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ND Crew: Irish travel to Ann Arbor to compete in 4-team regatta

Danielle Keller | Friday, March 23, 2007

After an impressive performance last Sunday against Alabama and Cincinnati, the No. 11 Irish take on Clemson, Michigan and Michigan State Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Wolverines and Spartans have both started off strong this season and are ranked No. 15 and No. 14, respectively, in the US Rowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association poll.

The Irish novice-eight crew looks to extend its undefeated season, while the other varsity and novice boats will look for a strong finish. Saturday’s regatta marks Notre Dame’s second match of its spring season.

Irish coach Martin Stone declined to comment on the team’s upcoming competition.

After claiming the Big East title last year, this year’s team has high hopes of clinching its fourth-consecutive team title.

The Irish are off to a good start this season. They finished first in four of five races Sunday, and they put up a strong showing against No. 13 Minnesota and No. 9 Tennessee Saturday.

Clemson has been active already this spring, winning five of six races Saturday at the Clemson Challenge. Clemson took the first, second and third varsity-eight races, winning the first-team race by two boat lengths against Indiana.

The Tigers and Spartans have already squared off once this season in a scrimmage March 9. Despite losing the first varsity race, Michigan came back to win the second varsity and the novice races to take the event.

Michigan State raced well in the fall but lost in its most recent regatta – an exhibition March 10 with Virginia. The Spartans finished their fall season on a high note by winning the American Heritage Regatta Nov. 5 against Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Michigan State took first and second in that race, with the novice finishing one spot behind the varsity squad.

Michigan State was scheduled to scull against the Irish Oct. 28, but the race was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Michigan also had a strong showing in the American Heritage Regatta. Its three varsity-eight boats finished second, third and sixth in the race. In the varsity-four event, the Wolverines placed second, fourth and sixth.

The four-team event takes place all day Saturday.