Building off a 2015 victory in the Collegiate 4+ event, the Irish returned to Boston as Bow #1 for the same event. Bill Bloebaum (4), Matt DiDonato (3), Seth Tautges (2), Jim Stewart (1), and Katie Egan (c) made up this year's championship-caliber boat. While the focus of Notre Dame Men's Rowing is the ACRA National Championship Regatta, the Head of the Charles Regatta is the largest and one of the most impressive Regattas in the world, and as such the ND 4+ trained tirelessly in pursuit of victory there.
Also in competition for the Irish was the Notre Dame Men's Alumni 8+, comprised of Sam Hocking (8, ND '15), Alex Kessler (7, ND '16) , Austin Hickman (6, ND '16), Coach Nick Springer (5, ND '09) , Mike Lutkus (4, ND' 08), John Kearns (3, ND '15), Nick Kluesner (2, ND '08), Nick Catella (1, ND '06), and Coach Mike Lehmann (c, ND '10). The Alumni 8+ is a very competitive event, and it was fun to see some of our beloved alumni dust off the oars and, once again, row for the Irish! The Alumni 8+ raced Saturday and finished 30th out of 50 teams.
The 4+ raced on Sunday but arrived in Boston on Friday to give the crew a practice run on the historically difficult Charles course. On Sunday, the conditions were exceptionally tough: 25 mph crosswinds and headwinds with gusts of up to 35 mph. The Irish began with the lead and never looked back. Coxswain Katie Egan ran a tight course and each rower poured themselves into the 4,800 meter race, pulling away from bow #2 Virginia with each stroke. In the end, the Fighting Irish finished an impressive 5th, six-tenths of a second away from third place.
The Irish are back in action on Saturday, November 5th in Indianapolis, IN against the likes of Virginia, Purdue, Michigan, and Grand Valley State.