May 15, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame returns to action this weekend (Sat.-Sun., May 16-17) for the first time since winning its sixth straight BIG EAST championship, as the Irish travel to Oak Ridge, Tenn. for the annual South/Central Sprints. This will mark the 10th year the Irish have participated in the event. Last year, Notre Dame finished seventh overall and fifth in the central regional.
Preliminary heats commence on Saturday, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (ET) and run through 12:00 p.m. (ET). Following the preliminary schedule, semifinal heats will begin at 2:00 p.m. and conclude around 4:30 p.m. Racing on Sunday will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will finish up at approximately 11:50 a.m. with the varsity eight boat grand final. The Irish will be entering at least one boat in each of the five race categories taking place at the event. Opening up the race docket will be the Notre Dame “B” open four boat, running in the second prelim of the event at 9:10 a.m. The “A” boat will follow in the very next heat, scheduled to take place at 9:20 a.m.
The novice eight competition is next to take place, with the Irish sending one boat into the field. Notre Dame will be running in the third and final heat in the event, with the race scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.
The three varsity boat races will conclude the day, beginning with the varsity four competition. Notre Dame will again enter one boat in the field, and are scheduled to race in the first of four heats beginning at 10:10 a.m. The Irish second varsity eight crew is next in the water with the second prelim heat group. The heat is projected to begin at 11:00 a.m. The varsity eight competition will round out the day for Notre Dame. The Irish will be racing in the second prelim heat alongside SMU, Michigan, Louisville and Texas at 11:40 a.m.
Last year, Notre Dame was able to place three boats in its respective grand finals (second varsity eight, open varsity four “A” boat, novice eight), with another three (varsity eight, varsity four, open varsity four “B” boat) qualifying for the petite finals. The open varsity four “B” boat went on to capture the petite finals championship, defeating Clemson (7:53.80), Virginia “B” (7:53.90), Texas (8:08.30), Indiana (8:19.40) and UCF (8:20.80) with a time of 7:52.50.
Notre Dame recorded its best finish ever in the event in 2006 when the team finished in third place in the central region as well as in the overall.
For up-to-date session results be sure to visit utladyvols.com and continue to check back with und.com for daily recaps of the Irish from Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Irish Boatings For South/Central Sprints:
Irish South/Central Region Championship Results:2000 - 10th2001 - 9th2002 - 4th (overall)/4th (central region)2003 - 8th (overall)/5th (central region)2004 - T-6th (overall)/5th (central region)2005 - 7th (overall)/5th (central region)2006 - 3rd (overall)/3rd (central region)2007 - 5th (overall)/3rd (central region)2008 - 7th (overall)/5th (central region)