The Irish varsity four was the top Notre Dame finisher at the 2013 NCAA Championship, placing third in the event's petite final at Eagle Creek Park

No. 10 Irish Claim Seventh NCAA Championship Berth In Program History

May 20, 2014

NOTRE DAME, Ind.The University of Notre Dame rowing team is headed back to the NCAA Championship for the third straight year, and will return to Indianapolis, Ind., to compete at the Eagle Creek Park venue for the second time in as many seasons.

Coach Martin Stone’s Fighting Irish squad was one of 22 Division I teams that were selected on Tuesday by the NCAA for the 2014 NCAA Division I Rowing Championship, as the 2013-14 Notre Dame team was rewarded with an at-large berth in this year’s championship field. Notre Dame, which has been ranked in the top-10 nationally throughout the season, finished second this past weekend in its inaugural appearance at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship.

“For us it’s historic, because it’s the third consecutive year we have been selected as a team, and before that the most we had ever been selected as a team was twice in a row, and then there was a pretty long gap,” Stone said. “It reflects well on our seniors that they have helped drive this and make it happen for three straight years. We were probably on the outside of the bubble when they were freshmen, but now we have progressively worked ourselves up.

“The team is excited, but I also think that we want to go faster,” he added. “We don’t think we had our greatest performance at ACCs, we finished second but we felt like we left some speed out there. We have practiced twice since then, and this morning at practice we were back at it, so we feel good that way.”

Notre Dame will take part in the second heat of the first varsity eight against Oklahoma, Stanford, Virginia and Wisconsin. The Irish will compete in the second heat of the second varsity eight with Oklahoma, Princeton, Stanford and Louisville, and will finish off preliminary racing in the third heat of the varsity four against Oklahoma, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Louisville and Jacksonville.

“The 1V heat with Virginia, Stanford, us, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, we have raced three of those teams already,” Stone said. “There are no surprises there. When you look you are starting to see a trend with our season race schedule from this spring. We raced six teams that won their conferences and were automatic qualifiers, including both Virginia and Louisville at the beginning, they both won conference championships, and we raced Stanford, San Diego, Oklahoma and Ohio State all in the regular season as well.

“We have also raced against (NCAA qualifiers) USC, Michigan, California and Indiana, so that shows our schedule was really difficult,” Stone added. “And we raced well, so I don’t think we’re going to be surprised to be lining up against somebody that we haven’t seen. We have seen everybody, including the No. 1 (Ohio State) and No. 2 (Stanford) seeds for the regatta. When you look at it, I think our regular season prepared us well for that racing environment.”

The NCAA Division I, II and III championship races for the second consecutive year will be co-hosted by Notre Dame and the Indiana Sports Corporation. This year’s event will take place May 30-June 1 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.

The Irish will be making their fifth appearance in the NCAA Championship as a team and seventh overall. Notre Dame has earned a team berth each of the last three seasons. The Irish finished 13th in 2013 and 15th in 2012. In its two other appearances in the team competition, Notre Dame finished ninth in 2006 and 12th in 2007. The Irish also competed in the 2002 and 2004 championships as Notre Dame’s varsity eight boats earned at-large bids, finishing 16th and 11th, respectively, in those two years.

Notre Dame was one of two ACC teams to garner a bid to this year’s 22-team field. Virginia, which won the ACC crown for a fifth consecutive year, is representing the conference as the league’s automatic qualifier.

“(Notre Dame’s seeding) shows we are making progress and what we are doing is working,” Stone said. “The process that we have works for us, and we have figured out that there will be roughly 10 people making their first trip to NCAAs this year. We think we are a veteran team, but we also have that youth. That is pretty neat to see.”

For the second consecutive year, 22 teams will be vying for the NCAA title. In 2013, the field was increased from the traditional 16-team that had been part of the format for several years. Teams that qualify for the NCAA championship regatta field two boats of eight rowers and one boat of four rowers.

2014 NCAA Division I Rowing Championship
March 30-June 1, 2014
Eagle Creek Park
Indianapolis, Ind.

Automatic Qualifiers:
Boston U. (Patriot League)
Jacksonville (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
Louisville (American Athletic Conference)
Massachusetts (Atlantic 10 Conference)
Northeastern (Colonial Athletic Conference)
Ohio State (Big Ten Conference)
Oklahoma (Conference USA)
Princeton (The Ivy League)
San Diego (West Coast Conference)
Stanford (Pac-12 Conference)
Virginia (Atlantic Coast Conference)

At-Large Selections:
Notre Dame
Washington State

Boat Seeding:
I Eights

1. Ohio State
2. Stanford
3. Princeton
4. Brown
5. Washington
6. California
7. Virginia
8. Michigan
9. USC
10. Notre Dame
11. UCLA
12. Indiana
13. Harvard
14. Washington State
15. Wisconsin
16. Louisville
17. San Diego
18. Oklahoma
19. Northeastern
20. Massachusetts
21. Boston U.
22. Jacksonville

II Eights
1. Brown
2. Stanford
3. Ohio State
4. Virginia
6. California
7. Princeton
8. Michigan
9. Washington
10. Notre Dame
11. Indiana
12. Washington State
13. USC
14. Harvard
15. Louisville
16. Wisconsin
17. San Diego
18. Oklahoma
19. Northeastern
20. Boston U.
21. Massachusetts
22. Jacksonville

1. Brown
2. Virginia
3. Ohio State
4. Stanford
5. Washington
6. Wisconsin
7. California
8. Princeton
9. Michigan
10. Harvard
11. Notre Dame
12. Washington State
13. Indiana
14. Louisville
15. UCLA
16. San Diego
17. USC
18. Northeastern
19. Oklahoma
20. Boston U.
21. Massachusetts
22. Jacksonville