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Irish row into second place at Lake Natoma

| Monday, April 13, 2015

Notre Dame headed to California over the weekend and came home with a fourth-place finish at the two-day Lake Natoma Invitational.

The No. 16 Irish logged seven runner-up finishes in 8 heats during the first day of races, posting competitive times against No. 3 California in the morning and No. 6 Stanford in the afternoon.

In the first session of races, the Irish competed with California and Rhode Island, finishing second to the Golden Bears in each of the three finals; the Rams finished third across the board. The first varsity four boat, second varsity eight and first varsity eight all finished second to the Golden Bears while in the final race of the morning, the second varsity four qualified for the final, finishing just 4.5 seconds behind California’s boat.

The second group stage pitted the Irish against Stanford and Sacramento State, and the Irish continued their trend of second-place finishes. The closest race of the afternoon for the Irish came in the second varsity eight, where Notre Dame posted a runner-up time of 6:56.1, just two seconds slower than Stanford’s winning speed of 6:54.6.

In the day’s final heat — the second varsity four final — the Irish lagged behind the competition. Brown upset California and Stanford with a winning time of 7:34.1; Notre Dame finished 11.7 seconds behind in fourth place.

The second day of competition saw more of the same from the Irish in terms of placements, as they started their morning with another runner-up finish with a time of 7:34.8, this time in the first varsity four, finishing behind San Diego and ahead of Gonzaga.

The Irish’s second heat of the Sunday morning, however, brought about a rare moment as Notre Dame finished in a dead heat with San Diego, with both posting identical times of 6:47.0.

Irish head coach Martin Stone said the tie is an odd occurrence in the sport.

“We tied San Diego, which is a rarity in rowing,” Stone said. “They couldn’t see who crossed first in the video.”

The Irish concluded their trip with yet another second-place finish, falling to Gonzaga in the first varsity eight, finishing 6.2 seconds behind the Bulldogs.

Stone said his team was upset with its results over the weekend.

“We wanted to be faster,” he said. “I think that we’re disappointed in the results throughout the weekend. We’re missing something right now. … We’ve got two weeks to kind of figure that out.”

The Irish have next weekend off, giving them two weeks to train prior to their final regular season appearance of the season at the Dale England Cup in Bloomington, Indiana.

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