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WOMEN’S CREW: Team nearly sweeps state finals

Kyle Cassily | Monday, April 11, 2005

The Irish returned with a near clean sweep from the Indiana State Championships this weekend in Indianapolis. The Irish blew opponents Purdue, Indiana and Louisville out of the water in a full day of competition.The first varsity eight shell finished first in the morning races, before pulling in a second place finish, comparatively disappointing for the weekend, in the afternoon race.The women completed the morning race with a time of 6 minutes, 56.8 seconds, a full seven seconds ahead of runner-up Indiana. Purdue pulled in the rear almost 25 seconds behind the victorious Irish.The day concluded for the first varsity eight when Louisville took over first, a little under seven seconds ahead of the Irish, in the second race of the day.Coach Martin Stone of the Irish was mostly satisfied with how the weekend played out, only wishing that the afternoon race had gone better for his women. “We needed to go faster, especially against Louisville,” he said in regards to the afternoon race and the always-looming NCAA Championship bids up for grabs. “We have some strong teams to go up against in our region.”The rest of the weekend went flawlessly for a dominant Irish crew. The second Varsity eight went unbeaten in two races, winning the first by over six seconds with Indiana and 24 seconds in front of Purdue. The Irish won the afternoon race by a similar margin, but won over new opponent Louisville, with Indiana coming in third.Rookie Notre Dame rowers left Indianapolis in similar company with their upperclassmen teammates, as the Novice eight won both races. The first race saw Notre Dame emerge on top of Indiana and Purdue by a comfortable margin. The second race provided the Irish with its toughest opponents of the day, each other. Notre Dame fielded two shells in the second race that finished in the top two spots, separated by 8.37 seconds. The first varsity four boats in the morning finished one-two, ahead of Purdue and Indiana. The afternoon proved just as successful, with only one of the Notre Dame shells competing in the first division race, and stayed true to Irish form for the weekend coming out on top. The second varsity four obliterated a much-slower Indiana boat by slightly below 20 seconds. Once again the Irish competed with each other in the afternoon race of the second varsity four, forcing the opposing schools to finish lower in the standings.The Irish next face Michigan State Tuesday.