Oct. 12, 2009
ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Notre Dame women’s rowing team opened its season on Sunday, Oct. 11 with a strong performance at the Head of the Rock, which took place at the YMCA of the Rock River Valley. The Irish were able to capture the novice eight title for the second consecutive year, while also finishing runner-up in the collegiate four and placing a boat fifth in the collegiate eight race.
The crew of coxswain Sarah Keithley, Stephanie Gretsch, Christina Buckley, Brittney Kelly and Morgan Kelley got the Irish off to a quick start as they earned a second-place finish (out of 26 boats) in the collegiate four race with a time of 16:53.45, finishing five seconds ahead of the third-place boat. Notre Dame would later finish back-to-back in sixth and seventh place in the same race. The boat of coxswain Elizabeth Davis, Paige White, Ching-Ting Hwang, Megan Keegan and Carol Ann Michel was able to hold off their teammates, as they crossed the line in 17:24.06. With a final time of 17:26.86, the boat of coxswain Jacqueline Gilhooly, Braegan Padley, Casey Robinson, Katherine Linnemanstons and Emily Backer earned the seventh-place finish. The Irish rounded out the collegiate four race with an 11th-place result from the crew of coxswain Rachael Louie, Colleen McKenna, Katie Suyo, Valerie Brencher and Maria Lang as the boat completed the race in 17:49.50.
The novice eight race was next for Notre Dame, as the Irish for the second consecutive year captured the race victory. The boat of coxswain Abby Meyers, Kathleen Bracke, Joanna Poinsatte, Kate Monahan, Alyce Kanabrocki, Meghan Salomon, Sarah Thompson, Stephanie Boggs and Stephanie O’Neill was victorious over the 15-boat field after posting the winning time of 16:15.34 and holding off Wisconsin who finished in 16:15.94. Notre Dame would again earn back-to-back finishes after crossing in seventh and eighth to round out their boats in the novice eight. The boat of coxswain Lauren Peartree, Sarah McShane, Kelly Brakora, Madeline Andersen, Caitlyn Kalscheur, Paige Aeillo, Kelsey Murphy, Analisa LaMair-Orosco and Kelsey Haddad crossed in 18:41.81 to end in seventh, while the crew of coxswain Kerry Casey, Danielle Schneider, Kim Dunbar, Camille Sharrow, Maura Newell, Megan Vertovec, Anne Hart, Alisa Blumenthaler and Catherine Hermann crossed next with a final time of 18:59.52.
Notre Dame wrapped up its day of competition in the collegiate eight race. The top Irish finish in the race came when the boat crewed by coxswain Sarah Keithley, Braegan Padley, Casey Robinson, Katherine Linnemanstons, Stephanie Gretsch, Christina Buckley, Brittney Kelly, Morgan Kelley and Emily Backer crossed the line in fifth place in the 23-boat field with a time of 15:48.08. The boat of coxswain Alicia Elliot, Colleen McKenna, Ching-Ting Hwang, Paige White, Katie Suyo, Valerie Brencher, Maria Lang, Megan Keegan and Carol Ann Michel was the next of the four Irish boats in the race to cross, finishing in ninth place with a final time of 16:08.61. Notre Dame would see its next boat finish in 11th-place with the crew of coxswain Jacqueline Gilhooly, Brianna Krafcik, Andrea Archer, Meredith Figg, Kate Monahan, Meghan Salomon, Joanna Poinsatte, Stephanie Boggs and Stephanie O’Neill stopped the clock at 16:33.53. The Irish rounded out the race and its day of competition, as the fourth and final boat crossed the line in 21st when the crew of coxswain Elizabeth Davis, Sarah McShane, Kelsey Murphy, Paige Aeillo, Analisa LaMair-Orosco, Kelsey Haddad, Kathleen Bracke, Alyce Kanabrocki and Sarah Thompson finished with a time of 18:09.89.