Lightweights Win Jope Cup for Second Straight Year

Jope Cup Champions

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Yale lightweight crew team had a strong all-around team performance this afternoon, at EARC Sprints, in Worcester, Mass. Propelled by strong performances in the freshmen and varsity events, the Bulldogs won the Jope Cup for overall lightweight team supremacy for the second straight year. The varsity finished second, the freshmen won and the second varsity finished fourth in their respective events and this boosted them to a one-point win in the Jope Cup over Harvard. The second-place finish also qualified the Bulldogs for the IRA National Championship later this month. Senior varsity oarsman Joshua Ruck was proud of the way the team performed today.

"It takes a cohesive team to perform on race day," said Ruck. "I thought every boat performed well and it was great to get everyone on the podium.

"It requires great training to perform well on race day," echoed senior varsity oarsman Thomas Swartz. "Our coaches prepared us well for the conditions and we were able to come away with the team trophy for the second year in a row. Captain William Ferraro has done a great job all year getting us to focus and this showed today."

In the first race of the day, the Yale third varsity battled hard, but ultimately came up short, finishing fourth in their heat, not qualifying for the finals. The Bulldogs finished in a time of 6:22.7, 7.1 seconds behind heat winner Cornell.

The freshmen eight avenged their only loss of the season, winning their event by 3.5 seconds. In the morning heats, Yale used a strong start to win their heat by 1.6 seconds over Cornell. Then, in the afternoon final, Yale once again used a quick opening to get a lead. Settling into a strong rhythm, the Bulldogs used several solid moves to counter Cornell's surges to pull away to win in 6:24.0, claiming the Gary W. Kilpatrick Cup. Cornell finished in second in 6:27.5 and Penn rounded out the top three, 6.1 seconds back in 6:33.6. This marks the third consecutive win for the Yale freshmen.

In the next event, the second varsity fought hard, but fell just short of the podium. In the morning heat, the Bulldogs came in second, finishing in 6:33.4. Harvard won the heat in 6:29.4. In the afternoon final, the Bulldogs started strong, but slowly fell off the pace. They finished fourth in 6:37.4. Cornell won the race, with Harvard finishing second and Princeton finishing third.

In the final race of the day, the Yale varsity put on a strong performance and finished second. In the morning heat, the Bulldogs took the early lead and never slowed down, winning the heat by 2.1 seconds over Dartmouth. In the afternoon final, the Bulldogs again took an early lead. However, Harvard slowly moved back on the Bulldogs and took the lead. Yale tried to counter, but Harvard proved to be too much. Harvard won the race in 6:03.6, with Yale finishing 4.4 second back, in 6:08.0. The econd place finish means that Yale will advance to the IRA National Championship, held on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif., on June 2.

The varsity, second varsity and freshmen eights proved to be too much for the other schools, leading the Bulldogs to a Jope Cup victory with 33 points. Harvard finished second with 32 points and Cornell finished third with 31 points. This victory marks the Bulldogs' second consecutive Jope Cup victory.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity