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Irish open fall season with mixed results at Head of the Charles

| Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Notre Dame opened its fall season this past weekend with the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston, Massachusetts, with its three boats placing third, 10th and 19th in their respective races.

“On a general note, I feel very good about the way the team represented the University and itself at the largest regatta in the world,” Irish head coach Martin Stone said. “It was a pretty neat experience, so on that we feel it was good.”

The competition was split over two days, Saturday and Sunday, and featured 56 races amongst a variety of collegiate, international, club and other teams.

Notre Dame’s lone boat to compete Saturday raced in the club-four time trial, featuring juniors Lauren Matchett, Meredith Swartz and Christine Schindele-Murayama, sophomore Gen Johanni and freshman Laura Schoonmaker as coxswain. Among 59 teams in the field, the Irish team finished third in the competition behind University of Pennsylvania and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“I thought the club four finishing third did a very, very good job,” Stone said. “I thought they rowed well and raced well — it’s a big deal to finish that high up in the placing, especially having to start back in the pack and working through some differences, so I thought that they did a very fine job.”

The Irish then had two boats compete Sunday. First, the team of senior Bridget Adam, junior Elizabeth Walter, sophomores Kelly Fischer and Molly Pierce and senior Samantha Hedrick at coxswain raced in the championship-four time trial, taking 10th in the field of 19.

“The champ-four did well in very trying conditions — the winds were pretty strong on Sunday, and it knocked us around, but to be 10th in the field is pretty good,” Stone said. “Of course we’d like to go faster, but I think that they pushed hard and set the path where they were able to make up some ground that they had lost early and get back into it, so I felt good about that.”

The final boat to compete on the day was the championship-eight, which featured seniors Erin Boxberger, Moira Hamilton, Gretchen Bruggeman and Catherine Wagner, juniors Treasa O’Tighearnaigh and Elizabeth Gilbert, sophomores Elizabeth Schrieber and Laura Migliore and junior Reilly Kearney as coxswain. In a field of 33, the boat finished in 19th place.

“[We were] disappointed with the result and are trying to figure out what exactly happened in that race,” Stone said. “We had a strong first half — floating around the top 10, top 12 — and we just lost our rhythm. Well, actually, we never really had a great rhythm, according to our talks with the crew, [but] it just dropped off in the second half.”

With just one event — a scrimmage with Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State and Syracuse on Nov. 6 — left in its brief fall schedule that precedes a heavy spring schedule, Notre Dame built a relatively strong foundation during the Head of the Charles from which it can build on during the rest of its season, Stone said.

“We’re in the ball park [of where we need to be],” Stone said. “There are some things we need to work on … but I think there are bright spots from all the boats. So there are things we can work on, and I think each person knows there are stuff to work on individually and with the group.”

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About Benjamin Padanilam

Ben is a senior and The Observer’s former Editor-in-Chief, now serving as its interim Sports Editor. He is in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and also pursuing minors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Business Economics. He hails from Toledo, Ohio, and has enjoyed the few highs and many lows of being a Cleveland sports fan.

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