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Rowing Travels To Michigan State; Plays Host To Dayton On Sunday

April 11, 2003

THIS WEEK: The Notre Dame women’s rowing team will continue the spring season Saturday, April 12, traveling to East Lansing, Mich., to compete in a tri-regatta against No. 9 Michigan State and Eastern Michigan, followed by a home dual regatta Sunday, April 13, with the University of Dayton.

Race time Saturday is 11:00 a.m. eastern time at Lake Ovid at Sleepy Hollow Lake Park, while Sunday’s regatta will start at 10:30 a.m. The start line will be at the Notre Dame Boathouse just off of Jefferson and St. Louis Streets in downtown South Bend, while the best viewing point will be at the Twyckenham Street Bridge.

SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEKEND: The following is the schedule of events for Saturday’s races at Michigan State.
11:00 Second novice eight
11:15 Novice eight
11:30 Second varsity four
11:45 Varsity four
12:00 Second varsity eight
12:15 Varsity eight

For Sunday’s Race vs. Dayton:
10:15 a.m. Women’s third varsity four
10:30 a.m. Men’s novice eight
10:45 a.m. Women’s varsity eight
11:00 a.m. Men’s varsity eight
11:15 a.m. Women’s second varsity eight
11:30 a.m. Women’s varsity four
11:45 a.m. Women’s novice eight
12:00 p.m. Women’ s second novice eight
12:15 p.m. Men’s novice four
12:30 p.m. Women’s second varsity four

DIRECTIONS TO SATURDAY’S RACE: From East Lansing, Mich., take 127 north to Price Road. Turn right on Price Road and continue for approximately seven miles. Sleepy Hollow State Park is on the left-hand side of the road. Admission is $4, then proceed to the beach area.

DIRECTIONS TO SUNDAY’S RACE: From Notre Dame, take Edison which turns into Eddy south to Jefferson Street. Go Right on Jefferson Street and take until St. Louis Street (Howard Street Park is on the corner). Go left on St. Louis Street. As you go around the bend, there is a driveway down a hill to a parking lot. The Boathouse is located there and you can walk along the East race to the Twyckenham Street Bridge.

IRISH TO BE FEATURED ON WNDU-TV ON SUNDAY: The Irish rowing program will be featured on WNDU-TV as part of its Sunday morning news broadcast before its race against Dayton. The news station will be at the bouthouse for two interviews at 8:15 and 8:40 a.m.

THE CREWS FOR THE WEEKEND: Irish head coach Martin Stone has rearranged his crews for the weekend as follows:

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 – Caitlin Rackish (cox), Kristen Mizzi (stroke), Sarah Keefer, Tricia David, Courtney Quinn

Second varsity four B –Maureen Gibbons (cox), Ann Mulligan (stroke), Jacqueline Hazen, Antionette Duck, Megan Sanders

Third Varsity four –Rebecca Campbell (cox), Kristin Henkel (stroke), Beth Franzosa, Jennifer Connolly, Corinne Roman

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

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

The crews will remain the same for Sunday’s race against Dayton, except Alison Kelly will cox the second novice eight instead of Nicole Barczak.

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

After only being on the water for a week, the Notre Dame women’s rowing team had a strong outing winning two races against Clemson and North Carolina at the spring rowing opener in Clemson, S.C. The Irish won the second varsity eight and the second varsity four, while narrowly falling in the varsity eight and the varsity four. The second varsity four posted the most impressive victory on the day winning its race by almost 20 seconds. Perhaps the most exciting race of the day was the varsity eight as Clemson narrowly defeated the Irish by only two seconds. The Irish also lost a close race in the varsity four as Clemson was first by almost three seconds. The Irish placed third in the first and second novice eight races.

The Irish concluded its spring break trip with a regatta versus Tennessee on Lake Lanier in Knoxville, Tenn. The regatta, which was run as three pieces of 1,500 meters each, saw the Irish win four races during the day. In the first session, Notre Dame won the novice eight, second varsity four and the varsity four, while the varsity eight and second varsity eight were second. In the second session, Tennessee swept all four races taking the varsity eight by only .5 of a second as the Lady Vols finished in 4:24.90. The third session saw the Irish second varsity eight earn its first win of the day.

On March 22, the Irish played host to Michigan on the St. Joseph River. Notre Dame swept all three pieces in the second varsity eight race. In the varsity eight race, Michigan won two of three pieces in some very close races. In the varsity four, the Irish took two of three races. The Irish defeated Michigan twice and tied in the third race of the novice eight.

The Irish competed against Indiana and Purdue at the Indiana Classic. Notre Dame won first place, sweeping all of the varsity races. Last weekend against No. 15 Iowa, the Irish swept all but the varsity eight races against the Hawkeyes.

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE: In their sixth season as a varsity program, the Spartans remain ranked at No. 9 this week in the US Rowing/CRCA poll. The Spartans rowed last Sunday (April 6) against No. 5 Michigan and Eastern Michigan. They beat Eastern Michigan in every event and Michigan in both the first and second novice races. At the Windermere Collegiate Crew Classic earlier this spring, the Spartans went head to head against USC. The varsity four and second varsity eight both recorded two wins against USC. The varsity eight finished seconds behind USC.

