Notre Dame set to head west to face top competition in first action since March
Joe Everett | Friday, April 12, 2019
After waiting three weeks without a competition, the Notre Dame rowing team is set to jump back into action and hit the water this weekend, traveling west to compete in the Lake Natoma Invitational on the Lake Natoma Reservoir in Folsom, California.
With upcoming meets the following two weekends as well, Irish associate head coach Marnie Stahl said the Irish are excited to return to competition in the hopes of stringing together strong performances as the team prepares for the ACC Championships in the middle of May. Additionally, it’s their only competition on the West Coast — the hub of collegiate rowing.
“Happy to be out in California for the Lake Natoma Invite — a great, great race,” Stahl said. “We’re excited to race and get out there.”
Notre Dame’s first competition of the spring season came three weekends ago, when the Irish traveled down to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to row in the Cardinal Invitational at the Melton Lake Rowing Venue. Notre Dame competed against a strong field, highlighted by No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 19 Alabama, but managed to find a good deal of success during the Sunday portion of the competition, winning four of the five races to end the weekend on a high note and leave the Cardinal Invitational with six wins in 15 races. This weekend, the Irish will have another opportunity to gauge their talent — as a program and as a team — against some of the top programs in the nation.
“We’ll be racing against some of the best crews in the country, so really excited to get back out,” Stahl said. “It’s been three weeks since we’ve raced, so just really looking forward to [getting out on different water] and seeing where we match up.”
Headlining the field at the Lake Natoma Invitational is No. 2 California — one of the oldest and most storied rowing programs in the country. The Bears swept the competition last year at the Lake Natoma Invitational and aim to repeat that success this weekend. The prestige doesn’t stop there, however, as No. 6 Brown and No. 12 USC will also be in attendance and looking to make a splash against powerhouse Cal.
Facing top competition this weekend, the Irish will aim to make a splash themselves and gain valuable experience in the process. Notre Dame will take on California and Tulsa on Saturday morning, with Brown and Sacramento State to follow Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, they will face off against USC and Gonzaga.