Notre Dame women’s rowing ends season opener on a high note
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, March 21, 2019
The women’s rowing team began its 2019 season this past weekend at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational. After spending most of the week training in Tennessee, Notre Dame competed against Alabama, Louisville, Wisconsin, Clemson, Tennessee, Miami and Minnesota on a 2,000-meter course Saturday and Sunday, earning six wins over 15 races between the two days of competition.
Saturday’s morning session saw Notre Dame face off against Louisville and Alabama. The Irish got off to a slow start, as the Varsity Eight team placed third with a time of 5:48.789 — four seconds behind the Cardinals and Crimson Tide. The Varsity Four and the Second Varsity Eight teams did a little better, each finishing in second behind Alabama with times of 6:26.561 and 5:58.850, respectively. However, the Second Varsity Four (6:54.004) team finished third, and the Third Varsity Eight (6:02.835) team couldn’t catch Alabama, and the Irish finished the morning session having earned no victories.
In Saturday’s afternoon session, the Irish finally began to win some races. Competing against Wisconsin and Clemson, the Varsity Eight, Varsity Four and Second Varsity Eight squads all finished second behind Wisconsin, but the Irish began to find success due to their team depth. The Second Varsity Four team finished first with a time of 6:23.175, while the Third Varsity Eight squad also comfortably crossed the finish line ahead of the pack, recording a time of 6:01.877.
After recording two wins in 10 races against quality competition Saturday, the Irish carried some momentum with them onto the river Sunday, winning four of the five races during the morning session competition to end the invitational. Competing against Tennessee and Miami, the Varsity Eight started the day strong by crossing the finish line with a time of 5:46.098, earning first place. The Varsity Four followed suit, winning its race 14 seconds ahead of the field with a time of 6:24.242. While the Second Varsity Eight was barely edged out by Tennessee to earn second place, the Second Varsity Four set the Irish back by pulling away from the competition and finishing with a time of 6:27.076. In the final race of the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational, the Third Varsity Eight team capped off an impressive day for the Irish by pulling away to cross the finish line first in 6:04.893.
The team will travel across the country to compete at the Lake Natoma Invitational in Folsom, California, on April 13 and 14.