the festivities.

Notre Dame’s varsity eight will compete against Washington and the Belarus national team in the women’s Windermere Cup race. Washington is the defending NCAA Champion in the varsity eight, while Belarus finished sixth at the 2003 World Championships.

The second varsity eight will also race in the women’s Cascade Cup, as the Irish will row against Oregon State, Washington and Washington State.

WARREN NAMED 2002-03 BIG EAST SCHOLAR-ATHLETE: Senior Ashlee Warren was named the 2002-03 BIG EAST/A?ropostal? Scholar-Athlete of the Year, becoming the first Notre Dame rower to earn the honor. Warren will receive a $2,000 scholarship for future postgraduate studies, as she will attend medical school in the fall. Warren has a 3.47 grade-point average in pre-medicine/anthropology.

UP NEXT: Notre Dame travels to Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, May 3, for the prestigious Windermere Cup.