Notre Dame rowing returns to action at Cardinal Invite
Liam Coolican | Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Notre Dame women’s rowing opened their season this weekend at the Cardinal Invite at Melton Lake Rowing Venue in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It was the first competitive race for the Irish since the ACC championships last May.
Head coach Martin Stone noted that he is happy with how the team has progressed since last season. “We’ve seen a lot of growth,” he said. “Physically, we’re stronger and faster and more fit than we were last year and probably for a couple of years.”
Stone would have liked to see “better results,” but noted that the Invite was a learning opportunity for his team.
“It was good overall,” he said of the weekend. “It was a learning experience. We need to learn to get better. Everybody learned in every race and every boat.”
The best results for the Irish came from the second varsity four boat. Senior coxswain Cristina Postula and the four rowers, juniors Elizabeth Hosler and Julia Finster, freshman Michaela Carroll and senior Sarah Dencker made up that squad. They swept their races on Saturday. The first varsity four also performed well. That boat came in second place twice on Saturday. They notched a third-place finish on Sunday, finishing ahead of ranked teams Alabama and Tennessee.
“There’s a good sense of purpose,” Stone said of his team.
Junior Isabelle Keren, in a quote provided to the Observer, said that the team was happy to get back to competitive racing. “After months of training with no competitions, it was great to be able to actually put our training to the test. It’s always exciting to get on the race course even if it doesn’t go as well as we hope,” she said. “Now that we’ve shaken off the dust we have to adjust our mindset to a winning one.”
The first varsity 8 got off to a slow start in their race Saturday afternoon, trailing the entire field by a boat length. However, they surged back in the second half of the race, finishing just two seconds behind first. Overall, the first varsity 8 had two third-place finishes and a fourth-place finish on the weekend.
Junior Victoria Gevaudan raced in the first varsity eight throughout the weekend. She said that although she was happy with how the team performed, they have room to improve. “I think we can find some extra speed off the line next weekend. It was a great start to the season but I think there is untapped potential we have yet to unlock,” she said in a quote provided to the Observer. “As a junior, this is my first real racing season without any COVID restrictions. The energy was high all weekend and was palpable from both our team and our fans.”
Stone says that the composition of each boat will continue to change as the season progresses. “It’s constantly evolving,” Stone said. “What do you bring to the table to make the boat go? Are you really fit and really strong and long? And are you a really savvy, technical rower and have great boat feel? I think it’s that combination of those and then growth over time, how are you going to expand on your strengths and grow into the role.”
Next up for the Irish is a trip east to Cherry Hill, New Jersey to compete in the Doc Hosea Invitational next weekend. 17 teams will be in attendance, which Stone says will create a competitive atmosphere. “We’re looking for tight racing and getting as much racing experience as we can,” he said.