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Women’s Rowing: Irish to open season at regatta in Ann Arbor

Joe Wirth | Friday, September 16, 2011

The woman’s rowing team kicks off the fall portion of its schedule this weekend with a four-team regatta.

The race takes place at Lake Belleville in Ann Arbor, Mich. as the Irish compete against Michigan, Michigan State and Eastern Michigan.

The Irish, who are coming off their eighth straight Big East title, are confident heading into the early portion of their season.

“I think everyone is excited to get a chance to race someone else this weekend,” junior Sarah McShane said. “Even though the race is a lot like a typical practice, having other teams to race gives us more intensity.”

She also sees the race as a great opportunity for the team to test themselves against quality competition early in the year.

“It should be a good measuring stick for us to see how we compare to two really good teams at this early point in the season,” McShane said. “We definitely want to be the fastest boats in each race, but most importantly this weekend will give us a better idea of where we are now and where we need to be this season in order to reach our goals for this year.”

Sophomore Anna VanEgmond said the entire team feels prepared for the race because the layout is comparable to the team’s daily routine.

“Our race format for this weekend is very similar to what we have been doing at practice every Sunday so far this season,” VanEgmond said. “Given that, I expect us to be very prepared for this scrimmage and to really give it all we’ve got.”

VanEgmond said her goals are to integrate what the team has been working on in practice and translate that into success on the lake.

“My personal expectations for this race are that we work together as a team to execute the key elements that we work on at practice: length, rhythm, power, quickness, endurance and fortitude,” she said.

Like McShane, VanEgmond looks at this weekend’s race as a tremendous test and a great opportunity. She also uses the fact that both Michigan and Michigan State made the NCAAs last year as motivation.

“The overall team goal for this weekend is to win,” VanEgmond said. “Coming off the disappointment of not making it to NCAAs last season, we are very eager to show the NCAA committee that we deserve to be there come spring.

“Michigan and Michigan State are two very talented teams both of whom made appearances at NCAAs this past year. Being able to race these two teams right off the bat will give us an opportunity to see where we are at this point in the year and what we need to work on to reach our peak goal — making it to NCAAs come spring.”

Contact Joe Wirth at jwirth@nd.edu