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Rowing: Irish to compete against top teams in Boston

By Joe Wirth | Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Irish travel to Boston this weekend to compete in the 47th annual Head of the Charles Regatta, a prestigious race that boasts an array of the country’s top teams, including last year’s national champions.

“We want to go out there and race the best that we can,” junior Joanna Poinsatte said. “We have some pretty stiff competition, with teams like Virginia, Harvard, Princeton and the reigning national champions, Brown, in our race, but I think we can go and surprise some people with how fast and powerful our team is, not to mention we have an undeniably strong will power.”

Poinsatte explained that she is particularly motivated for the race because racing on the Charles is held in such high esteem. With so many of the country’s top rowing teams based in and around Boston, the Charles is the epicenter for American collegiate rowing.

“The Charles is a prestigious race, so it is important that we show our strengths early, not only to set ourselves up in a good position for the rest of the year, but also to encourage invitations to next year’s race,” Poinsatte said. “Personally, this is my sixth year rowing and I have never been to the Charles, so I am very excited to go. I have heard that it is an incredible atmosphere for both rowers and spectators alike.”

Sophomore Olivia Kacsits said this is an important race, not necessarily for NCAA rankings, but for letting the rest of the country know that Notre Dame is a force to be reckoned with.

“Our main goal is to put ourselves out there as a team that will put up a fight,” Kacsits said. “We’ve missed NCAAs by only a couple seconds for the past couple years and we want to let the rowing world know that we intend to be a threat this year. Even though fall races don’t count toward scoring for NCAAs in the spring, performing well early definitely sends a message.”

Poinsatte said every member of the team is ready and willing to pull her weight in the race.

“As far as personal expectations for this weekend, the only big ones are to pull as hard as possible and to go as fast as possible and that applies both to my teammates and myself,” Poinsatte said. “We have worked really, really hard to get to the Charles and I don’t think any one of us wants to be the weak link in the chain.”

The race will begin at 8 a.m. in Boston, Mass. on Saturday and continue through Sunday.

Contact Joe Wirth at jwirth@nd.edu