May 11, 2012

Heavyweights Prepared for Eastern Sprints

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This Sunday the Yale heavyweight crew team will travel to Worcester, Mass., to compete in the 67th Eastern Sprints Regatta.  Held as the de facto Ivy League Championships, all eight Ivy League schools along with several other Division I programs from New England, the Mid-Atlantic and parts of the Midwest will race on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester in hopes of taking home the title of Eastern Sprints Champions.  This is the first of three big tests for the Bulldogs in this championship portion of the season, as Sunday's Sprints will be followed by the Yale-Harvard Regatta in two weeks and then finally the IRA National Championship at the end of the month.

Yale's varsity eight will arrive in Worcester this weekend with a No. 10 seed.  This same list of EARC rankings puts Brown at the No. 2 seed, despite the Bulldogs having a five-seat win over the Bears early in the season.  The same kind of seeding was given to the Bulldog junior varsity eight, coming in at No. 8 despite dual season wins over No. 7 Brown and No. 4 Princeton.  But as last year's varsity eight won the petite final to finish seventh overall and post the fifth-fastest time in the east, the Bulldogs have shown these rankings rarely have an impact on the final outcome of the regatta.  The same can be said for Yale's second varsity eight, which finished sixth in the grand final last year at Sprints despite an initial No. 9 seed.  Come Sunday both crews will be fighting for appearances in the grand finals and a shot at an Ivy League title.

The first Yale boat to race this weekend will be a four, in a straight-to-final event set to go off at 8:12 a.m.  The Bulldogs will line upin lane six against BU, MIT, Rutgers, Holy Cross and Harvard.

The No. 4 Yale freshmen (5-1) will then take to the water in the third of three heats.  At 10:00 a.m. the Bulldogs will take on No. 3 Northeastern, No. 9 Brown, No. 10 Dartmouth, No. 15 George Washington and No. 16 MIT with the top two boats advancing to the grand final.

The next Yale crew to race will be the junior varsity eight (5-1) at 10:48 a.m.  Racing in the second of three heats, the Bulldogs will be rowing against No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 5 Navy, No. 11 Penn and No. 14 George Washington.  The top two boats will move on to the afternoon's grand final.

The last race of the morning for the Elis will be the Yale varsity eight (4-2) racing in the third of three heats at 11:36 a.m.  Racing six boats across the Bulldogs will square off against No. 3 Navy, No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 9 BU, No. 15 George Washington and No. 16 Holy Cross.  Again the top two crews will advance to the grand final.

After the successful broadcast of last year's IRA Regatta, the ECAC has partnered with Community Structure and Stretch Internet to live stream this year's Eastern Sprints.  Viewers can access the broadcast through Community Structure's web portal here.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity

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