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Rowing: Team finishes third in elite field

Kit Loughran | Monday, April 22, 2013

The Irish finished with a share of third place at the Lake Natoma Invitational in Sacramento, Calif., on April 20 and 21. 

After two days of strong racing, the No. 12 Irish claimed a third-place tie with No. 9 Stanford. No. 1 USC and No. 2 Cal outraced the Irish this weekend by just two points and one point, respectively.   

“The team had a great weekend of racing at the Lake Natoma Invite. We saw some great competition from West Coast teams like USC, California, and Washington State as well as teams like Kansas and Wisconsin,” junior Molly Bruggeman said. 

Bruggeman said that having the opportunity to compete against such strong teams was a great learning experience. 

“As a team, we learned a lot by racing some fast programs that we hope to apply next weekend racing at [Indiana University],” Bruggeman said. 

The Irish proved a team to be reckoned with after the first day of competition. They posted a total of eight runner-up finishes, which put them in a spot of strong competition for the next day of races. 

In the opening race against No. 1 USC and Kansas, the first varsity four secured a runner-up time of 7:24.20, just barely trailing behind USC and its 7:20.10 winning time. The second varsity eight claimed a second-place finish with a time of 6:47.30. 

The first varsity eight finished second as well, with a time of 6:38.00 in the fastest race of the morning. The second varsity four launch fell just short of outstripping No. 2 California (7:38.50) and finished right behind it with a time of 7:43.40. 

The Irish continued strong into the afternoon session as well. In their races against Cal, the Irish varsity four and second varsity eight both finished in second place with times of 7:41.50 and 6:51.30, respectively. The second varsity four also posted a 7:35.60 time to make it runner-up to Cal (7:29.00). 

Falling just three and a half seconds behind Cal, the Notre Dame varsity eight finished with a time of 6:33.50.

Bruggeman, who sits in the stroke seat of the varsity eight, said that the team learned from every race and was carried those lessons in its next races. 

“Every race we have, we learn a little bit more about our abilities and what we need to work on to improve on for the next race,” Bruggeman said. 

Taking those improvements into consideration, day two of competition proved to be another successful day of racing for the Irish. The first varsity eight finished with a time of 6:30.30, the boat’s third consecutive improvement on its season-best time, to beat No. 15 Wisconsin and No. 17 Washington State. 

The second varsity eight secured another victory for the Irish with a time of 6:36.70 to beat Wisconsin and Washington State again. 

In the last race of the competition, the varsity four launch fell just behind Washington State and claimed a runner-up finish for the Irish with a time of 7:23.60. 

Bruggeman said the team looks forward to taking what they learned from this competition and applying that knowledge this coming weekend. 

“Overall, it was a weekend of great racing in beautiful California and we look forward to more fast racing next weekend,” Bruggeman said. 

The Irish get straight back to the water this weekend at the Dale England Cup in Bloomington, Ind

Contact Kit Loughran at [email protected]