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Rowing: Team travels to Invitational

Cory Bernard | Friday, April 15, 2011

After his team’s varsity eight-boats raced poorly in their last regatta, Irish coach Martin Stone verbalized his disappointment to the squad.

If Notre Dame was looking for an easy victory to get back on track, it will not find it Saturday.

In addition to the Irish, a handful of nationally-ranked teams will be competing in the Lake Natoma Invitational in Gold River, Calif., Saturday and Sunday. The event is co-hosted by Sacramento State and California at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center. The Golden Bears have finished first at the last two Lake Natoma Invitationals.

Notre Dame will face No. 4 California and Oregon State Saturday morning before facing off against No. 5 Stanford and Sacramento State later that afternoon. Sunday morning race times depend on Saturday results.

Stone said he expects tough competition from each of the schools the Irish will face.

“With Cal and Stanford, we expect a good race,” he said. “Also, Oregon State is a very strong program and Sacramento State will be on their home course.”

Notre Dame’s squad will be making the program’s first appearance at the invitational. Other top teams competing in Gold River include No. 6 Brown and No. 10 Wisconsin. The Irish faced the Badgers during their first event of the season at the Head of the Rock Regatta in October. Overall, Wisconsin topped Notre Dame that fall day.

Stone said his team is ready to race and excited to be included in such a competitive field.

“We’re very excited, so we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “I think we prepared well, and we’re excited to get into Lake Natoma.”

Tennessee and Central Florida round out the nine-team field, which boasts competitors from every region of the country.

Competition is set to start Saturday in Gold River.