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ND finishes fifth at Lake Natoma Invite

| Sunday, April 13, 2014

No. 9 Notre Dame finished fifth in this weekend’s Lake Natoma Invitational in Folsom, Calif. The Irish earned six runner-up finishes in Saturday’s heats and had three more runner-up results in Sunday’s Group B finals.

Notre Dame was one of six top-20 teams at the invitational and finished behind No. 1 California, No. 6 Brown, No. 7 Stanford and No. 4 USC.

The Irish started the meet off strong as their varsity four entry, directed by junior coxswain Mikaela Prego, won the second heat of the invitational with a time of 7:22.3, which won the heat by over six seconds. From there, every Irish entry finished second in its heat in Saturday’s action.

In the second varsity eight, the Notre Dame entry, featuring sophomore coxswain Alex Techar, rowed to a time of 6:43.8, finishing four seconds behind USC’s entry. The varsity eight saw Notre Dame get closer to USC, as it finished just two seconds back while Notre Dame’s second varsity four closed Saturday’s morning session with a runner-up time of 7:36.6.

Saturday’s afternoon session saw Notre Dame garner three more second-place results. The varsity four maintained the momentum from their morning win and challenged top-ranked California’s entry for the entire race. Ultimately, the Golden Bears beat out the Irish by three tenths of a second. In both the second varsity eight and the varsity eight the Golden Bears got easier wins, as they outpaced Notre Dame by ten seconds and eight seconds, respectively.

The day concluded with the second varsity four final where the Irish entry, led by sophomore coxswain Jill Ryan, finished in third behind California and USC.

Sunday’s competition featured three more finals. Notre Dame was slotted in Group B with Stanford and San Diego for each of the regatta’s three Sunday finals. The Cardinal held on to win the varsity four group by two seconds over Notre Dame’s entry that clocked in with a time of 7:25.2.

Stanford won both the varsity eight and second varsity eight groups as well. In the second varsity eight, Notre Dame rowed to time of 6:43.0 and the varsity eight team closed out the regatta for the Irish with a time of 6:29.8 that was only five seconds back of Stanford.

Brown won two of the final day’s Group A finals, but top-ranked California held on to take the overall victory.

For the Irish, the invitational marked their first action in almost a month, but they are now heading into a couple weeks of competition. They head to Belleville, Mich., on Saturday before competing in the Dale England Cup in Bloomington, Ind., on April 25 and 26.

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