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WOMEN’S CREW: Team has success in San Diego

Kyle Cassily | Monday, April 4, 2005

The boats of the Irish plied the waters of Mission Bay, San Diego this weekend at the Crew Classic with the best women’s crew teams the country has to offer. The results were mixed, with no overall top-3 finishes present, but the experience and chance to work together in actual competition will gain dividends later on in the season.The first varsity eight crew competed in the prestigious Jessop-Whittier Cup on Saturday afternoon and garnered a fourth-place finish. The eight finished with a time of 7 minutes, 3.21 seconds, trailing victor California by 17 seconds. Washington State finished ahead of Notre Dame by a little under than three seconds for third place.The following day proved more fruitful for the first varsity eight in the Jessop-Whittier Petite race, a race consisting of crews finishing out of the top two in its’ first heat. The race came down to the wire as Notre Dame battled neck and neck with Oregon State and Texas. With only 20 strokes left to go, the Notre Dame women trailed both opposing crews. In a testament to conditioning and gut effort the women dug deep and passed Texas to place seconds in the Petite race, a little more than a half second behind first-place OSU. The finish placed the crew in eighth overall for the Jessop-Whittier Cup.”I wasn’t disappointed in the crew’s effort; I was just disappointed in the results,” Irish coach Martin Stone said. “The effort was definitely there. We were facing three crews that will most likely be in the NCAAs.”The second varsity eight crew completed the weekend ninth-overall after a fourth-place finish in the junior varsity B heat followed by finishing third in the Petite race. The novice eight crew had a similarly successful Petite heat, finishing in first, beating out second place Southern California by six seconds. The novices garnered seventh overall in the Novice races. “The second varsity eight and novice eight are growing better and getting faster,” Stone said.The Crew Classic, along with most major spring season regattas, has serious implications regarding the end of the year NCAA Championships. Stone is undaunted by the results of this weekend.”Our chances to make the NCAAs would have been helped had we made the finals [of the Jessop-Whittier Cup], but by no means are they gone,” he said.