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Crew: Irish disappointed with Cal-Sag regatta results

Joe Meixell | Monday, November 5, 2007

Notre Dame returned Sunday from the Cal-Sag regatta disappointed with its results but optimistic about the future.

The Irish had boats finish eighth, 14th, 16th and 18th in the morning head race, with times of 16:19.4, 16:41.1, 16:44.6, and 16:56.2, respectively. Wisconsin took the top spot in the morning race, with a time of 15:45.0. Notre Dame’s times were good enough for all boats to advance to the afternoon sprints – but not as good as Irish coach Martin Stone had hoped.

“We didn’t row very well at all,” Stone said. “We didn’t meet our expectations.”

Stone attributed the weak showing to tough conditions on the course, specifically a strong tailwind.

“[The tailwind] caused the boats to move a little faster, and we just didn’t adjust well,” Stone said. “We made some changes [before the afternoon races] and the boats rowed a little bit better in the afternoon.”

The Irish did manage to improve slightly in the second series of races, taking one first, two thirds, and one fourth-place finish. The boat of coxswain Kelsey Otero, which finished eighth in the morning, managed to come back in the afternoon and defeat three boats that had beaten them earlier. Stone said the unique format of the regatta helped his team fix its mistakes and improve.

“I definitely liked the format,” Stone said. “It allowed us to regroup after a bad morning race. We could fix stuff for the afternoon instead of waiting two and a half or three months to fix it.”

The second varsity crew finished 16th in the morning; but it, too, rebounded in the afternoon, posting a time of 7:03.069, good enough for third place behind Michigan State (6:49.755) and Wisconsin (7:02.501).

The third and fourth varsity boats posted times of 7:12.705 and 7:08.940, respectively. The third boat finished fourth in their heat, while the fourth crew came in third.

After next week’s Blue-Gold intrasquad race, the team will head indoors for their winter training. Stone is confident his team will improve and be ready for the spring season.

“We came out of last spring and identified things we’ve struggled with,” Stone said. “We’ve been working on those things in the fall and will continue to work through the winter.”