Bulldogs Place 10th At NCAA Championship

Varsity four (Tim Bennett photo)
Varsity four (Tim Bennett photo)

Varsity Four Finishes Fourth In Grand Final

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – For the 10th time in the last 11 years, the Yale women's crew has finished in the top-10 in the nation. The Bulldogs scored 38 points to place 10th at the NCAA Championship at Mercer County Park.

The varsity four had the top performance on Sunday, narrowly missing a medal and finishing fourth in the grand final with a time of 7:23.53. The varsity eight and second varsity eight each placed sixth in the petite finals.

"To be top-10 in the country is very respectable," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "I'm very proud of our effort. We would like to have raced a little better today, but it was the end of a long regatta and a long season."

Virginia won the NCAA team title with 87 points, five more than Michigan. California placed third with 78 points followed by Princeton (77) and Ohio State (67).

Yale was the second finisher among the five Ivy League schools that qualified, placing ahead of Radcliffe, which was 12th, Cornell (13th) and Brown (15th).

The varsity four of coxswain Margaret Ayers, Amanda Grady, Georgia Separovich, Madeline Dinse and Kim Szokol got the day off to a strong start. The Bulldogs were just a little more than two seconds behind third-place California. Ohio State won with a time of 7:13.09, while Virginia was second in 7:15.18.

"Our four rowed a terrific race. They were within an eyelash of earning a medal," Porter said. "They've had great senior leadership from Amanda and Georgia. They're extremely fit and have been on a mission all season."

After the four grand final, a thunderstorm moved through the area, forcing a nearly 90 minute delay.

When racing resumed, the second varsity eight of coxswain Kristen Brownlee, Jen Stockwood, Claire Tolson, Kathleen O'Keefe, Amber Anderson, Kristina Wagner, Elizabeth Vincent, Nikki Grigg and Emily Tormey raced in an extremely competitive petite final. Less than five second separated the six crews. Southern California finished first with a time of 6:42.97. The Bulldogs crossed the line in 6:47.58.

Yale's varsity eight, which was rowing for the fourth time in the last three days, completed the 2,000-meter course with a time of 6:39.75. UCLA finished first in 6:28.49. The crew for Yale was coxswain Christine Devlin, Elizabeth McDermott, Nina Demmerle, Dara Dickson, Armine Afeyan, Natalie King, Maddie Lips, Eliza Hastings and Catherine McDermott.

The 10th-place team finish was an improvement over last year when the Bulldogs placed 11th.

"We're trying to build momentum," Porter said. "Hopefully we'll get back here next year and keep climbing."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity