NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Rising senior Brian O'Donnell has been elected captain of the 2019-2020 Yale varsity lightweight crew, following a successful campaign led by Matthew Matejka '19. Accompanying O'Donnell will be fellow rising senior Duncan Moore, acting as Y150 commodore, succeeding Nicolai Parks '19. Capitalizing on the successes of the past season, including silver medals for the 1V, 2V and 3V at the EARC Sprints as well as a Jope Cup win, the two plan on leading the team to another strong racing season.
In regards to the upcoming season, O'Donnell stated, "I'm honored to be in this position, and I'm extremely excited for the coming year. I feel that we have a very strong group of returning athletes that is going to allow us to keep the momentum from a strong year rolling."
Moore added, "I'm excited to serve with Brian and the rest of the senior class for the 2020 season, and hope to build on the teamwide success in 2019."
O'Donnell began his rowing career at St. John's High School in Shrewsbury, Mass., eventually being elected captain his senior year of high school. At Yale, he raced his first year as three seat of the first varsity eight that placed third at the IRA National Championship Regatta. In the fall of his sophomore year, O'Donnell competed in the lightweight 4+ at the 53rd Head of the Charles regatta, earning a gold medal and the course record in the event. He continued to compete in the first varsity during the spring season. His junior year was punctuated by a silver medal in the varsity eight at the EARC Sprints, an achievement that clinched the Jope Cup for the squad. Off the water, O'Donnell studies history and is a basketball fan. He is a member of Silliman College.
"We've had some terrific captains and leaders both historically and recently, and Brian is ready to take what they've done and make it uniquely his," said Andy Card, the Y150 Alumni Head Coach of Lightweight Crew. "He's been an important part of our varsity since his freshman year. We had a good year last year, and I know Brian and his classmates are ready to build on that. Every year is different, and Brian has some big shoes to fill following Matt Matejka. I think Brian's ready for the challenge."
Moore hails from Albany, Georgia. He coxed for the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn., and was elected captain his senior year as well. Alongside O'Donnell, Moore also finished off his first year racing in the first varsity eight that placed third at the IRA. He continued his sophomore year in the first varsity eight, enjoying victories over Navy, MIT, Georgetown, Penn, Dartmouth and Harvard. His junior year, Moore coxed the first varsity eight to a silver medal at the EARC Sprints. Off the water, Moore is a statistics and data science major and a member of Morse College. He enjoys fly fishing and running in his free time.
"Duncan has been a strong voice in the coxswain's seat since he arrived at Yale," said Card. "Now he's our Commodore, the first time a coxswain has filled this role for us. It's a credit to our team that we are always looking for ways to innovate and bring out everyone's best. I know I am looking forward to a unique vision from Duncan from the 9th seat, and it's clear our whole team looks up to Duncan. Nicolai Parks did a great job last year, and now it's Duncan's turn."
The Y150 will be back on the water at the beginning of the coming fall semester, kicking off their racing season with the Head of the Housatonic Regatta on Oct. 12.