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Rowing: Irish place third, fifth in San Diego

Brendan Corsones | Monday, April 6, 2009

The first and second Irish varsity boats finished third and fifth, respectively, in the San Diego Crew Classic this weekend.

The first varsity eight, coxed by Stephanie Szegedi, finished with a time of 7:02.39 in the Women’s Collegiate Varsity Invitational Petite Final, behind UCLA (6:52.20) and Iowa (6:53.77). The Irish beat out Miami (7:07.43) and UC-Davis (7:12.60).

The first boat got to that point by qualifying Saturday with a time of 6:51.07 in the Group A heat. The Irish were competitive in a group that featured No. 4 Washington, No. 6 Michigan and No. 18 Oregon State.

The second eight, coxed by Kelsey Otero, put in a time of 7:09.47 in their final, just getting edged by Washington (7:00.00), Michigan (7:02.08), Wisconsin (7:04.71), and USC (7:04.73) in the Women’s Collegiate JV Grand Final. The Irish did manage to beat Oregon State, who clocked a 7:11.92 in the final.

Otero’s boat finished an impressive second in their qualifying heat Saturday, clocking a 7:06.49, bested only by Washington (6:56.90).

Irish coach Martin Stone said he was proud of his second boat’s results.

“It’s the first time they’ve reached the grand final in the five years we’ve been coming to the (San Diego) Classic,” he said.

Stone did say, however, that his first varsity boat had room for improvement, and that the crew would train even harder during this week in preparation for next week’s regatta against Ohio State, Brown and Minnesota in Columbus, Ohio.

“I hoped we’d run faster,” he said. “But we have a chance to prove ourselves next weekend against Ohio State.”