May 21, 2013

The Streak Continues: Bulldogs Headed Back To NCAA Championship

Yale Earns Team Bid For 12th Straight Year

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With expansion from 16 to 22 teams this year due to an increase in automatic qualifiers, there will be a number of new faces at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championship. For Yale, a berth is old hat.

The Bulldogs received one of 11 at-large bids when the field was announced late Tuesday afternoon. Yale has now earned a team berth for 12 straight years and will have at least one crew compete for the 14th straight year.

The three-day championship begins on May 31 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.

The 22 teams will field two crews of eight rowers and one crew of four rowers.

"It is always an honor to be selected to the NCAA Championship, especially this year when the Ivy League was so competitive," said Yale head coach Will Porter.

Princeton, which won Sunday's varsity eight grand final, earned the Ivy League's automatic bid. Cornell, Harvard and Brown join Yale as at-large selections from the league. The other automatic qualifiers were Rhode Island (Atlantic 10), Virginia (ACC), Oklahoma (Big 12), Notre Dame (Big East), Ohio State (Big Ten), Boston University (Colonial Athletic Association), Oklahoma (Conference USA), Marist (MAAC), California (Pac-12), Navy (Patriot) and Gonzaga (West Coast).

California, UCLA, Michigan, Stanford, Washington, Washington State and Wisconsin all received at-large selections.

The Bulldogs, ranked ninth in the latest CRCA-US Rowing national poll, are coming off a solid performance at the Ivy League Championship on Sunday. The varsity eight and varsity four, who will both row at NCAAs, won silver medals. The second varsity eight finished seventh, but had a strong 8-3 record during the regular season.

"We have more speed in us and as a team can do better than we did at Ivys," Porter said. "We have unfinished business. Our goal is to race it up and be at our best. Indianapolis is notorious for wind, but I have had plenty of great rows on that course. I look forward to getting out to the Midwest. Chances are the course will be straight, 2000 meters, buoyed, just like every other course."

Yale, which watched the on-line selection show at Gilder Boathouse after practice, is making its 13th overall appearance in the team championships. The Bulldogs' best finish came in 2004 when they were second. Yale has had one crew win a grand final four times. The varsity eight finished first in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and the second varsity won in 2009.

Virginia is the defending champion. The Bulldogs placed 10th last year and have finished in the top 10 in 10 of the last 11 years. 

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity