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Notre Dame rowing braces for spring regattas

| Thursday, March 9, 2023

Notre Dame rowing celebrated the program’s 25th anniversary this fall. The team is now preparing for an ambitious spring racing schedule which sets off at the Louisville Cardinal Invitational Regatta on March 18.

Head coach Martin Stone told The Observer that the Irish have been able to get out on the water — the St. Joseph River — “hit and miss” since the beginning of February.

“It hasn’t been every day,” Stone said. “We’ve been on the water more often in this stretch than we have been in the last few years.”

Fortunately, the rowing team hasn’t been wholly confined by the disposition of the Midwestern climate. Before the semester started, rowers got some good practice in at a winter training camp held in the Atlanta area.

“So there was some inter-squad competition on the water there,” Stone stated. “Probably almost every day we ran pieces against one another.”

But when weather isn’t cooperating through the plurality of a South Bend winter, the ergometer, or erg, becomes a rower’s best friend.

“When we are inside, we are working on our fitness,” Stone explained. “We have certain tests that we do on the rowing machine … That’s the main thing that we do.”

Stone expects to see individual times and the team averages drop as competency improves at the indoor rower.

“Growth, as you know, isn’t straight,” Stone said. “It’s up and down.”

Looking ahead to the 2023 season, Stone is pleased about the return of almost every competitor who raced in last year’s ACC championships. Stone added that both the freshman and senior classes will be key to the team’s performance at upcoming races.

“We have an influx of freshmen that have added a different dynamic and different speed and depth to the program,” Stone said. “Then the senior class is very large. They’ve added some leadership and stability and just some maturity to what’s going on.”

The first test for the program in 2023 is a pair of road scrimmages against Louisville and Navy next week on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.

The official start of Irish’s 2000-meter race season, Stone said, comes at the Cardinal Invite in Oak Ridge, Tenn. on Saturday, March 18.

“I don’t know who … we’re going to be racing exactly, but we know that we’ll have two races on Saturday and a race on Sunday,” Stone explained.

Next, the rowing team will head to California for the San Diego Classic on the first and second of April.

“We haven’t been there for a long time, but that’s an iconic race … kind of the unofficial opening of the spring racing season,” Stone remarked. “We’ll see some of the best teams in the country there.”

In mid-April Notre Dame rowers spend a weekend up in Boston, challenging Harvard, Yale and Northeastern over two days. On April 29, the Irish will wrap up their regular season with Indiana University Bloomington’s Dale England Cup.

On account of the team’s phenomenal fitness foundation at this point in the year, Stone said he is looking forward to seeing what kind of speed the Irish will develop throughout the season.

“We’ve put in a great training base,” Stone said. “We started to run some fairly competitive inter-squad pieces … we’re excited — just want to get out and see us race against somebody else.”

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About Peter Breen

Peter Breen is junior from Cleveland, OH majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. His Sundays revolve around Observer scene, sports, news and social media meetings and Mass in Baumer Hall. Reach him at [email protected]

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