April 2, 2006

The Notre Dame rowing team completed competition on Sunday at the San Diego Crew Classic, finishing second in the open eight grand final and fourth in the varsity eight grand final. The Irish also won petite final races in both the second varsity eight and the novice eight (placing seventh overall in each), yielding a strong all-around showing for Notre Dame at the west-coast event.

Notre Dame again topped multiple ranked teams in the varsity eight race, finishing in a time of 6:58.66 to place ahead of 15th-ranked UCLA (7:01.97) and No. 9 Wisconsin (7:05.81) in the prestigious Jessop-Whittier Cup. Second-ranked California won the race in a time of 6:52.10, followed by No. 8 USC (6:54.29) and 11th-ranked Washington State (6:57.83). Marina Romero served as coxswain of Notre Dame’s varsity eight boat that included Julie Sobolewski, Amanda Polk, Mary Quinn, Laura Pearson, Allison Marsh, Melissa Felker, Meg Boyle and Sarah Palandech.

California also won the open eight grand final (7:18.60), followed by Notre Dame (7:32.11) and the Riverside Boat Club (7:33.87). The Irish crew in the open eight included cox Sarah Keithley, plus rowers Casey Fairbanks, Shannon Cassel, Betsy Madison, Brittany Burnham, Ashley St. Pierre, Lindsay McQuaid, Mary McNamara and Dani Leary. Others in the open eight grand final included San Diego State (7:47.73), River City (7:57.00) and Arizona Rowing (8:10.36).

Notre Dame claimed the second varsity eight petite final in a time of 6:56.00, finishing four seconds ahead of runner-up Northeastern (7:00.91) while San Diego State placed third (7:06.53). The Irish also won by four seconds in the petite final of the novice eight (7:17.90), with USC taking second (7:21.79) and Washington State third (7:22.61).

Other teams in the second varsity eight petite final race included Texas (7:06.55), Kansas State (7:13.25) and the San Diego A (7:15.21) – with the Irish boat including coxswain Eileen Froehlke, Anka Jedry, Jessica Guzik, Alyssa Close, Danielle Stealy, Andrea Doud, Kendra Short, Sarah Kate Hafner and Pamela Jefson.

The rest of the field in the novice eight petite final included UC San Diego A (7:30.59), SDSU (7:37.56) and Loyola (7:48.68). Stephanie Szegedi served as the cox of the Irish boat, with rowers Mallory Glass, Elli Greybar, Christine Trezza, Lauren Buck, Megan Black, Amanda Gonzalez, Laura Petnuch and Erica Copeland.

“All in all, it was a very good day. The varsity eight, in all reality, has positioned themselves this early in the season to be a contender,” said Notre Dame head coach Martin Stone.

“We came in this weekend and beat some very fine crews. We are about 6.5 seconds behind Cal and they are number-two in the country. We accomplished a lot of things we wanted to get done and think we can pick up some speed. We get to face Cal in Indianapolis next weekend, so it should be some great races.”