ROWING: Irish travel to No. 8 Spartans
Joe Meixell | Tuesday, April 12, 2005
The Irish look to capitalize on a dominant victory from last weekend and carry it into today’s race against the No. 8 Michigan State Spartans. The Irish women must venture into Spartan territory for the regatta on short rest between competitions.
Last Saturday the women obliterated a field of very competitive schools, but none had the pedigree or the results that Michigan State presents for the Irish.
The Spartans have faced off against the top two schools in the nation, Princeton and Brown, and fought a close race before finishing third. The MSU women then went on to defeat No. 6-ranked Virginia, and proved a tough challenge for No. 7-ranked Ohio State.
It is this opponent that the Irish face in battle to be proven worthy of NCAA consideration. Coach Martin Stone of the Irish had much respect to give to the Spartans and its heavy schedule.
“They are very good,” he said. “We will have to see how the races go. They have raced a very tough race schedule this year.”
The Spartans are not the only ones with a grueling workload as of late. The Irish will have had only two days off in between regattas. In addition, the Indianapolis regatta on Saturday consisted of a double workload, races in both the morning and the afternoon for all the shells.
However, Coach Stone is extremely confident in his women. He feels the short rest and increased workload is nothing they cannot handle.
“We are coming off of our hardest training week of the year,” he said.
In preparation for Michigan State, Stone is stressing relaxation and rejuvenation for his team, along with a normal practice schedule.
A win by Notre Dame’s varsity eight against the Spartans would go a long way in securing the coveted at-large berths for the NCAAs. Lack of teamwork or camaraderie seems to be no problem at all for the Irish women and their coach.
“I love our kids,” Stone said. “They are doing everything we ask them to do. They have done everything we have wanted them to do workout-wise.”
This is not the first time these two crews have met. The Irish met the Spartans and Tennessee Volunteers back in early March in Knoxville. Most of the regatta was canceled due to lousy weather, but several shells managed to race. This included a close race by the varsity eight won barely by the Spartans that the Irish will look to avenge.