March 13, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Nearing the end of its annual Spring Break training sessions, the University of Notre Dame rowing team opens the 2015 season in familiar waters this weekend at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational. Hosted by Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) foe Louisville, the Irish will be one of 11 teams competing in the regatta on Melton Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Notre Dame, ranked 12th in the preseason Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) USRowing Coaches Poll, has raced in Oak Ridge as part of its Spring Break training trip each spring dating back to the 2007 season. Even prior to its current configuration as the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational, Melton Lake has provided the first competitive challenge of every new Irish campaign during the past nine years.
Racing begins for Notre Dame at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational on Saturday morning in a four-team lineup that will pit the Irish against No. 2 Virginia, Alabama and Kansas. The first varsity eight boats are scheduled to launch at 10:10 a.m. (ET) on Saturday, with the first varsity four to follow at 10:18. Next are the third varsity eight/novice eight boats at 10:26, with the second varsity eight getting underway at 10:34. Second varsity four racing will close the four-team event at 10:42.
Notre Dame closes its Saturday heats against host No. 18 Louisville, Central Florida and Kansas. The first varsity eight is expected to kick off the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational afternoon schedule at 3:02 p.m., followed by the first varsity four (3:10), third varsity eight/novice eight (3:18), second varsity eight (3:26) and the second varsity four (3:34). Louisville will field both an `A’ and `B’ entry in the second varsity four to make it a five-boat heat.
Sunday’s morning matchups pit Notre Dame against No. 9 Yale, Minnesota and Central Florida. The first varsity eight is expected to take the water at 9:14 a.m. (ET), with the first varsity four (9:22), third varsity eight/novice eight (9:30), second varsity eight (9:38) and the second varsity four (9:46) to follow.
Notre Dame returns 16 student-athletes in 2015 that competed in last season’s NCAA Championship regatta at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Senior Ailish Sheehan and junior Joanna Mulvey were each tabbed to the 2014 CRCA South all-region team, while Sheehan added all-ACC second team honors to her resume.
Recognized for performance on the water and in the classroom, senior Anna Kottkamp was selected as both the 2014 NCAA Elite 89 Award winner and the ACC Rowing Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Kottkamp, along with seniors Rose Doerfler and Mikaela Prego, and juniors Sarah Kappers, Alexis Olson, Katie Skorcz and Alex Techar, were recognized as 2014 CRCA National Scholar-Athletes.