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Novice eight squad remains undefeated

Danielle Keller | Monday, March 26, 2007

No. 11 Notre Dame performed impressively at Saturday’s regatta in Belleville, Mich. The Irish won both the varsity four and novice eight races, while the varsity eight and second novice eight boats both finished in second place. Saturday’s regatta against No. 15 Michigan, No. 14 Michigan State and Clemson was the third outing of the season. The Irish opened their season with two regattas in Tennessee last weekend. The novice eight boat, consisting of coxswain AZ Tice, Lisa Bunn, Casey Sullivan, Emily Backer, Melissa Miller, Kathleen Donahue, Dana Gates, Casey Robinson and Kellyn Nestor, remained undefeated, winning all five of their races this season. This weekend, they obliterated their competition with a time of 7:09:87, nine seconds ahead of second-place Michigan and over a minute and a half over third-place Michigan State. The varsity four of coxswain Sharon Keithley, Laura Petnuch, Anni Nowhitney, Shannon Cassel and Mary Kate McNamara also won their race, beating second-place Michigan State by nearly 10 seconds. The second varsity eight finished fourth in its race and the second varsity four crew finished third in its four-boat race. Tice said that the Irish’s performance was expected. “We’re weak in some areas and strong in others,” she said. “Now we know what areas to work harder on.”The next challenge for the Irish is the Indiana Invite April 4, where they will compete against No. 16 Wisconsin, Indiana and Purdue.

Notes:uThe US Rowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association will release their first poll of the regular season Wednesday.