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ND ROWING: Irish seeking redemption in rematch at Indianapolis

Kyle Cassily | Friday, April 8, 2005

Seeking to emerge as victorious as Hickory High School once was in the Indiana State Crew Championship, the Notre Dame women’s rowing team heads to Indianapolis this weekend. The women will face Indiana University and Purdue at Eagle Creek Reservoir on Saturday, a rematch between all three teams.

The Irish raced with Purdue last weekend at the San Diego Crew Classic in a close race with several other teams. Indiana and Purdue faced off early in this spring season at Clemson, a race in which Indiana was victorious.

The Indiana Hoosiers have been a dominant force in women’s crew so far this season, going undefeated. The Irish seek to gain some redemption against the apparently unstoppable Hoosier force.

“They are pretty good – they are undefeated so far this year, and they beat us last fall,” said Irish coach Martin Stone regarding Indiana’s first varsity eight boat. “Our goal is to have our best race of the year. This is another step.”

Purdue is no pushover in comparison to Indiana. The Boilermakers proved tough competitors in San Diego last weekend, and it is doubtful much will change in the intervening week. Both opposing crews will prove very tough challenges for an Irish varsity eight that is still coming together and improving as a crew.

The respect Coach Stone gave to the Hoosiers was equally reciprocated by Indiana coach Steve Peterson.

“We will be having the Indiana State Championships where we face off against Notre Dame and Purdue,” he said. “Notre Dame will definitely be the bigger challenge of the two.”

Stone is confident in his varsity eight and their ability. As in every major spring regatta, all results are crucial in respect to qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Although Stone said at this point, it is not do-or-die with regard to garnering first place, but a strong showing is, as always, wanted.

“We have to come out strong and race well, and I think we will,” Stone said. “How they rowed the race [last weekend], they showed great strides with their effort.”

The other varsity eights and fours, along with the novice eights will also be present at Saturday’s competition. Stone said he is still tweaking lineups with the other boats in an effort to determine what works best.