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Irish look to build on success in trip to Texas

| Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Coming off a two-week stretch since its last regatta, No. 17 Notre Dame now heads down to Town Lake, Texas, for the Longhorn Invitational this Friday and Saturday, where the Irish will face off with San Diego on Friday and host No. 7 Texas on Saturday morning.

Notre Dame’s first regatta of the season was the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational in Tennessee, where the team faced off against a number of ranked teams, including No. 4 Virginia, No. 11 Michigan, and No. 20 Louisville. The team was able to come away with four first-place and 10 runner-up finishes, and Irish head coach Martin Stone said he was fairly satisfied with the start to the season.

“I think it went fine coming off spring break, where we were in a heavy training mode,” Stone said. “I’m obviously disappointed that we lost to a few crews, but more important than anything we learned how to race as a group and improve our performance as the weekend progressed, so overall I would say it was a positive experience.”

The Irish will be looking to better their performance even more this upcoming weekend, and this week’s preparation has readied the team for San Diego and Texas, Stone said.

“I think we have been getting better technically, so it’s been a solid week and a half of training,” Stone said. “With races on Friday and Saturday, we just have to go out and do our thing. We can’t be too worried about the competition. So if we just focus on ourselves, we should be okay, and we’ll just see what happens. I feel good about our preparation for this and I feel good about our chances against two very good programs.”

San Diego is coming from the West Coast Conference while the Longhorns compete in the Big 12 Conference, and Stone is eager to see how his team matches up.

“All of our boats have been solid in training and will be ready to race, so we’ll see how they perform,” Stone said. “This weekend will have much the same impact as any race throughout the season, as we will learn from it and hopefully be racing well. We are racing against two quality crews, so I’m interested to see these teams from the WCC and Big 12 and find out how we stack up against these schools. Ultimately, our success will depend on just how much we learn and the effort we put forth in getting better throughout the weekend.”

Racing for the Irish will begin Friday at 5:20 p.m. while the early session Saturday begins at 9:20 a.m. and wraps up at 9:40 a.m.

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