The Notre Dame Men's Rowing Team gathered early Sunday morning and traveled to the iconic Rock River in Rockford, IL for the Head of the Rock. Competing against the likes of Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, and MSOE, the Varsity began its day racing in the Collegiate 2- event and the Collegiate 4+ event. Three out of the four Irish pairs finished in the top five, and sophomores Braeden Benedict and Nick Dedo brought home some hardware with an impressive third place finish. Adding to the Irish medal count, the first Varsity 4+ finished second in their event, while the other two Notre Dame fours finished in the back half of the group. The Novice entered three boats into the Collegiate Novice 8+ event, and the first novice 8+ finished fourth, just one second behind Minnesota. The Novice also entered a 4+, which finished in third place. Afternoon racing saw 5 more Irish eights in competition. The varsity entered three boats in the Collegiate 8+ event, and the 1V8 finished fourth, only a half-second off from Minnesota (2nd) and Michigan B (3rd). The Novice also entered two boats in the Open 8+ event, and they raced hard and finished strong.
The Head of the Rock was a promising start to the 2016-2017 season; while many boats brought home hardware, all boats represented the University of Notre Dame well and gained a better understanding of the work ethic and commitment needed to row at an elite level.
The team is exceptionally appreciative of all the parents and friends of the club that supported us in Rockford on Sunday! All of the food, gatorade, good smells, and great cheers from the shore only added to the experience; we raced better having you all there! The next race will be the Head of the Charles where the Irish V4+ looks to repeat as Champions of the Collegiate 4+ event!