March 25, 2016
By Russell Dorn
AUSTIN, Texas – In it’s first appearance at the Longhorn Invitational on Lady Bird Lake Friday night, the University of Notre Dame rowing team picked up victories at both 1st varsity 8 & 1st varsity 4 to split four races with the University of San Diego in front of a spirited crowd in downtown Austin.
Notre Dame won the 1st varsity 4 race by eight seconds (8:00.97 to 8:08.98) before claiming the 1st varsity 8 race by just over four seconds (7:00.15 to 7:04.33).
The 1st varsity 4 jumped out to a lead early before San Diego took a lead heading to the halfway point. However, the Irish caught up and continued to row away for the remainder of the race.
In the last race of the day, San Diego held a lead early but the Irish were able to get back into in the second 500 meters. Notre Dame made a good push at the 1,000-meter mark and maintained enough of a lead late to hold off a surging San Diego squad.
“I thought today was good racing against a strong opponent,” said Notre Dame head coach Martin Stone. “San Diego is a team that beat us in two events at the Lake Natoma regatta last year. We learned a lot and definitely learned some things we need to do better with a short turnaround before competing against a very good Texas team tomorrow morning. Overall I’m happy with the team. Everyone put in a tremendous effort and everyone worked hard to help each other.
“The crowd was phenomenal today. There was great support for rowing in Austin. We heard a lot of support for our team as we went under the bridge. It’s a phenomenal event and we are excited to be part of it.”
In other action the 2nd varsity 8 fell by just under five seconds (7:06.51 to 7:01.75) and the 2nd varsity 4 lost by 25 seconds (8:28.65 to 8:03.65).
“We just couldn’t come all the way back in the 2nd 8 race,” said Stone. “San Diego got out on us pretty quickly in the first 500. You have to tip your hat, San Diego raced really fiercely. We did a lot of things right and just couldn’t get that in to challenge them in the second half of the race.”
Notre Dame wraps up action at the Longhorn Invitational Saturday morning against the No. 7 Texas Longhorns. The first race of the day is set for 9:20 a.m. (ET).
WHERE:Lady Bird Lake – Austin, Texas
*Spectators can view races from the Roberta Crenshaw Footbridge beneath the Mopac Expressway. The races begin west of Mopac and progress east past the bridge.
WHEN: Saturday, March 26 (two sessions)
Longhorn Invitational Race Schedule
Saturday, March 26
Texas 3V8+ vs. Texas 4V8+
2V4+ Texas vs. Notre Dame
1V4+ Texas vs. Notre Dame
2V8+ Texas vs. Notre Dame
V8+ Texas vs. Notre Dame
Texas 3V8+ vs. Texas 4V8+
2V4+ Texas vs. San Diego
1V4+ Texas vs. San Diego
2V8+ Texas vs. San Diego
V8+ Texas vs. San Diego
For more information on the Notre Dame rowing program, follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDWomensRowing) and Twitter (@NDRowing).
Russell Dorn, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2011 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame volleyball, rowing and baseball programs. A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Dorn graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history before earning his master’s degree in sports communications from Georgia State University in 2011.