May 18, 2008
WORCESTER, Mass. - On a day where all five Yale boats made it to their grand finals, The Yale lightweight varsity eight finished third at Eastern Sprints Sunday on Lake Quinsigamond. Two Yale boats -- the third varsity eight and the second varsity eight -- posted second-place finishes and one -- the first freshman eight -- delivered gold.
Along with numerous medals, Yale nearly took home the Jope Cup as well. Yale tied Cornell in overall points (33) for the Jope Cup, but Cornell was awarded it based on their victory in the varsity eight race.
The Bulldogs looked poised for a strong afternoon coming out of their morning heats. The freshman eight posted the fastest time of the morning, finishing in 6:04.737. The second varsity eight also had the fastest time in their event, winning their heat in 6:04.506. The varsity eight managed to win their heat by a strong second and half over Navy, although their time was not the fastest of the morning.
The afternoon began with the second freshman eight and third varsity eight, both of which were automatically placed in grand finals due to the lack of entries in their events. The second freshman eight came in fourth in its grand final (6:30.475), which was won by Navy (6:15.354). Following them was the third varsity eight who lost a heartbreaker. After leading the entire race, they were up three seats with 150 meters to go, but a strong Navy crew fought back to win the race by just .148 seconds, placing the Bulldogs in second. In both races, only the first place crews were awarded medals.
The focus then turned to the Jope Cup crews. The freshman eight started things off with a bang, jumping out to a lead and never looking back. They won the grand final in a time of 6:09.684, besting second-place Georgetown by more than two seconds. This is the second year in a row that the Yale Lightweight freshman eight has won eastern sprints. Last year's class of 2010 took home gold, beating Princeton by two seconds.
The second varsity eight nearly replicated the freshman eight's success coming in second place behind Navy by only 0.824 seconds and taking home the silver medals. The varsity eight also took home some hardware, finishing in third, and claiming the bronze medals. They finished the race in 6:22.161, trailing only Cornell (6:17.735) and Princeton (6:20.445).
Report filed by Charles Moore `10, Yale Sports Publicity