Bald Eagle Collegiate Invite Update

Indianapolis, IN

On November 5th, the Notre Dame Men's Rowing Team traveled to Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis to race against some fast competitors, including teams that annually place at ACRAs: Michigan, Virginia, Grand Valley State, and Purdue. Blessed with moderate temperature and smooth water, the Fighting Irish raced hard and brought medals back to South Bend. Highlights of the day included the D pair placing third in the Men's 2- event, the third varsity eight placing second in the Men's 8+ C event, and the first varsity eight placing fourth in the Mens 8+ A event ahead of Grand Valley State and Purdue. 

The team is enjoying the last few days of practice on the St. Joe River before heading indoors for erg season. Be sure to check out the gallery section of the website to see pictures of your favorite rowers!


The 52nd Head of the Charles Results

Boston, MA

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.


Notre Dame to Build off of Head of the Rock

Rockford, IL

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!


Notre Dame Ends the Season at ACRA Championships

The University of Notre Dame Men's Rowing Team arrived in Gainesville, GA four days prior to the ACRA Championship. Filling days with practice, relaxation, hydration, and a little Georgian R&R, they grew anxious and prepared for the weekend's racing.  On Saturday, the 2N8 qualified for their lane in the grand final, the 1N8 competed in an exciting repechage to beat Boston College and qualify for their grand final, the 2V8 qualified for their petite final, and the 1V8 battled in tough heats and qualified for the C final.  

Sunday's finals action featured tough Irish racing.  The 2N8 raced hard and placed fourth in their grand final.  The 1N8 was in contention right up to the finish line and fought to a salutary 8th place in their grand final. The 2V8 walked back on New Hampshire in the final 20 strokes to win their petite final. In a show of dominance, the 1V8 lead their entire race and won by open water. 

Below are two reflections written by Notre Dame Oarsmen.

After a week of practicing in South Bend, the team travelled to Gainesville, Georgia for ACRA. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday consisted of morning practice followed by afternoon rest in preparation for competition over the weekend. ACRA was held at a beautiful venue. With fantastic fan support, the team enjoyed food, hospitality and time with family. Former rowers and family members made the event a fun experience. The weather was perfect and the conditions on the water were ideal. The trip to Georgia was a great chance to bond with team members and compete for national championships. Unfortunately, the team did not perform up to its own expectations. Although effort and focus were fully present, no boat was satisfied with its final performance. As the season drew to a close, Coach Mike called the team together. His words were simple, but they rang true, “In order to compete at the level that our boats are capable of, every member of the team needs to put in more work.” The team learned from the experience and spirits were high heading into a summer of erging, lifting and preparing for a successful ACRA next season. 

- Peter Witty '19


Being on the Notre Dame Men’s Rowing team has been one of the most difficult but rewarding things I have ever done. I have given a lot of myself to Notre Dame Rowing: countless hours at practice, weekends traveling to races, waking up early to get in extra workouts, and days in the stadium installing seats for fundraising. However, I have received so much more in return than I have given. Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to places like Boston, San Diego, and Oak Ridge for amazing regattas, but these experiences are not what I take away from rowing. I will remember the daily grind on the St. Joe River - the commitment that my teammates and I made to be our best every day. There is not much glory in rowing; even when you win a race, not many people will remember it besides the teammates you crossed the finish line with. But, when you find a group of people willing to give so much of themselves for little recognition because they see the value in working hard and having each other’s back, that is the reward. That is truly special, and I am lucky to have found that in Notre Dame Rowing.


- Mike Zaleski '16


Finally, congratulations to Seth Tautges who was named to the ACRA All-Freshman Team and to Matt DiDonato who was named to the ACRA 2nd All-American Team. Additional congratulations to the Zaleski Family who was voted this year's recipient of the Nye Award. The Nye Award is voted on by the team and recognizes a non-team member who has contributed in an exceptional way to the benefit of the team. That said, the team would like to thank all parents and friends of the team that helped make this season memorable; having you at regattas throughout the fall and spring was incredibly meaningful! 




Varsity 8 Takes 2nd at the Windermere Cup

This past weekend, the Varsity 8 traveled to Seattle to race in the Windermere Cup. The team arrived on Friday, and immediately traveled to Washington's boathouse to practice. Washington allowed the team to borrow the "Husky Clipper," a Pocock shell named after the Husky boat that famously won the 1936 Olympics.

The V8 was in the Men's College Open Event, which featured three varsity programs: the Washington 3V, Oregon State 1F, and Puget Sound's 1V. The first 1200 meters of the course had yachts lining both sides of the course, with the remainder of the race going through the Montlake Cut.

Washington's 3V slipped away from the field early, leaving the V8 to duke it out with OSU and Puget Sound. After a rough start, the V8 crossed the 500m mark in fourth place. However, they were able to establish enough rhythm to begin walking back on the other boats. A solid third 500 put the Irish in 2nd place, and they were able to hold off an OSU sprint to finish 2nd. The race tight the whole way, with all three boats staying connected the entire 2000m. The V8 finished with a time of 6:26.18, 0.57 seconds ahead of Oregon State and 1.46 seconds up on Puget Sound.

The experience of the Windermere Cup was a once in a lifetime race for all nine members of the Notre Dame boat. The unique course and fantastic venue established an atmosphere that cannot be found at other races.

