March 30, 2000

THIS WEEK: The Notre Dame women’s rowing team continues its spring season with a home regatta against Drake on the St. Joseph River.

The action is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. at Margaret Prickett Park in Mishawaka, Ind., which is located off Jefferson Street behind Wyland’s Marine across from the Humvee plant.

There will be four races during the day beginning with the Varsity Eight at 9:00 a.m. The four races are scheduled as follows:

9:00 a.m. Varsity Eight
9:20 a.m. Novice Four
10:00 a.m. Varsity Four
10:20 a.m. Novice Eight

There will be no lightweight races and the schedule is subject to change depending on the weather conditions at the time of the races.

COME JOIN THE IRISH AT RIVER CLEAN-UP: The Notre Dame rowing squad will participate in the St. Joseph River Clean-up Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. If you would like to join the rowing squad or would like more information, please contact Lisa Nelson at 631-7516.

IRISH REWIND: After experiencing unrowable conditions on Saturday morning causing the postponement of the four-way race between the Irish, Louisville, Indiana and Michigan State. Notre Dame competed in two different races on Sunday. The Irish took on Louisville and Indiana at 6:45 a.m., before racing against Michigan State at 9:00 a.m. Against the Cardinals and Hoosiers, Notre Dame claimed the Varsity Four and Varsity Eight titles and was second in the first and second Novice Eight races. The Irish then competed against the eighth-ranked Spartans taking first in the third Novice Eight race and closing the gap on Michigan State from their last meeting in the other races.


Novice Four

1. Louisville 8:43.90
2. Indiana 9:56.00

Second Novice Eight

1. Louisville 7:27.20
2. Notre Dame 7:31.40
3. Indiana 7:35.50

Varsity Four

1. Notre Dame 8:06.30
2. Indiana 8:10.40

First Novice Eight

1. Louisville 6:46.70
2. Notre Dame 6:53.10
3. Indiana 7:04.10

Varsity Eight

1. Notre Dame 6:37.30
2. Notre Dame “2” 6:42.50
3. Indiana 6:48.30


Third Novice Eight

1. Notre Dame 7:21.20
2. Michigan State 7:39.70
3. Notre Dame “4” 7:42.20

Second Novice Eight

1. Michigan State 7:25.70
2. Notre Dame 7:42.00

Varsity Four

1. Michigan State 8:17.40
2. Notre Dame 8:32.85

Varsity Eight

1. Michigan State 6:29.60
2. Notre Dame 6:48.60

Second Varsity Eight

1. Michigan State 6:47.80
2. Notre Dame 7:03.30

First Novice Eight

1. Michigan State 6:56.10
2. Notre Dame 6:58.10

ABOUT THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT – DRAKE: This is the first season of varsity rowing competition for the Bulldogs and head coach Charlie DiSilvestro. This also will be the first-ever varsity rowing regatta for the Bulldogs.

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 varsity 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, in gaining valuable experience. The lightweight eight boat had a great year and finished the season ranked 12th in the nation.

2000 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 in 1999 as it successfully competed amongst the Midwest’s and nation’s elite programs in its first season of varsity competition. The Irish hope to build on that success in reaching their ultimate goal of qualifying for this year’s NCAA Championships.

“Our goals this year are to represent the University of Notre Dame to the best of our abilities and to qualify for the NCAA Championships,” Stone says. “To achieve the second goal, we are going to have to work very hard. In order to get there, we are going to have to be among the top two or three teams at the Georgetown Invitational and the Midwest Championships.

The open weight category is where Stone has a battle ahead of him as he tries to find a way to place 20 athletes into eight seats, as well as having the right combination. Returning to the Irish this season from the first varsity eight boat are seniors Allison Bartsh (Bettendorf, Iowa), Elizabeth Nerney (Waynesville, N.C.), Katrina Ten Eyck (Keystone, S.D.) and junior Kristin Vandehey (Denver, Co.). Another strong contender for a seat in the varsity eight boat is sophomore Michelle Olsgard (Fort Collins, Co.). A member of the novice team last season, Olsgard was one of 12 rowers selected to compete at the women’s freshman rowing camp at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Others who will challenge for seats in the first boat include freshman Kerri Murphy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), sophomores Katie Besson (Hales Corner, Wis.), Amy Braun (Indianapolis, Ind.), Katherine Burnett (Germantown, Tenn.) and Courtney Mercer (Herndon, Va.), juniors Emily Deye (Montgomery Village, Md.) and Lauren Lyons (Marietta Ga.) and seniors Joslyn Moreau (Pearland, Texas) and Kelly Natter (Washington, DC).

Added to the varsity eight mix is new coxswain junior Claire Bula (Madison, Wis.). Bula coxed the second varsity eight last season that was third at the Midwest Championships. The Irish have already shown a great deal of improvement under Bula’s guidance as the varsity eight placed sixth in October at the Head of the Rock Regatta.

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 schedule that lies ahead for the captains and the rest of the team in the spring is very difficult. The team is scheduled to compete in nine races with the ever-demanding Midwest Sprints in Madison, Wis., the Georgetown Invitational (Washington D.C.), and the NCAA Championships (Camden, N.J.) May 26-28, all circled in red on everyone’s calendar. The schedule is also highlighted by two home regattas. The Irish will host Indiana, Michigan State and Louisville March 25, on the St. Joseph River, and then row against Drake on April 2. The Irish then travel to the Indiana Championships (April 8), the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn. (April 15-16), the Midwest Sprints in Madison, Wis. (April 22) and 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.

PRESEASON 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 is unranked in the opening tally. The next poll is out April 5.

Lightweight Eight Poll/Open Eight Poll

1t. Princeton 195 1. Brown 528
1t. Villanova 195 2. Virginia 497
3. Wisconsin 176 3. California 492
4. Radcliffe 150 4t. Washington 465
5. Brown 89 4t. USC 465
6. UMass 87 6. Michigan 427
7t. Humboldt State 73 7. Princeton 411
7t. St. Joseph’s 73 8. Michigan State 427
9. St. Mary 72 9. Wisconsin 307
10. UC-Davis 68 10. Boston Univ. 285
11. Delaware 61 11. Radcliffe 264
12. Mercyhurst 55 12. Northeastern 227
13. San Diego State 48 13. Ohio State 190
14. Notre Dame 46 14. Penn 176
15. Seattle Pacific 38 15. Cornell 131
16. Georgetown 37 16. Iowa 120
17. Sacramento State 34 17. Oregon State 88
18. San Diego 33 18. Dartmouth 82
19. Creighton 32 19. Miami (Fla.) 81
20. George Washington 28 20. Syracuse 75

UP NEXT: The Irish will travel Saturday, April 8, to West Lafayette, Ind., for the Indiana Championships.