April 14, 2000

THIS WEEK: The Notre Dame women’s rowing team travels to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the prestigious Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Championship Regatta Saturday-Sunday, April 15-16. The Irish will compete in seven races beginning with the Novice Four at 7:58 a.m. The schedule for Saturday’s races is as follows:

7:58 a.m. Novice Four
8:54 a.m. Novice Eight
9:36 a.m. Junior Varsity Eight
9:50 a.m. Varsity Four
10:53 a.m. Varsity Eight
12:07 p.m. Pairs
12:14 p.m. Freshman Novice Eight “B”

The top three finishers in each heat advance to the semifinals or the finals which are scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. The schedule for the semifinals and finals:


1:45 Freshman Novice Four
2:20 Freshman Novice Eight
2:48 Varsity Four
3:23 Varsity Eight


4:08 Pairs

There will also be finals races run on Sunday beginning at 8:25 a.m.

THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS – The SIRA Championships features some of the best rowing programs in the nation. Other schools competing in this weekend’s championships include: Alabama, Barry, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Clemson, College of Charleston, Davidson, Georgia, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Marquette, Miami, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Purdue, Stetson, Tampa, Tennessee, Tennessee-Chatanooga, Tulane, Virginia Tech and Washington University.

NOTRE DAME CREWS FOR THE SIRA CHAMPIONSHIPS: The following are the Notre Dame crews competing this weekend at the SIRA Championships:

Varsity Eight: Katie Besson (bow), Katherine Burnett, Amy Braun, Lauren Lyons, Katrina Ten Eyck, Kristen Vandehey, Michelle Olsgard (stroke), Claire Bula (cox)

Varsity Four: Sandra Peterson, Mary Lampe, Cassandra Stuart, Kolleen Myers, Cassie Markstahler (cox)

Junior Varsity Eight: Leah Ashe (bow), Joslyn Moreau, Allison Bartsh, Emily Deye, Elizabeth Nerney, Maureen Carr, Kerri Murphy, Megan Feeley (stroke), Erin Kiernicki (cox)

Pairs: Tara Driscoll (bow), Erin Shea

Novice Eight: Erica Drennen (bow), Beth Fruzynski, Beth Jeub, Julia Kelly, Casey Buckstaff, Becky Luckett, Ashlee Warren, Ann Marie Dillhoff (stroke), Cassandra Murphy.

Novice Eight “B”: Sarah Dreznes (bow), Becky Campbell, Kathryn Anderson, Megan McPherson, Ann Gurucharri, Laura Aull, Katie McCalden, Andrea Amoni (stroke), Pam Swan (cox)

Novice Four: Kelly Malloy, Jessica Manske, Kelly Mahaney, Melissa Slavin (stroke), Cynthia Lee (cox)

IRISH REWIND: The Irish were scheduled to compete at the Indiana Championships last weekend in West Lafayette, Ind., but the race was cancelled due to low-water conditions on the Wabash 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, 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 Irish still travel 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.

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 22, to Madison, Wisc., for the Midwest Sprints. The Midwest Sprints is one of the most important regattas of the season as it is crucial in determining participants for the NCAA Championships.