Our video recapping our experience can be found at the following link: 

The Notre Dame Men's Varsity Eight traveled to Seattle, Washington to compete against Washington, Oregon State, and Puget Sound in the historical Windermere Cup.


Notre Dame Sweeps Tri Meet

Last week, the team travelled to Clinton Lake, Illinois to take on Minnesota and Illinois in a tri meet. The team took two varsity 8s, two novice 8s, and a varsity double.

In a solid showing, all four of the 8s won against their respective boats. The 1V beat both Minnesota and Illinois by open water. In a come from behind victory, the second Varsity 8 won by a length against the Minnesota 2V and 3V, and finished closely behind the Illinois 1V. Both novice boats were able to beat their respective Minnesota and Illinois competition, and the varsity double placed 2nd in a race against three Minnesota doubles.

The team was happy to get a win and some shirts, and is now training hard in the final weeks before heading to ACRAs.

SIRA Championships Rower Reflections

The 2V carries their boat to the dock as they launch for the grand final at the SIRA Championships.

The 2V carries their boat to the dock as they launch for the grand final at the SIRA Championships.

This past weekend, ND Men's Rowing travelled to Oak Ridge, TN to compete at the SIRA Championships. With great weather and solid conditions, the team was able to bring home some hardware and show progress. The double and 2N brought home bronze medals, the 1N and 2V both made the grand finals, and the 1V placed in the petite final.

Below are two reflections on the weekend of racing. The first is by varsity rower Brian Byrne. His double had the most exciting finish of the weekend, knocking off Virginia by less than a second to place 3rd in the grand final. The second reflection is by Jose Armengol, who stroked the 1N to a solid 5th in a very close grand final.

"The weekend at SIRAs started off with time trials to place the boats in their next heat or final. The double was the first race of the day, and was able to finish fourth to proceed to grand finals. In the finals, the double finished third overall, beating Virginia by about 0.6 seconds. This was a strong finish and indicates that among club teams, the double is very competitive. Regarding the other boats, the second varsity eight was competing with the strongest club programs, and finished sixth overall. The first varsity boat finished off the day with a third place finish in the petite finals behind Marietta and UNC, only one of which is a club program. Overall, the weekend was a good indication of where the team needs to be by ACRAs, and shows that the hard work is beginning to pay off. "- Brian Byrne


"5:25 a.m. on a Friday morning and my alarm is buzzing. Forty-five minutes later and I’m on a bus. About nine hours later, I’m in Oak Ridge, TN for the SIRA Championships. As one of the last large competitions before the ACRA Championships in Gainesville, GA, we spent lots of time on the water getting ready for the races. After the first day of time trials and semifinals, both the first and second novice eights had qualified for the grand finals in their respective events, and it felt like every individual on the novice squad knew how well we could perform against some great competition. We ate (courtesy of the gracious host families), rested, and got ready for the finals the next morning. The second novice eight did extremely well in their final, edging out Colorado and Georgia for the bronze medal. The first novice eight placed 5th in the final, beating North Carolina to the finish line with a time of 6:26.04. It was a great weekend for the novice team, with both eights having good races. With SIRA in the rearview mirror, we gear up for the crunch time before ACRA and get ready for this weekend’s Tri Meet with Illinois and Minnesota." - Jose Armengol 

Notre Dame Day - Donation Link is Live!

Alumni and Friends,

In the next week, Notre Dame has given all organizations on campus a chance to claim a portion of a $1,000,000 fund. This opportunity has been deemed "ND DAY" and will take place between 6:42pm ESTon April 24th and midnight EST on April 25th.  Although the event will be live streamed on these two days, the website is now accepting donations!  Please visit to learn more and make your donation!

The fundraiser is structured such that for the first $10 donated, the donor receives 5 votes.  Each of these votes can be allocated to the organization of your choice.  We would love for you to give all five of your votes to Notre Dame Men's Rowing!  If you want to donate more than $10, each additional $10 donation will receive one vote.  Once the competition is over, we will receive each $10 gift plus the same percentage of the $1 million fund as our percentage of overall votes.  Thus, if we receive 2% of the overall votes, we will receive 2% of the $1 million dollars, or $20,000.  

We have recently experienced some University (SAO/Rec Sports) policy changes that greatly affect our financial standing.  We can no longer stay in host family houses at regattas, and we will need to take buses in lieu of rental cars.  These changes will make next year significantly more expensive.  Due to these policy changes, a strong showing on ND Day will go a long way to ensure the team has sufficient funding for smooth operation next year.  Our goal for ND Day is to make $30,000.  This would come from both the percentage we are allocated of the $1 million fund and the $10 donations themselves.

There is also a video competition this year.  We have submitted our video in hopes for success in that competition as well.  Please share the video on social media to help us get the word out!  When anyone uses the hashtag #NDDay on Twitter or Instagram, or posts @ProudtobeND on Facebook, the posts may be featured on the ND Day website.  We would love to spread the word about our club and this event as much as possible among alumni and friends!

We wish we could express our gratitude for your continued support in person. Thank you in advance for your help in making this year's ND Day a success for our club!


Joe Boyle- Senior Alumni Officer
Katie Egan + Daara Jalili - Junior Alumni Officers