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Women’s Crew: Notre Dame wins Big East title

Tim Kaiser | Monday, May 1, 2006

Notre Dame lived up to all the expectations, as the Irish scored 122 points and won their third consecutive Big East Championship on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass Sunday.

No. 12 Notre Dame easily outscored the nine other Big East Teams competing at Sunday’s meet.

Louisville finished second with 103 points, followed by Syracuse with 76.

With the win, Irish coach Martin Stone captured another conference championship – and also the Big East coaching staff of the year award.

The win puts Notre Dame in the NCAA South/Central regional, which will take place in two weeks in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“This is a very hungry group that just wants to be successful,” Stone said. “I think it is on the forefront of the minds of our team, and that really is what our team is aiming for this season.”

The Irish first won the varsity four grand finale with a time of 7:33.0, besting Louisville, who finished second at 7:40.1.

The Irish boat was manned by coxswain Sarah Keithley, Shannon Cassel, Kristan Madison, Casey Fairbanks and Mary McNamara.

Notre Dame’s second varsity four team of coxswain Kelsey Otero, Danielle Leary, Erica Castro-Larsen, Alyssa Teves and Kaitlin Jackson also won their grand final with a time of 7:46.92. Connecticut finished second in the second varsity four with a time of 7:58.96, and Rutgers was third, finishing in 7:59.28.

Manned by coxswain Maria Romano, the Irish varsity eight of Julie Sobolewski, Amanda Polk, Mary Quinn, Laura Pearson, Allison Marsh, Melissa Felker, Meghan Boyle and Sarah Palandech won their grand final with a time of 6:28.32.

Louisville finished second at 6:34.83, and Syracuse was third with a time of 6:41.55.

Not to be outdone, the Irish second varsity eight captured the title in its race with a mark of 6:39.62, again finishing just ahead of Louisville (6:46.74).

The boat was crewed by coxswain Eileen Froehlke, Ankica Jedry, Jessica Guzik, Alyssa Close, Danielle Stealy, Andrea Doud, Kendra Short, Sarah Kate Hafner and Pamela Jefson.

With the Big East trophy already on the shelf, Notre Dame will now look to secure a bid in the NCAA championship on May 26 in Windsor, New Jersey.

But first it will need a strong performance at the South/Central regional race.

“A team bid obviously would be the next step for this program,” Stone said.

“Our team is very unselfish, and we have a number of people on this team who want to do whatever they can to help us get that bid.”