Oct. 9, 2004

Notre Dame, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s rowing team will take part in its first regatta of the 2004-05 season when the Irish travel to Rockford, Ill., for the 19th annual Head of the Rock.

In the Women’s Open Eight, Notre Dame will have two boats competing in both the A and B divisions. In addition, the Irish will have several novice boats race.

The fall schedule will give head coach Martin Stone an opportunity to use different boat combinations. Last season, Notre Dame varsity eight boat earned an at-large berth into the NCAA championships and finished eighth overall (out of 16 boats). It marked the highest finish ever for an Irish boat in just the second NCAA appearance in school history. Notre Dame also finished 16th in the final US Rowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) final poll.

The ’04-’05 campaign will be the seventh for Notre Dame as a varsity sport. In just six seasons, Irish teams have experienced great success as it claimed the team title at the fourth annual BIG EAST Rowing Challenge by winning four individual races.

“Sunday will be a good test for us,” Stone says. “It’s our first race of the year, so I really don’t have any expectations. This regatta gives us an opportunity to evaluate the progress we have made since we began practice. We have a young squad this year that is extremely talented and just needs some competition in order to get experience. The races this fall gives me and our staff a chance to see which boats row well together and what we need to improve on during the winter months before we start racing in the spring.”

Notre Dame is also scheduled to compete in two other competitions during the fall. The Irish will be in action on Saturday, October 16 at the Frogtown Races in Toledo, Ohio and again on Sunday, October 31 at the Head of the Elk in Elkhart, Ind.