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Spartans sweep weekend regatta

Christine Armstrong | Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Though No. 10 Michigan State dominated at this weekend’s Indiana Classic in Indianapolis by winning all the varsity races, No. 7 Notre Dame’s boats followed close behind, taking second place over and over. The Irish varsity A boat of Maureen Gibbons, Natalie Ladine, Alice Bartek, Meghan Boyle, Rachel Polinski, Melissa Felker, Katie Chenoweth, Danielle Protasewich and Jacqueline Hazen crossed the finish line in 6:34.55, six seconds behind the Spartans. Indiana and Purdue also participated in the regatta and followed with times of 6:46.40 and 6:52.61, respectively. Overall, the crew has been pleased with their racing this season and attributes strong performances to dedication, aggressiveness and good communication between the coxswain and the rowers. The Irish are working to cut times in practice as they will continue to race against the nation’s best. “We need to work on racing when we are behind and finishing the end of the stroke together to send the boat,” Polinski said. “There are many fast teams in our region, and it will be cutthroat until the end of the racing season. Instead of just trying to hold off boats during races, we are going out and attacking our competitors”Notre Dame’s second varsity boat of Kacy McCaffre, Kati Sedun, Kathleen Welsh, Elizabeth Specht, Jenna Redgate, Kathleen Welsh, Elizabeth Specht, Jenna Redgate, Jessica Guzik Andrea Doud, Ashley St. Pierre and Megan Sanders, also finished second behind the Spartan boat. The Irish finished in 6:47.38, seven seconds behind Michigan State. The first of two Boilermaker crews earned a third-place finish in 6:53.61, followed by the other Purdue boat in 7:03.91 and Indiana in 7:05.74.”We are so close to being great, but we need to work really hard until regionals in order to reach our goals,” Maureen Gibbons said.Kathryn Long, Katie O’Hara, Danielle Stealy, Pamela Jefson and Kristen Mizzi helped the first Irish varsity four earn yet another second-place finish behind Michigan State. The Irish crossed the line in 7:19.17, less than five seconds short of the Spartan’s winning time. Indiana took third in 7:47.96. Two Irish boats competed in the second varsity four race. The first crew of Shannon Lettieri, Sarah Keefer, Tricia David, Courtney Quinn and Ann Mulligan finished in7:59.33, behind the Spartans first-place time of 7:50.2. Notre Dame’s second boat, rowed by Caitlin Rackish, Meredith Thornburgh, Alyssa Close, Colleen Larson and Kristin Henkel finished in 8:00.91. The Irish will continue to face fierce competition and work towards an NCAA bid when they race in the Big East Rowing Challenge on April 24.