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ND to conclude fall season

| Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Notre Dame will conclude its fall season Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, where it will compete in a four-team scrimmage.

web_rowing graphic_11-06-2014Samantha Coughlin | The Observer
The Irish go up against Indiana, Michigan State and two-time defending NCAA champion and host of the scrimmage, Ohio State, in the race.

This scrimmage will feature a series of five-minute side-by-side races, which will give each team an indicator of where they are heading into the winter training months.

Irish coach Martin Stone said competing against this level of talent will give the Irish an opportunity to identify the areas where they can improve during the winter.

“This scrimmage should definitely give us a very good idea of where we are speed-wise going into our training portion of the schedule,” Stone said. “A lot will happen between now and the beginning of the spring, but this event will allow us to know where are right now.”

This past month in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Irish raced in the Head of the Charles Regatta, a world-renowned rowing event featuring both collegiate and Olympic-level teams.

Stone said the upcoming scrimmage will feature teams familiar to the Irish, as opposed to ones they faced for the first and only time at the Charles Regatta.

“I think we’ll transition well to this type of event,” Stone said. “Charles Regatta was an event where we saw a number of crews we’ll never see again, but now it’s time to compete against those we’ll be facing in the spring.”

With its side-by-side arrangement, Saturday’s scrimmage varies greatly from the regatta’s head race format. The head race is essentially a time-trial competition, where crews row in a single file line and are timed from beginning to end.

Unlike the regatta, the scrimmage will pit crews directly against each other, which Stone said will allow his coaching staff to give direct feedback to the team.

“This race we’ll just be able to have a much better idea how you’re doing at the moment because you’ll be side by side, and we’ll be able to work more directly with the team,” he said.

Although different from the regatta format, Stone said the team’s strategy will be similar during Saturday’s event.

“They’re clearly different events, but our strategy will be pretty much the same,” he said.

After Saturday, Notre Dame will head into its four-month winter training session.

Given South Bend’s typical weather, the Irish will be unable to get out on the water during winter training, but Stone said this period will be crucial to ensuring the team’s success for the upcoming spring schedule.

“ We will be training very hard during the offseason,” he said. “We plan to improve both our physical fitness, through weight training and conditioning, as well as our mental toughness, which will come from being inside and training on a daily basis.”

The Irish open their 2015 spring schedule on March 14th at Melton Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where they will compete in the Oak Ridge Invitational.

Notre Dame takes on the Hoosiers, Wolverines and Buckeyes at the Griggs Reservoir in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday in an all-day scrimmage event.

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