No. 6 Yale Gearing Up For Eastern Sprints

Bulldogs Seek Second Straight Ivy League Title And Fourth In Six Years

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's crew varsity eight has won three of the last five Eastern Sprints titles. In two of those years, Yale was beaten during the regular season. The Bulldogs hope for a similar result in 2010. On Apr. 17, Princeton cruised to a nearly seven-second victory over Yale. The Bulldogs look to avenge that loss and stay faster than the rest of a deep field on Sunday on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. The morning heats begin at 8 a.m. and the last event, the varsity eight grand final, is scheduled for 4:55 p.m.
All five Yale boats that will compete at the Sprints are seeded in the top three and the Bulldogs are ranked sixth in the nation in the latest CRCA-US Rowing poll. Nevertheless, head coach Will Porter doesn't believe his team has reached its full potential yet.
“This year has been a struggle to find continuity and flow to our work as a team,” Porter said. “There have been multiple starts and stops in speed but no real steady build. To the team's credit, they have hung in there and kept working. I wouldn't count us out.”
The top Ivy League finisher in the varsity eight wins the Ivy title and receives the Sally P. Shoemaker Trophy. The Charles Willing Jr. Trophy is awarded for overall team supremacy. Yale has won the Willing Trophy in two of the last three years.
After losing to Princeton, Yale's varsity eight rebounded to defeat both Radcliffe and Brown. The Bulldogs are seeded second behind Princeton and race Rutgers, Penn, Columbia, Bucknell and Georgetown in the morning heat at 8:50 a.m. The top two finishers advance to the grand final.
Yale's probable lineup is Dara Dickson, Stephanie Madner, Catherine Hart, Caroline Nash, Maren McCrea, Alice Henly, Tess Gerrand, Taylor Ritzel and coxswain Mia Kanak.
Yale's second varsity is seeded third and faces George Washington, Dartmouth, Columbia, Syracuse and Georgetown in its heat at 9:30 a.m.
The probable lineup is Catherine McDermott, Mary Jo Toothman, Kathryn D'Andrea, Natalie King, Armine Afeyan, Kathleen O'Keefe, Allix Wilde, Eliza Hastings and coxswain Sarah Brownlee.
The Bulldogs have won the varsity four grand final in each of last three years. They are seeded third this time and race against Georgetown, Bucknell, Boston University, Penn and George Washington at 10:05 a.m.
In the boat are Amanda Grady, Alexandra Fields, Elizabeth McDermott, Mary Pat Wixted and coxswain Erica Segall.
Yale's third varsity eight of Brittany Bowman, Ryan McCarthy, Melissa Weigel, Lauren Ross, Emily Tormey, Lily Blair, Mary Barrosse-Antle, Katherine Dyke and coxswain Margaret Ayers will be the first to race. The Bulldogs, seeded third, face Dartmouth, Bucknell and Radcliffe at 8:20 a.m.
Yale's second varsity four is seeded second and races Boston College, Radcliffe, Cornell, Penn and George Washington at 10:25 a.m.
The probable lineup is Laura Gottesdiener, Julia Jolliffe, Nikki Grigg, Georgia Separovich and coxswain Yassmin Parsaei.
“Sunday is all about taking the next step in all our crews,” Porter said. “We need fast starts, more dynamic base speed, good moves and a sprint. If we can do all that, we will be ok.”
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity