May 7, 2009

Yale Heavyweight Crews Head to Eastern Sprints

May 7, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The de facto Ivy League Championship takes place this Sunday in Worcester, Mass. Yale crews will line up against Ivy rivals and the rest of the EARC to determine Ivy League titles, EARC titles and who advances to the IRA Regatta. Rankings going into the event put both the varsity and second varsity in 9th, while the freshman eight is in third and the third varsity is in fourth. Rankings based on the season's performances against opposing crews create a seeding for the event that determines preliminary heats.

In past EARC Sprints, Yale has proven it can overcome rankings to perform well. Last year, Yale's varsity eight went to Eastern Sprints ranked No. 10 out of 18 crews competing for gold. It left with a solid fourth-place finish in the grand final.

This year the No. 9 varsity will race in the third preliminary heat at 11:36 a.m. in lane three. It will face No. 3 Brown, No. 4 Cornell, No. 10 MIT, No. 15 Dartmouth and No. 16 Georgetown. The top two finishers advance to the grand final.

Last year, the Bulldog varsity battled against No. 3 Harvard, No. 4 Princeton, No. 9 Cornell, No. 15 Pennsylvania, and No. 16 Rutgers to qualify for the final. Yale went into the prelim knowing that to advance to the grand final it needed to finish in first or second place. Having already lost to both Princeton and Cornell in the dueling season, Yale's varsity eight had a challenge on their hands. But the Bulldogs rose to the occasion and fought Princeton and Harvard the whole way down the 2000-meter course to come in second, just .137 seconds after Princeton and .685 seconds ahead of Harvard. This year's varsity will look for a similar result in order to qualify for the grand final.

The No. 9 second varsity will race at 11:00 a.m. in the third heat against No. 3 Cornell, No. 4 Harvard, No. 10 Penn, No. 15 Georgetown and No. 16 Rutgers. The top two from each heat qualify for the grand final.

The No. 4 third varsity will race at 8:50 a.m. against No. 1 Harvard, No. 5 Syracuse, No. 8 Navy and No. 9 Dartmouth. Here, the top three move on to the grand final.

The No. 3 freshman eight races at 10:00 a.m. against No. 4 Cornell, No. 9 Navy, No. 10 Northeastern, No. 15 George Washington and No. 16 Columbia. The top two in each of the three heats advance to the grand final.

The finals will take place in the afternoon as follows:

1:55 p.m. 3V Grand Final

2:37 p.m. Freshman Third Level Final
2:52 p.m. Freshman Petite Final
3:07 p.m. Freshman Grand Final

3:49 p.m. Second Varsity Third Level Final
4:04 p.m. Second Varsity Petite Final
4:19 p.m. Second Varsity Grand Final

4:31 p.m. Varsity Third Level Final
4:46 p.m. Varsity Petite Final
5:01 p.m. Varsity Grand Final

The top nine varsity eight finishers from EARC Sprints will receive automatic invitations to the IRA Regatta in June that serves as the national championship. There will also be five at-large bids. Selection to the second varsity and freshman eight events is predicated on first being selected to the heavyweight varsity eight event. Live results of all racing at Eastern Sprints can be found here.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity

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