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Irish win six of 12 races at Big Ten/ACC Double Duel Regatta

| Tuesday, March 31, 2015

No. 14 Notre Dame posted six victories in 12 races, including wins against No. 1 Ohio State, at the Big Ten/ACC Double Duel Regatta on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

The morning session served as a showcase for the competing programs’ novice eight boats. The first race of the morning saw Notre Dame’s younger members get the team off to a strong start as the Irish second novice eight posted a winning time of 6:52.73, finishing seven seconds ahead of second-place Ohio State.

Notre Dame’s first novice eight got off to a rockier start, though, with the Irish boat coming in fourth place. Michigan State’s boat claimed top honors in the second race of the day with a time of 6:37.07. The Irish finished their heat 21 seconds later, posting a time of 7:05.69.

The first action in the varsity fours came about an hour into the regatta. Notre Dame’s second varsity four finished just three seconds behind Ohio State, posting a time of 7:16.62 to the Buckeye’s own finish time of 7:12.90. Notre Dame’s first varsity four lagged further behind the pace set by the Buckeyes in the 11:10 heat, finishing 20 seconds behind first place with a time of 7:34.29.

It was not until the afternoon portion of the regatta that the Irish claimed the bulk of the day’s momentum. Notre Dame started the second portion of the event with a first-place finish in the second novice eight, and proceeded to win four of the remaining five races on the afternoon. Save for a single event win by Michigan State in the first novice eight race, the Irish won every afternoon event outright, with second-place finishers never clocking closer than eight seconds behind the Irish.

The weather conditions in Columbus were less than ideal for the competition, with the 33 degree high falling well below the average for this time of year. Still, junior Joanna Mulvey said that the harsh weather has been a trend over the past few weeks and did not deter the team during their training for the Columbus races.

“Being about to row outside in any weather conditions is preferable for us after being inside on the rowing machines for about four months,” Mulvey said. “Luckily, [the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational two weeks earlier in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,] wasn’t very warm, so coming back from spring break to 50 degree weather wasn’t a very hard transition. It isn’t unusual for us to come back from break and go right back into the erg room for a week or two, so we are especially happy about the lack of ice or flooding on the St. Joseph River.”

No. 18 Louisville also competed at the event, though the Cardinals failed to win an event.

The Irish will take the next two weeks to continue training on the water as the weather improves, save for a short break for the Easter holiday. The team races next at the Lake Natoma invitational in Folsom, California, the weekend of April 11.

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