May 31, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Notre Dame rowing team saw all three of its boats qualify for petite final berths on Saturday during the second day of racing at the 2014 NCAA Championship at Eagle Creek Park. The Irish first and second varsity eights, along with the varsity four, will compete in the petite final heats that determine seventh through 12th place in each boat during the championship’s final day on Sunday.
Notre Dame’s first varsity eight began the day in the second heat of A/B semifinal racing in a competitive matchup that featured Stanford, Brown, Princeton, Michigan and Harvard. The Irish crew of coxswain Christina Dines, Teresa Rubinger, Hilary Shinnick, Anna Kottkamp, Ailish Sheehan, Erin Boxberger, Molly Bruggeman, Courtney Gaberino and Joanna Mulvey posted a time of 6:42.132 for a fifth place finish, behind grand final qualifiers Stanford (6:30.061), Brown (6:30.108) and Michigan (6:30.312).
“I thought each of the boats raced well,” Notre Dame head coach Martin Stone said. “In the first race, the varsity eight, we just didn’t get off the line all that well, and were sort of left behind in a barn-burner of a race. When you get stuck, you do sort of get left. I think they rallied to come back and catch up with Harvard at the end to finish fifth.”
The second varsity eight followed with a solid outing in its own A/B semifinal heat that also included Virginia, Stanford, California, Michigan and Southern California. Coxswain Alex Techar, Sarah Kappers, Carlee Beckler, Katie Skorcz, Alexis Olson, Elizabeth Kelley, Rose Doerfler, Ellen Gleadow and Kiersten DeHaven crossed the finish line in 6:54.600 to finish in fifth behind Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) counterpart Virginia (6:43.702), Stanford (6:44.395) and California (6:45.304).
“I felt that the second eight rowed a pretty good race, they were a little faster off the front end,” Stone said. “They were able to stick with the pack, but again, it was another barn-burner race.”
Notre Dame’s varsity four was the last petite qualifier on the day for the Irish, after competing alongside Stanford, Virginia, Brown, Ohio State and Princeton. The four boat crew of coxswain Mikaela Prego, Bailey Amenabar, Stella Willoughby, Emily Horton and Kelsey Sekanick posted a time of 7:50.225 to close slightly off the pace of event winner Stanford (7:31.938) and other grand final qualifiers Virginia (7:32.181) and Brown (7:33.564).
“The four had a good race as well, and we finished fifth in all of the ones today, so we will be sort of in the middle of the race course tomorrow,” Stone said. “We are in a tight points race to see how high we finish. Our highest finish ever was ninth (2006), so we’re trying to see if we can equal or better that. Everybody has to perform at a high level, but if we do that, we have a shot.”
Notre Dame is scheduled to take part in its first petite final of Sunday’s last day of the 2014 NCAA Championship at 10 a.m. (ET), when the Irish varsity four takes the water against Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Princeton at Eagle Creek Park.
NCAA Women’s Division I Varsity Eight Preliminaries, Heat 2
NCAA Women’s Division I Varsity Eight Repechage, Heat 2
NCAA Women’s Division I Second Varsity Eight Preliminaries, Heat 2
NCAA Women’s Division I Second Varsity Eight Repechage, Heat 2
NCAA Women’s Division I Varsity Four Preliminaries, Heat 3
NCAA Women’s Division I Varsity Eight A/B Semifinal 2
NCAA Women’s Division I Second Varsity Eight A/B Semifinal 2
NCAA Women’s Division I Varsity Four A/B Semifinal 1