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Irish persist despite harsh conditions in Dale England Cup

| Tuesday, May 1, 2018

No. 20 Notre Dame competed against a trio of squads this past Saturday in Bloomington, Indiana, during the Dale England Cup. Four races were completed in the morning before high winds and rough waters led to the cancellation of all afternoon competition.

The Irish saw the varsity four, second varsity four, varsity eight and second varsity eight all compete in the morning session, taking on boats from No. 14 Indiana, No. 16 Duke and Penn in each race. The winds — which reached as high as 22 miles per hour — proved especially difficult for the two four-boat races, as teams struggled to hold the starting boats. As a result, all four teams attempted to row to a start and maintain an even dispersal at the start of the races, but this led to difficulty in maintaining a fair start for all four boats in the two races.

In the varsity four race, the Irish boat of seniors Stephanie Dubois, Jeanne Farnan and Lauren McKee and junior Gen Johanni — with freshman coxswain Colleen Visnic — finished in second place behind Indiana’s boat with a time of 6:33.11.

In the second varsity four race, the Irish boat of sophomores Mara Bhalla and Caroline Hills and freshmen Katharine Johnson and Analisa Pines — with sophomore coxswain Laura Schoonmaker — finished in fourth place amongst the four competing boats. No official times were recorded for the race.

In the varsity eight race, the Irish boat of seniors Erin Dolan, Treasa O’Tighearnaigh, Lauren Saunee and Christine Schindele-Murayama, juniors Evelyn McManus and Laura Migliore and sophomores Julia Randall and Emily Stinebaugh — with senior coxswain Reilly Kearney — finished in third place with a time of 7:34.92. The boat trailed Indiana’s second-place boat by just two seconds and Penn’s winning boat by four seconds.

The best Irish result of the day came in the second varsity eight race, where Notre Dame and Indiana’s boats tied for first place with a time of 7:53.2, which was just three-tenths of a second ahead of Penn’s third-place time of 7:53.5 and nearly 10 seconds ahead of Duke’s last-place time of 8:03.1. The Irish second varsity eight boat featured seniors Elizabeth Gilbert, Lauren Matchett, Meredith Swartz and Elizabeth Walter, juniors Kelly Fischer, Jennifer Groth and Ashley Young, sophomore Allegra Sodi and freshman coxswain Mary Ryan.

The Irish will now have over two weeks between Saturday’s regatta and their next competition, as they do not have another scheduled event until the ACC championships, which will be in Clemson, South Carolina, on May 13. Notre Dame is one of three teams currently ranked in the top 20 in the ACC. Duke and No. 9 Virginia are the others two.

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