Junior Jessica Guzik rowed in the Irish varsity eight boat during the 2004-05 season.

2005-06 Notre Dame Rowing Diary: Installment #1 - Irish Begin Season With Midnight Row

Sept. 5, 2005

Notre Dame, Ind. – Want to know what’s happening with the Notre Dame rowing program this fall. Fans can keep up with practices and results throughout the ’05 fall season in a series of weekly diaries. Members of the Irish team will provide insight into training, meetings, practices and the four regattas that are scheduled in the fall. Get an insider’s look into the team’s preparations as the Irish look forward to an exciting 2005-06 campaign.

This week’s first installment is from junior Jessica Guzik from Annandale, Va. As a sophomore, Jessica sat in the stroke seat and rowed all season long in the varsity eight boat. A two-time member of the BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team, she is enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters and is majoring in classics.

Below is Jessica’s account of Notre Dame’s first practice — at midnight!

As she took to Irish oar again, after months of separation, I saw a glow on senior Pam Jefson’s face. No wonder: the weather was gorgeous, the crowd was cheering, and the water was glasslike. Any one of these things would make a rower glow with glee.

Squinting in the dark, however, I realized that Pam’s radiance was actually soft and green, originating from the neon glow stick adorning her ponytail. Such was the festive spirit of the 2005 Midnight Madness Row.

NCAA rules state that coached fall training cannot officially start until August 28, 2005. Intent on being the first on the water, we went for a row in the pitch black of 12:00 AM on August 28th.

The event was preceded and followed by team meetings. Before Midnight Madness, a few seniors hosted a social gathering where the freshmen got to know their new teammates, and upperclassmen shared entertaining stories from seasons past. After Midnight Madness, we reconvened in order to set out goals for this season and define team values.

As we enter our first week of practices on the water, my teammates and I are energetic and focused, anxious to compete yet patient enough to perfect our form. We look forward to another beautiful fall season of training on the St. Joseph’s River!