April 7, 2000

THIS WEEK: The Notre Dame women’s rowing team continues its spring season Sunday, April 9, at the Indiana Championships in West Lafayette, Ind. Race time is 10 a.m. The regatta was originally scheduled for Saturday, April 8, but was postponed one day due to low water conditions on the Wabash River. Indiana, Notre Dame and Purdue are scheduled to compete at the Indiana Championships.

There will be six races Sunday beginning with the varsity eight race at 10 a.m. Other races scheduled to take place include the second varsity eight, varsity four, novice eight, second novice eight and novice four.

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

IRISH REWIND: Notre Dame, competing in only its second-ever home varsity regatta, swept all four races last Sunday against Drake in cold and rainy conditions on the St. Joseph River. Notre Dame took the first two spots in the Varsity Eight as the Irish “A” boat completed the race in 6:28.50, while the “B” vessel finished 9.5 seconds later at 6:38.00. In the Novice Four race, Notre Dame once against claimed first and second place in times of 7:44.90 and 7:50.90, respectively. The closest race of the day was the Varsity Four as Notre Dame narrowly edged out Drake in a time of 7:28.45, only 4.2 seconds ahead of the Bulldogs, who finished in 7:32.70. The Novice Eight race saw Notre Dame claim the top two positions again as the Irish “A” team finished in a time of 6:38.50.

Varsity Eight
1. Notre Dame “A” 6:28.50
(Bula, Olsgard, Mercer, Vandehey, Ten Eyck, Lyons, Braun, Burnett, Besson)

2. Notre Dame “B” 6:38.00
(Kiernicki, Feely, K. Murphy, Carr, Nerney, Deye, Bartsh, Moreau, Ashe)

3. Drake “A” 6:57.00

Novice Four
1. Notre Dame “A” 7:44.90
(Swan, McCaulden, McPherson, Anderson, Aull)

2. Notre Dame “B” 7:50.90
(Ing, Mahaney, Gurucharri, Manske, Weigle)

3. Drake “A” 7:59.50

Varsity Four
1. Notre Dame “A” 7:28.45
(Markstahler, Myers, Stuart, Lampe, Peterson)

2. Drake “A” 7:32.70

Novice Eight
1. Notre Dame “A” 6:38.50
(C. Murphy, Dillhoff, Warren, Luckett, Buckstaff, Kelly, Jeub, Fruzynski, Drennen)

2. Notre Dame “B” 6:52.70
(Swan, Campbell, Malloy, Amoni, Dreznes, Kilkenny, Slavin, Shea, Liddy)

3. Drake “A” 7:02.00

4. Notre Dame “C” 7:27.20
(Ing, Corbally, Schaffer, Jeter, Kinnierm Holmes, Gurucharri, Lee, Dooley)

ABOUT THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS – PURDUE: Purdue is a long-standing club program run through the Co-Rec Department.

INDIANA – Indiana is also in its first season of varsity competition. Originally scheduled to begin in the 2003-04 season, school officials moved up the inaugural season to this year. Head coach Mark Wilson leads the Hoosiers’ initial campaign. The Irish played host to the Hoosiers two weeks ago as Notre Dame, Louisville and Indiana competed on the St. Joseph River.

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, in 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.

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.

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. 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 searching for 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 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 Irish still travel to the Indiana Championships (April 9), 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.

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.

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 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.

UP NEXT: The Irish will travel Saturday-Sunday, April 15-16, to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Championships.