May 13, 2012

Second Varsity Four Captures Gold, Bulldogs Place Third At Inaugural Ivy Championship

Varsity Eight Finishes Fourth In Grand Final

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. – There were plenty of close finishes and a couple of surprises at the inaugural Ivy League Women's Rowing Championship on the Cooper River.  Yale had three top-three finishes, including a victory by the second varsity four, and ended up third with 61 points in the overall team standings.

"It was a great championship," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "The format really showed the speed of the league and made for an exciting day of racing."

Princeton won the team trophy with 76 points, three more than Radcliffe.

In the varsity eight grand final, which decided the Ivy League title, the Bulldogs placed fourth with a time of 6:22.15. Yale narrowly missed medaling, finishing less than a second behind third-place Princeton, who crossed the line in 6:22.062. Radcliffe, seeded fourth, was the surprise winner with a time of 6:17.744. Cornell was second in 6:20.534.

"We gave up a little too much at the start. We have to do a better job getting off the line," Porter said. "We clawed our way back so I'm proud of the effort. It's a bitter pill to swallow. We were basically one-foot away from medaling, but I thought we showed great character."

The crew for Yale was coxswain Christine Devlin (Harvard, Mass.), Elizabeth McDermott (Cazenovia, N.Y.), Nina Demmerle (Greenwich, Conn.), Dara Dickson (Lafayette, Calif.), Armine Afeyan (Lexington, Mass.), Natalie King (Weston, Conn.), Maddie Lips (Parker, Colo.), Eliza Hastings (Berwyn, Pa.) and Catherine McDermott (Cazenovia, N.Y.).

Yale's top performance came from the second varsity four of coxswain Laura Grimbergen (Redwood City, Calif.), Madeline Dinse (Portland, Ore.), Amina Edwards (Boston, Mass.), Abby Loucks (Dover, N.H.) and Kristjana Gudmundsson (Dallas, Texas), who won the grand final by nearly four seconds. Yale finished in 7:15.354. Cornell was second with a time of 7:19.528.

"They rowed a great race," Porter said. "They've had a very strong season, winning the HYP, so I'm really happy for them."

Yale's second varsity of coxswain Kristen Brownlee (Port St. Joe, Fla.), Jen Stockwood (Winchester, Mass.), Claire Tolson (San Mateo, Calif.), Kathleen O'Keefe (Washington, D.C), Amber Anderson (Richmond, United Kingdom), Kristina Wagner (Weston, Mass.), Elizabeth Vincent (Mercer Island, Wash.), Nikki Grigg (Washington, D.C.) and Emily Tormey (Seattle, Wash.) was involved in one of the close finishes. The Bulldogs placed third with a time of 6:33.103, which was less than a second faster than fourth-place Radcliffe.

Yale's varsity four also placed third with a time of 7:11.405. Radcliffe was first in 7:07.079 followed by Princeton in 7:09.563.

The crew for the Bulldogs was coxswain Margaret Ayers (Portland, Me.), Amanda Grady (Orlando, Fla.), Georgia Separovich (Sydney, Australia), Brittany Bowman (West Grove, Pa.) and Kim Szokol (Winnetka, Ill.).

Yale's third varsity eight of coxswain Sarah Weil (New York, N.Y.), Blair Baker (Boca Raton, Fla.), Kara Freeman (Longmeadow, Mass.), Maureen O'Hanlon (Los Angeles, Calif.), Juliet Caragianis (Ottawa, Ontario), Natalie Lapides (New Haven, Conn.), Tierney Larson (Omro, Wis.), Erica Tavera (La Canada, Calif.) and Jane Kozey (Ansonia, Conn.) finished seventh with a time of 6:58.409.

The Bulldogs, who entered the day ranked 10th in the nation, now must wait to learn if they will receive an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. The selections will be announced on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

"I really believe five [Ivy League] teams will receive a bid based on the parity and speed of the league," Porter said. "We're the No. 2 ranked team in New England so hopefully that will be enough to put us in."

The NCAA Championships are May 25-27 in West Windsor, N.J.

Ivy League Championship Team Points Totals
1. Princeton, 76
2. Radcliffe, 73
3. Yale, 61
4. Cornell, 60
5. Brown, 52
6. Dartmouth, 29
7. Penn, 21
8. Columbia, 18

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity