March 15, 2014
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - The spring season kicked into gear on Saturday for the University of Notre Dame rowing team at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational regatta on Melton Lake. The Irish swept West Virginia and split their six races with Louisville before a valiant showing against Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) foe Virginia later in the afternoon.
Notre Dame's first varsity eight began the season in high style by finishing first in its morning race against West Virginia and Louisville. The Irish lineup of coxswain Christina Dines, Teresa Rubinger, Joanna Mulvey, Courtney Gaberino, Elizabeth Kelley, Anna Kottkamp, Ailish Sheehan, Erin Boxberger and Molly Bruggeman clocked a time of 6:31.700 to outpace the Cardinals (6:39.641) and the Mountaineers (7:03.137).
The Irish kept the momentum rolling into the second varsity eight, as coxswain Alex Techar, Ellen Gleadow, Carlee Beckler, Sarah Kappers, Alexis Olson, Hilary Shinnick, Rose Doerfler, Kelsey Sekanick and Kiersten DeHaven posted a winning time of 6:37.700. Louisville again claimed runner-up honors (6:41.520), with West Virginia far behind in third (7:15.997).
It became a Notre Dame trifecta in first varsity four action, with the Irish crew of coxswain Mikaela Prego, Katie Skorcz, Stella Willoughby, Bailey Amenabar and Emily Horton outracing Louisville to the finish line. The Notre Dame lineup finished the race in 7:22.100 to outpoint the Cardinals (7:34.635) and West Virginia (8:00.479).
Louisville swept the final three races of the morning, claiming a near two-second victory with a time of (7:37.700) over Notre Dame (7:39.552) in the second varsity four and adding victories in the third varsity four and novice eight.
The first varsity eight Notre Dame boat made a great run at perennial national contender and new ACC foe Virginia, leading early in the opening race of the afternoon session. The Cavaliers made a charge at the second 500 of the race into the lead, extending the cushion to nearly a full boat length at the 1,500 mark. Notre Dame made a late charge, but was unable to surpass Virginia (6:28.800) and settled for runner-up honors (6:29.644).
In first varsity four racing, the Irish crew (7:28.333) closed within five seconds of Virginia (7:23.700) in a second place run. The Cavaliers won the final four events by at least eight seconds.
Racing resumes for Notre Dame on day two of the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational at 10:10 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, when the Irish varsity eight is scheduled to meet Duke.