Racing Set For Sunday On Cooper River In New Jersey
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There will be much at stake when the Yale women's crew heads to the Eastern Sprints on Sunday on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. The varsity eight will be looking to win the Ivy League title for the fifth time in the last seven years, and the Bulldogs will be in search of their third straight Charles Willing Team Trophy for overall supremacy. It is also one more chance for Yale to impress the NCAA selection committee.
The morning heats begin at 8 a.m., and the day culminates with the varsity eight grand final at 4:45 p.m.
"The Eastern Sprints is more competitive this year than ever," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "There are five teams that are legitimate contenders for the varsity eight title and five programs that are legitimate contenders for NCAA bids. It is anyone's race at this point. We are just trying to be part of it. Our challenge is to go in and show our speed. Go as fast as we can and see where it takes us."
Six members of last year's Ivy League champion varsity eight graduated, so it will be a relatively young and inexperienced crew looking to defend the title. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs have shown they are still a legitimate title contender, most notably when they gave No. 1 Princeton a scare on Apr. 16.
"We are seeded fourth in the first varsity which I was surprised about," Porter said. "Cornell beat us and is seeded fifth. They should be seeded higher than us because they proved they are faster than us. We are just trying to get back in the mix."
Princeton is seeded first followed by Brown and Radcliffe. Yale's heat, which has Radcliffe in it, is slated for 9 a.m. The top two finishers from the heat advance to the grand final.
Yale's second varsity eight, third varsity eight and varsity four are all seeded third. The second varsity heat is at 9:30 a.m. The third varsity is the first to compete at 8:20 a.m. and the varsity four goes off at 10:05 a.m.
The 16-team NCAA field will be announced on May 17, and Porter expects the Ivy League to be well represented.
"The Ivy League should get five bids based on our regular season results against out of region teams and other conferences," Porter said.
Varsity Eight - C: Sarah Brownlee (Sr., Tampa, Fla.); 8: Caroline Nash (Sr., Darien, Conn.); 7: Dara Dickson (Jr., Lafayette, Calif.); 6: Stephanie Madner (Sr., Kew Australia); 5: Natalie King (So., Weston, Conn.); 4: Armine Afeyan (Jr., Lexington, Mass.); 3: Maddie Lips (Fr., Parker, Colo.); 2: Catherine McDermott (Jr., Cazenovia, N.Y.); 1: Eliza Hastings (So., Berwyn, Pa.)
2nd Varsity Eight - C: Kristen Brownlee (Fr., Tampa, Fla.); 8: Elizabeth McDermott (Jr., Cazenovia, N.Y.); 7: Amber Anderson (Fr., Richmond, United Kingdom); 6: Kathleen O'Keefe (Jr., Washington, D.C.); 5: Jen Stockwood (Fr., Winchester, Mass.); 4: Kathryn D'Andrea (So., Darien, Conn.); 3: Claire Tolson (Fr., San Mateo, Calif.); 2: Nikki Grigg (Jr., Washington, D.C.); 1: Georgia Separovich (Jr., New South Wales, Australia)
Varsity Four - C: Margaret Ayers (So., Portland, Maine); 4: Elizabeth Kalina (Sr., Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.); 3: Alexandra Fields (Sr., Rock Island, Ill.); 2: Brittany Bowman (Jr., West Grove, Pa.); 1: Lauren Ross (Sr., Princeton, N.J.)
3rd Varsity Eight - C: Elisa Visher (Fr., Malibu, Calif.); 8: Mary Barrosse-Antle (Sr., Hockessin, Del.); 7: Lily Blair (Sr., Seattle, Wash.); 6: Abby Loucks (Fr., Dover, N.H.); 5: Emily Tormey (So., Seattle, Wash.); 4: Melissa Weigel (So., Annapolis, Md.); 3: Sabrina Malak (Fr., Mullica Hill, N.J.); 2: Reynolds Ostrover (Greenwich, Conn.); 1: Jane Kozey (Fr., Ansonia, Conn.)
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity