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Irish race their way to ninth at Charles Regatta

| Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Notre Dame participated in the 50th Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Massachusetts, over the midterm break.

Drawing more than 400,000 spectators and featuring 55 different rowing events, the regatta is the largest two-day rowing event in the world.

Considered an open event, the regatta featured collegiate teams from both American to English universities as well as the U.S. women’s national team.

Irish coach Martin Stone said this was a great opportunity for his team to compete against the world’s best in women’s rowing.

“It’s an event where you have the best rowers in the world coming to celebrate the sport, as well as participate at a very high level,” Stone said.

The Irish raced in two events at the regatta, the draw for championship fours and the draw for championship eights, finishing ninth and 16th, respectively.

Notre Dame posted a time of 19:09.60 in the 17-team championship fours event, featuring junior Ellen Gleadow, freshman Treasa O’Tighearnaigh, junior Katie Skorcz, senior Rose Doerfler and junior coxswain Jill Ryan. That time left the Irish just 1:40 behind the race’s champion, the U.S. Women’s National Team.

In the championship eights event — which featured junior Joanna Mulvey, sophomore Hilary Shinnick, senior Ailish Sheehan, senior Anna Kottkamp, junior Elizabeth Kelley, junior Alexis Olson, junior Sarah Kappers, senior Carlee Beckler and senior coxswain Mikaela Prego — the Irish posted a 17:18.70 time, 1:33.91 behind first-place Cambridge.

Notre Dame’s next event is a four-team scrimmage featuring the Irish, Ohio State, Michigan and Indiana on Nov. 8.

Stone said the scrimmage will be very different than the regatta races, as it stretches for only one mile as opposed to the three-mile championship fours and eights events in Cambridge.

“It’ll be side-by-side racing, so the crews will line up next to each other and race for one mile,” Stone said. “In the regatta, it was a time-trials event, so there were 17 crews that would race single-file for 17 or 18 minutes, so they are very different.”

Despite the decreased attention to this upcoming scrimmage in comparison to the world-renowned regatta, Stone said the Irish will still focus in on this event.

“The scrimmage is very important,” Stone said. “I mean, last year Ohio State won the NCAA championship, so it’s a chance to compete against good competition.”

This four-team scrimmage will round out the list of fall events for the Irish. Stone said he looks forward to the team working on its training during the winter months.

“We’ll make great gains during the wintertime,” Stone said. “We’ll work on our fitness, our strength, our power and pretty much everything except actually rowing in a boat.”

The all-day scrimmage against the Buckeyes, Wolverines and Hoosiers takes place Nov. 8 at the Griggs Reservoir in Columbus, Ohio.

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