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Women’s Rowing: Irish learn from tough exhibition

Cory Bernard | Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In the final tune-up of the fall season, the Irish competed against regional foes Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.

While the Spartans and Buckeyes largely dominated the races throughout the day, Irish coach Martin Stone acknowledged the stiff competition his squad faced and said the experience was ultimately a success.

“Michigan State and Ohio State are pretty good,” he said. “Our second varsity improved their speed. We learned some stuff and raced against two teams that have been really good for four or five years now. Overall, it was pretty successful.”

Sunday’s event, the second team meet in as many weeks for Notre Dame, was again geared toward preparing the team for the second part of the rowing season in the spring.

“It was a similar format as last week, more like how it will be in the spring,” Stone said.

Despite its brevity, Stone said his squad had a successful fall season and that he now has a good grasp of what his team needs to accomplish during the offseason.

“We had some things we wanted to accomplish and we were able to accomplish those,” Stone said. “We have a pretty good idea where we are and what we need to improve on. Overall, the team is pretty good.”

Now that the offseason has begun, the Irish can only hold official practice for eight hours each week until the second half of the 2010-11 season begins. Stone said this time will be used for improving the fitness and strength of his athletes.

“It’s about getting stronger and more fit, improving physically,” he said.

Stone also mentioned that the winter offseason can also be a good time to address individual needs based on what the coaching staff noticed during the fall season regattas.

“Everybody’s a little different on what they need to improve, and that’s what the winter is for,” Stone said. “Telling them they need to work on this or work on that.”