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ND Women’s Rowing: Irish to face tough teams in California

Chris Michalski | Friday, April 3, 2009

Notre Dame will travel to San Diego to take on tough competition out west this weekend at the San Diego Classic.

This week, the Irish have been working hard to prepare for the Classic, which is a big event.

“Practices have been very intense this past week,” freshman Tess Fitzpatrick said. “We are currently doing seat-races to determine who will row in what positions, so we really have to give it our all and compete with each other.”

The San Diego Crew Classic will feature schools from all over the country, including Georgetown, Syracuse, Stanford and Villanova.

“There are a lot of ranked teams traveling to San Diego this weekend so we are really looking to have success and hopefully make a name for ourselves,” freshman Alicia Elliott said.

The Irish are coming off a very successful weekend, where they won four races against Indiana and Purdue.

The first and second varsity eight races went to the Irish, with senior coxswain Stephanie Szegedi leading her crew to a time of 5:33 and senior coxswain Kelsey Otero following that up with a time of 5:46.

The Irish dominance really showed in the varsity four competition, where Notre Dame won three times.

Irish-A, led by senior coxswain Katherine McMackin, crossed the line with a first-place time of 6:49.

Freshman Jacqueline Gihooly led her Irish-C crew to second place, followed by junior Rachael Louie’s Irish-B crew in third.

The Irish won their fourth race, as Elliott led her first novice eight team to a victory, crossing the line in 6:15.

The Notre Dame women will send their top two eights to compete in the Classic. The top crew will face Washington, Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa in their first race scheduled to begin at 8:50 a.m. Saturday.

Ultimately, the team is working toward the Big East championships and the South Central Championships. The Irish have won the last five Big East Championships.