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ND scrimmages reigning national champion

| Monday, November 10, 2014

Notre Dame finished the fall portion of its 2014-2015 schedule with a four-team scrimmage event at Griggs Reservoir in Columbus, Ohio.

The all-day scrimmage, which featured the Irish, Michigan State, Indiana and host squad Ohio State, consisted of five race pieces, each timed at five minutes.

Irish coach Martin Stone said he was content with the way the team “fought hard” during the scrimmage and especially how his team showed improvements throughout the day.

“I thought by the end of the afternoon, we were better than we were in the beginning, and that’s certainly a positive,” Stone said.

However, the Irish coach noticed areas the team must improve upon during the winter training months, if they are to unseat two-time defending NCAA champion Ohio State in the spring.

“This event gave us a good idea on where are in relation to those other three teams, especially Ohio State, and showed those areas that need more work,” he said. “I think it was pretty clear during the scrimmage that Ohio State was the fastest team.”

The scrimmage was the final event of the fall, and the Irish will not compete until their spring schedule commences in March at the Oak Ridge Invitational in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Although there is a large gap between the fall and spring seasons, Stone said he preaches consistency to his team, since the fall is an opportunity to prepare for spring competition.

“From the beginning of the fall all the way to the spring, our goals don’t change,” Stone said. “It’s always a matter of trying to get as fast as we possibly can, and I think we all have a good idea of what we need to do to get there.”

The cold weather adds restrictions to the team’s ability to practice outdoors during the winter, but Stone said the team intends to practice outside as long as possible.

“Sometimes, you never know, we may have a chance to get out there in January or February if the weather warms up enough, but we intend to be out there whenever it’s possible,” Stone said.

Stone said he views this weather restriction not as a negative, but as an opportunity to improve upon fitness and strength through indoor training.

“I think that each school has its challenges in different ways — ours just happens to be the weather,” Stone said. “It is what it is, and I’m not concerned about it. We’ll just train really hard and make sure we take full advantage of those times where we are able to get outside.”

Despite not competing for another four months, Stone said winter training is a time when he will encourage individuals to challenge themselves, which ultimately will translate into overall team improvement come spring.

“We’re obviously interested in each person getting as fit and as strong as possible before we get back onto the water in the spring,” Stone said.

The Irish will open their spring schedule at the Oak Ridge Invitational on March 14 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

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