July 29, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Three University of Notre Dame rowing team student-athletes were members of top-10 finishing crews last week at the 2013 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria. Erin Boxberger (United States, W8+), Ailish Sheehan (Ireland, W4-) and Molly Bruggeman (U.S., W4x) each took part in the five-day event.
The three Irish qualifiers for the World Under 23 Championships set a program record. Bruggeman previously was chosen for the U.S. squad in 2012, joining Amanda Polk (U.S., 2008) as Notre Dame rowers selected to compete at the championships.
Boxberger and the U.S. W8+ crew opened the week with a time of 6:15.79 in the second of two heats Thursday to qualify for the A final. The U.S. team led the entire way during the grand final race Sunday, cruising to a wire-to-wire victory and claiming the gold medal in the race for the second straight year.
Sheehan, the first international Notre Dame rower to qualify for the World Under 23 Championships, aided Ireland's W4- boat to the top time in Thursday's repechage heat to also earn a trip to the A final. The Ireland entry captured a top-5 result after placing fourth in Saturday's grand final.
In the W4x opening heat Thursday, Bruggeman and the U.S. team pushed past Germany into the lead, crossing the finish line first and advancing through to the weekend's A final. The American crew ultimately placed sixth in a competitive championship race that was won by Romania.
Germany posted the top overall medal count for the week, claiming five medals (two gold) on the men's side and adding six podium finishes with two gold in women's racing for a final combined total of 11. Italy led all countries with four gold medals in the men's competition, adding a bronze in both genders for runner-up honors in the medal count (six). Along with gold in the W8+ A final, the U.S. added a first-place result and two other podium times on the men's side to finish fourth overall.