LAST YEAR AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE: Michigan State and Notre Dame were supposed to compete in a dual regatta at Michigan State last spring, but the regatta was canceled due to weather conditions.

The teams did meet at Central Regions later in the spring. In the varsity eight finals, the Irish finished fourth, less than six seconds behind the third-place Spartans. In the second varsity eight race, Michigan State crossed the line in second place and Notre Dame, less than six seconds behind, in fifth. The Irish beat the Spartans in the novice eight race, placing third and fifth respectively.

Both teams competed again at NCAA Championships, with the Irish finishing the regular season ranked No. 14 and the Spartans No. 7. In the first varsity eight race at nationals, Michigan State finished 12th and Notre Dame 16th.

ABOUT EASTERN MICHIGAN: Eastern Michigan, in its first season as a varsity program, earned its first victory as a varsity program during a spring break training trip in Orlando, Fla., when it defeated Central Florida. The first eight won by over eight seconds with a time of 6:32.19. The second eight also was victorious, while the novice eight was second.

During the fall season, Eastern Michigan was sixth at the Head of the Elk in Elkhart, Ind., in the first varsity eight with a time of 14:38.20. The second eight as third, while the varsity four was fifth and the second varsity four was 10th.

LAST YEAR AGAINST EASTERN MICHIGAN: Notre Dame has never faced Eastern Michigan in a dual-regatta format. Notre Dame faced Eastern Michigan last season when it was a club program at the Indiana Crew Classic in Indianapolis. The Irish won the varsity eight and the varsity four, while Eastern swept the novice races taking first in the novice eight, second novice eight and the novice four.

ABOUT DAYTON: Dayton is coming off a good finish for the 2001-2002 season where the team finished fourth in the overall standings at the Atlantic 10 Championships. Head coach Mike Miles was voted Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year at the Championships last spring.

This past fall, the Flyers started off at the Five Rivers Fall Regatta, with all boats taking home a medal. The first varsity eight won first place. The second four took home third place in the open four race. At the Head of the Ohio, the Flyers finished seventh as a team. Dayton claimed second place in the open varsity eight sprints, coming in behind West Virginia. The Flyers finished 10th in the open eight race to teams including Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State. At the Head of the Charles, the varsity eight placed 38th. The Flyers concluded their fall season at the Jack Speakmon Regatta. The Flyers’ first varsity eight came in third behind two Cincinnati boats while the second varsity eight came in ninth. The first varsity four finished third and the second four fifth. The novice team took first, second and fourth in the open eight race.

Dayton competed last weekend against Cincinnati and Indiana. The Flyers finished second to Cincinnati in the first varsity eight and novice eight races. Dayton placed third in the second varsity eight race.

IRISH REWIND AT IOWA: Last weekend, then No. 21 Notre Dame took four of five races from then No. 15 Iowa. Due to poor weather conditions, the race format was changed to two pieces of 1,000 meters rather than the traditional single 2,000-meter race.

The Irish second varsity eight finished almost two seconds ahead of Iowa in both pieces. In the first varsity eight, Iowa swept both races winning the first race by over four seconds and the second piece by almost five seconds. The Irish crew crossed the line in 3:26.65 in the first piece, while Iowa was first in 3:22.16. In the second piece, Iowa finished in 3:28.42, while the Irish posted a time of 3:33.30.

The Irish swept the varsity four races, winning the first piece by over eight seconds and posting a time of 4:03.60, compared to Iowa’s 4:11.40. The second piece was much closer as the Irish edged out the Hawkeyes by less than a minute in 4:06.28 with Iowa finishing in 4:07.23.

The second varsity four crews only raced one piece, with Notre Dame’s B crew coming in first, Iowa second, and Notre Dame’s A crew third. The Irish also dominated the novice eight races as the A crew was first in 3:47.01. Iowa was second in 3:52.91, while Notre Dame’s B crew was third in 4:16.60. In the second race, Notre Dame A won in 3:50.60, followed by Iowa in 3:58.40 and Notre Dame B in 4:23.80.

HEAD COACH MARTIN STONE: Head coach Martin Stone is in his fifth season at the helm of the Irish. Stone has brought instant credibility to this young program as the Irish qualified the varsity eight for the NCAA Championships in only the fourth year of the program, where it placed 16th. The Irish finished the 2002 season ranked 13th nationally and were ranked as high as ninth, its highest rankings in Irish history. The Irish boasted its first Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-American in 2002 as Ashlee Warren received second-team honors, while four women earned all-Central Region honors and six were named CRCA National Scholar-Athletes. Notre Dame also achieved its ninth and 10th consecutive semesters of a 3.2 overall team grade-point average.

STONE NAMED 2002 NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR FINALIST: Martin Stone joined elite company in 2002 as he was named one of six finalist for CRCA National Coach of the Year honors. Stone joined Stanford’s Aimee Baker, Washington’s Jan Harville, Brown’s John Murphy, California’s Dave O’Neill and Yale’s Will Porter as finalists. Harville was the eventual winner of the award.

HISTORY LESSON: Notre Dame rowing, in only its fifth 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.

