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Heavyweights Start Season Saturday at Head of the Housatonic

Harry Picone, Grant Stegelmann and Owen Symington.
Harry Picone, Grant Stegelmann and Owen Symington.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale heavyweight crew team will kick off the 2012-13 racing season this Saturday with a classic, the Head of the Housatonic.  This race will be the first step on the road towards the championship regattas of the spring, but this year the team dynamic will be a bit different.  At the end of last season the IRA Stewards voted to allow first-year students to race in varsity boats, and as a result, this season the freshman class will not be confined to racing in the freshman eight category.  As Steve Gladstone returns for his third year as head coach of Yale heavyweight crew, he now has one big team that is more unified and more competitive than ever.

"I'm very excited to see the team in action," said senior captain Jon Morgan.  "We came into the season having worked hard over the summer and we are looking forward to the fall races."

As was the case last year, the team was charged with returning to campus this fall and completing a 6k erg trial within the first week of practice. While all of this year's team was hard at work over the summer, three current squad members made it to the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Trakai, Lithuania.  Junior Owen Symington improved on his seventh-place finish from the coxed four from U23's the year before and took home some hardware, this time winning a silver medal as bow seat of the Australian coxless four.  Freshman Hubert Trzybinski brought home silver as well, finishing second in the single scull for Germany in one of the largest fields at the regatta.  Senior Tom Lynam also raced in Trakai, rowing against Symington in the Irish coxless four entry and finishing in the B final, as did Tom Dethlefs '12 who defended his gold medal with the U.S. eight.

In addition to the strong showing of heavyweights at the U23's, Yale also had one of its sons racing at the Olympics over the summer.  Charlie Cole '07 raced as three-seat of the U.S. coxless four at London 2012, winning a bronze medal in the event that many countries had chosen to prioritize at these Games.  Cole is scheduled to appear as part of a panel discussion celebrating Yale's Olympians this Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7:00 p.m. in the Law School Auditorium.  Then at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Cole will have a heavyweight four dedicated in his name with a reception at Gilder Boathouse to follow.

This Saturday the heavyweights have crews entered in three event categories in two classes of sweep boats.  The freshmen will get to race against Ivy League rivals Brown in the novice eight category, while in the collegiate eights (IRA) the heavyweights will go up against St. Joe's, Williams and the Yale lightweights.  The full timetable for Saturday is available here, while Yale's schedule is as follows: 

11:10 a.m. – 8+ Collegiate Novice Men

1:05 p.m. – 8+ Collegiate Men (IRA)

2:30 p.m. – 4+ Collegiate Men (IRA)

Yale's Gilder Boathouse is located at 280 Roosevelt Drive in Derby, Conn.  Directions can be found here, but a good place to watch the race from is the RiverView BBQ restaurant

After this weekend the Bulldogs have one more race on the schedule for the fall, the Head of the Charles from Oct. 20-21.  The heavyweights will stay on the water up through November before returning to the ergs and the rowing tanks in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.  Finally the Bulldogs will head south as they did last year for a 10-day winter training trip in Stuart, Fla., before reconvening in New Haven for the start of the spring semester.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity