April 19, 2000

THIS WEEK: The Notre Dame women’s rowing team travels to Madison, Wis., Saturday, April 22, for the 2000 FutureSystems Midwest Rowing Championships. The albano buoyed course is 1,850 meters long starting at Wingra Park and finishing at Vilas Park. The Championships’ first race of the day is the Second Novice Eight race which begins at 6:24 a.m. and concludes with the Grand Final of the Women’s Varsity Eight at 7:00 p.m.

The Irish will be competing in seven events starting with the Second Novice Eight: The meet schedule is as follows (Notre Dame races only):
6:24 a.m. Second Novice Eight
7:24 a.m. Novice Four
8:12 a.m. Novice Eight
10:00 a.m. Second Varsity Eight
11:12 a.m. Varsity Four
12:24 p.m. Varsity Eight
1:48 p.m. Grand Final – Novice Lightweight Four

The Finals will follow in the afternoon.

IRISH REWIND: Notre Dame completed a highly-successful weekend Sunday, April 16, with a silver medal, three fourth-place finishes, a fifth and a seventh in the finals of the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championships.

The Second Varsity Eight boat of Leah Ashe (Orchard Park, N.Y.), Joslyn Moreau (Pearland, Texas), Allison Barsch (Bettendorf, Iowa), Emily Deye (Montgomery Village, Md.), Elizabeth Nerney (Waynesville, N.C.), Maureen Carr (Arlington, Va.), Kerri Murphy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Megan Feely (University City, Mo.) and Erin Kiernicki (Chicago, Ill.) claimed the silver medal by finishing second in 7:11.20. Clemson won the race with a time of 6:58.7.

After placing second to top-seeded North Carolina by only 1.4 seconds in the semifinals Saturday, the Varsity Eight team of Katie Besson (Hales Corner, Wis.), Katherine Burnett (Germantown, Tenn.), Amy Braun (Indianapolis, Ind.), Lauren Lyons (Marietta, Ga.), Katrina Ten Eyck (Keystone, S.D.), Kristen Vandehey (Denver, Colo.), Courtney Mercer (Herndon, Va.), Michelle Olsgard (Fort Collins, Colo.) and Claire Bula (Madison, Wis.) placed fifth in 7:02.70. Tulsa won the race in 6:53.10.

The first Novice Eight team of Erica Drennen (Columbus, Ohio), Beth Fryzynski (Sonoma, Calif.), Beth Jeub (Minnetonka, Minn.), Julia Kelly (Irvine, Calif.), Casey Buckstaff (Mt. Prospect, Ill.), Becky Luckett (Columbus, Ohio), Ashlee Warren (Gibsonburg, Ohio), Ann Marie Dillhoff (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Cassandra Murphy (West Simsbury, Conn.) placed fourth in a time of 7:07.90, while the second novice crew of Sarah Drenzes (Oak Forest, Ill.), Becky Campbell (Beloit, Wis.), Kathryn Anderson (Bremen, Ill.), Megan McPherson (Euclid, Ohio), Ann Gurucharri (Columbia, Mo.), Laura Aull (Peachtree City, Ga.), Katie McCaulden (Baker City, Ore.), Andrea Amoni (Oak Forest, Ill.) and Pam Swan (St. Petersburg, Fla.) also placed fourth in 7:52.90. Duke won both the First and Second Novice Eight.

The Novice Four squad of Kelly Malloy (Wallwatosa, Wis.), Jessica Manske (Glemview, Ill.), Kelly Mahaney (Elk Grove, Ill.), Melissa Slavin (El Cajon, Calif.) and Cynthia Lee (West Bloomfield, Mich.) were also fourth in 8:08.50. North Carolina State took first with a time of 7:50.30.

The varsity four crew of Sandra Peterson (Arlington, Texas), Mary Lampe (St. Louis, Mo.), Cassandra Stuart (Norwell, Mass.), Kolleen Myers (Bellville, N.J.) and Cassie Markstahler (North Manchester, Ind.) finished first in the petite final and seventh overall with a time of 8:16.00.

HISTORY LESSON: Notre Dame rowing, in only its second 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. Last season, in the first full year of competition, Notre Dame rowed against a tough schedule, including the prestigious Georgetown Invitational and Midwest Championships, gaining valuable experience. The lightweight eight boat had a great year and finished the season ranked 12th in the nation.

LEAH ASHE NAMED TOP SCHOLAR-ATHLETE: Junior Leah Ashe (Orchard Park, N.Y.) was named the top rowing scholar-athlete April 4, at the Academic Excellence Awards Dinner held at the Joyce Center. Ashe is racing in the bow seat of the Second Varsity Eight boat at the SIRA Championships this weekend.

Also, freshmen Kathryn Anderson (Bremen, Ill.) and Cassandra Murphy (West Simsbury, Conn.) were cited for having the highest cumulative grade-point averages among first -year students. Senior Katryna Ten Eyck (Keystone, S.D.) was also honored for having a perfect 4.0 GPA during the spring semester in 1999.

THE CAPTAINS: While Martin Stone and the coaching staff are busy finding the right combination for their boats, the have already found the right leadership formula in senior captains Kelly Natter, Elizabeth Nerney and Katrina Ten Eyck.

THE SCHEDULE: The Notre Dame season is starting to wind down as they travel to Navy (April 29). The Irish then have their biggest test of the season at the Georgetown Invitational in Washington D.C. (April 30), before traveling to the Central Regionals in Oak Ridge, Tenn., May 12-14. The Georgetown meet will feature the eight BIG EAST Conference schools, including Notre Dame, which currently sponsor women’s rowing (Georgetown, Syracuse, Rutgers, Connecticut, Miami, West Virginia and Villanova).

THE FALL SEASON: The Irish are coming off a solid fall season in which they competed in two regattas. At the Head of the Rock Regatta in Rockford, Ill., Notre Dame was paced by the lightweight four and lightweight eight teams as they both notched third-place finishes. Also, the Irish finished fourth in the open-four race. The rowing team collected even better results at the Head of the Elk Regatta in Elkhart, Ind. Notre Dame’s novice eight and lightweight four boats both took gold medals. Also the women’s open four placed second in both the “A” and the “B” races, while the women’s open eight registered a season-best time.

NOTRE DAME PLAYS HOST TO FIRST VARSITY REGATTA: The Irish competed in their first home varsity regatta Saturday, March 25, against Louisville and Indiana at Margaret Prickett Park in Mishawaka, Ind. Notre Dame was victorious in two of the four races they competed in, winning the Varsity Four and the Varsity Eight. The Irish also placed second in both the First Novice Eight and the Second Novice Eight with times of 6:46.70 and 7:27.20, respectively.

THE POLLS: The Irish lightweight eight boat was ranked 14th in the country in the preseason Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/US Rowing Collegiate Coaches poll, while the open eight boat was unranked in the opening tally. Notre Dame is not racing a lightweight eight boat this season and was unranked in the second poll of the year, released April 5. As of the poll released April 12, Washington is ranked first in the varsity eight boat, while Princeton and Wisconsin are tied for first in the lightweight eight boat.

UP NEXT: The Irish will travel Saturday, April 29, to Annapolis, Md., as head coach Martin Stone returns to his former school to race Navy. Notre Dame then competes at the Georgetown Invitational on Sunday, April 30.