FALL REVIEW: Notre Dame took advantage of the fall season by trying some new boating combinations and getting the younger rowers some experience in preparation for the spring season.

The Irish opened the fall season by taking two of the top four positions in the varsity eight race at the Milwaukee River Challenge in Milwaukee, Wis.

Notre Dame then returned home for a two-day regatta versus Kansas where the Irish took two of the top three positions in the varsity four race and finished 1-2-3 in the varsity eight. The Irish continued their successful fall season at the Head of the Ohio as they won two races, including the open four and the club four. The Irish also were fourth in the open eight and took third through sixth places in the pairs race.

The Irish varsity team closed out its fall season by taking third, fifth and seventh in the open eight race, while the fours were first and third at the Head of the Rock Regatta in Rockford, Ill. The next week, Notre Dame’s varsity four and varsity pair placed third, while the novice eight was fourth at the Head of the Grand on the Grand River in East Lansing, Mich.

IRISH IN THE POLL: After a sweep of the four varsity events at the Indiana Classic this past weekend, racing against Indiana and Purdue, the Irish entered the first US Rowing/ CRCA Poll of the season at No. 21, before falling to No. 26th in the second poll released earlier this week.

The poll also showed that Notre Dame’s schedule is nothing to scoff at in 2003 as the Irish have or will face many teams in the top 30. Thus far, the Irish have competed against No. 5 Michigan, No. 15 Iowa, No. 23 Tennessee and No. 26 Clemson in races this spring and are schedule to face nine more teams in the poll including No. 2 Washington at the Windermere Cup on May 3, No. 9 Michigan State (April 12), No. 17 Syracuse (April 27 at the BIG EAST Rowing Challenge), and No. 19 Texas and No. 22 Duke. Minnesota, Louisville and Kansas State were also ranked in the top 30 in the first poll of the season.

US Rowing/CRCA Poll As of April 8

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

Others receiving votes: Tennessee 28, Duke 13, Columbia 7, Pennsylvania 5, George Washington 3, Clemson 2, Notre Dame 2

THE SPRING SCHEDULE: Notre Dame has upgraded its schedule in 2003, facing many of the nation’s top teams. The Irish faced Clemson, North Carolina and Tennessee over spring break and competed against national-powers Michigan and Iowa. The Irish have also raced against Indiana and Purdue.

The Irish have one more dual regatta on the road as they head to East Lansing, Mich., for a date with Michigan State this Saturday, April 12. Michigan State had an impressive NCAA regatta in 2002 by finishing ninth in the team competition and is one of the top programs in the nation in 2003, currently ranked No. 9.

The Irish finally return home for their only dual regatta in South Bend as they play host to Dayton on April 13. Notre Dame then has two weeks off before heading to Worchester, Mass., for the BIG EAST Rowing Challenge. Notre Dame finished second at the 2002 Challenge and is looking to unseat defending champion Syracuse at this year’s regatta. After the BIG EAST meet, Notre Dame will go to Seattle for the Windermere Cup on May 3. Scheduled to race in Seattle are defending national champion Washington in the varsity eight, the second varsity eight and varsity four competition and the Belarus national team in the varsity eight.

Next the Irish head to Oak Ridge, Tenn., on May 17-18, for the Central Regions, a meet which has huge implications on the NCAA Championship meet. Last season, four teams competing in the Central Region regatta received invitations to the NCAA meet. The Irish placed fourth in the team competition, while the varsity eighth was also fourth. The NCAA Championships scheduled for May 30-June 1 in Indianapolis, Ind., conclude the 2003 season.

NOTRE DAME INVITED TO PRESTIGIOUS WINDERMERE CUP: Notre Dame has been invited to compete in the prestigious Windermere Cup May 3 in Seattle. The Irish varsity and second eight will help the University of Washington celebrate its 100th anniversary of rowing as 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 sponsored by the Seattle Yacht Club 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.

THE CAPTAINS: Seniors Casey Buckstaff and Ashlee Warren have been voted as team captains for the 2002-03 season. Buckstaff rowed in the first eight as a sophomore before missing her junior season studying abroad in London. She is a leading contender for a spot in the first eight in 2003. Warren became the first Irish rower to earn All-America honors in 2002 and will once again lead the eight in 2003. She also has been a CRCA National Scholar-Athlete awardwinner in her career.

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 for Notre Dame. She becomes the first Irish rower to earn the honor and was the only rower from any BIG EAST school to win the award in 2003. 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-med/anthropology.

ALICE BARTEK SETS NEW NOTRE DAME RECORD ON ERG: Sophomore Alice Bartek, who was a member of the novice roster in 2001-02, set a new Notre Dame record on the erg for 2,000 meters earlier this spring. Bartek posted a time of 7:06.00 breaking the old record of 7:11.10 set by Natalie Ladine in 2002. Overall, four women went lower than the previous record as Ladine, Ashlee Warren and freshman Meghan Boyle all recorded faster times last week.

UP NEXT: Notre Dame has two weeks off before traveling to Worcester, Mass., on Sunday, April 27, for the 2003 BIG EAST Rowing Challenge.