Club Sports: Flood sets sights on NCAA title
Andrew Owens | Thursday, February 24, 2011
When Greg Flood joined the Notre Dame club rowing team, he had aspirations to be an elite player on a strong team. Now, though, the Irish senior has even higher hopes — to win a national championship and eventually to compete in the Olympics.
While a student at Jenks High School in Tulsa, Okla., Flood’s main focus was not even on the sport that he has blossomed in at the collegiate level. Rather, he concentrated on playing baseball. For Flood, however, it has always been about giving maximum effort no matter what the task at hand is.
“Greg is one of the most focused people I know,” rowing club president Michael Wagner said. “When he doesn’t spend every last ounce of his energy at practice each day, or his almost daily extra workout, he’s devoting the rest of the time to chemical engineering.”
From the start of his collegiate rowing career, Flood has made an impression. He sat 6-seat in the Novice 8+ that won gold at the American Collegiate Rowing Associate (ACRA) National Championship Regatta. He continued to improve during the offseason and moved up to the Varsity 8+ as a sophomore, and continues to row in the top boat for the Irish.
“My best experience here at Notre Dame was winning ACRA my freshman year,” Flood said. “It was a very competitive race and a very competitive season, but to get to come out on top in the last race of the year after being the underdog was a great experience.”
Flood carried the momentum into his junior season, when he qualified to receive a sponsored trip to compete in the World Indoor Rowing Championships. He did not disappoint, finishing first in the Collegiate Lightweight category. Last weekend, he participated in the event again, and actually improved upon last year’s score, earning him top honors again, as well as a fourth-place finish overall and second in the under-23 category. His performance earned him the distinction of being the top American lightweight.
“I greatly improved on my time from last year,” Flood said. “Right now my 2k time is the fastest of any American lightweight this year.”
While Flood has already accomplished more than most rowers can dream of, he says he is not yet satisfied. With seven of the top eight rowers back for another season, his goals are not unrealistic.
“My individual and team goals for the season are the same,” he said. “Our goal is to win every race.”
As the captain of one of the nation’s top teams and the fastest rower in school history, Flood plans on continuing with the sport after graduation.
“After graduating, I am going to try out for the national team again,” Flood said. “My short-term goal is to make the squad for either the World Championships or the Pan-American games. Long-term, I hope to continue my training as a resident athlete and ultimately go to the Olympics.”
If anything can be learned from Flood’s career up to this point, it is to never count him out.