May 13, 2007

Bulldogs Win Sprints Team Title; Varsity Eight Wins Ivy League Title

May 13, 2007

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CAMDEN, N.J. - It was a memorable day for the Yale women's crew team at the Eastern Sprints on the Cooper River. The Bulldogs took home the Charles Willing Jr. Team trophy for overall supremacy, and the varsity eight won the Grand Final for the second time in the last three years. The varsity eight victory earns Yale the Ivy League title.

The varsity eight, which entered the day seeded first after posting a 12-0 record in the dual race season, finished with a time of 6:28.6, nearly four seconds ahead of second-place Brown. In the boat for the Bulldogs were Rachel Jeffers, Tess Gerrand, Christine Geiser, Jamie Redman, Taylor Ritzel, Amanda Rich, Alice Henly, Christine Glandorf and coxswain Emily Cleveland.

"We rowed the way we wanted to," said Yale Head Coach Will Porter. "We pushed out at 500 meters and got control. They rowed their race, and that's the key to what we do. Row our race."

The Bulldogs led from virtually start to finish. Princeton placed third in 6:35.620 followed by Radcliffe (6:37.082), Dartmouth (6:40.498) and Northeastern (6:49.807).

"At one point, Emily [Cleveland] made a call that the race was ours," said Jeffers, the team captain who has been in the varsity boat in each of her four years.

It was the fifth time in school history that Yale won the varsity eight race at Sprints, which began in 1976.

"It's simply one of the best feelings I've ever had," said Geiser, a senior who was also in the varsity boat that won in 2005.

Yale got strong performances from its four other boats as well to win the Willing Team Trophy for the first time since 1988.

The varsity four of Karrin Weisenthal, Caroline Berson, Rebecca Nadal, Katherine Kazimer and coxswain Berkley Adrio won the Grand Final with a time of 7:28.834, an impressive 10 seconds ahead of second-place Radcliffe (7:38.762). Brown (7:42.505) was third followed by Princeton (7:44.235), Syracuse (8:03.017) and Northeastern.

"Today they really rowed to their ability," Porter said. "It was certainly the right time for them to do it."

In the second varsity eight Grand Final, the Bulldogs finished third with a time of 6:49.105. Brown cruised to a seven-second victory with a time of 6:39.954. Radcliffe was second. In the boat for Yale was Cara Dermody, Jennie Hansen, Maren McCrea, Suzanne Salgado, Christina Person, Milica Vujovic, Hayley Johnson, Lee Glandorf and coxswain Erin Haber.

"They've been in really tight races all year," Porter said. "I'm very proud of them. I liked the way they rowed today. We will keep working to get ready for the NCAAs."

Yale's novice eight of Katherine Adams, Kate Mullan, Allix Wilde, Catherine Hart, Zoe Ballance, Ryan McCarthy, Mary Pat Wixted, Laura Gottesdiener and coxswain Mia Kanak placed third in the Grand Final with a time of 7:08.433. Brown won with a time of 6:51.132 and Penn was second (7:03.769).

In the varsity four B Grand Final, the Bulldogs were third with a time of 8:03.169. Radcliffe was first in 7:52.744 followed by Princeton at 7:57.151. In the boat for the Bulldogs were Lilah Hume, Emily Matykiewicz, Melissa King, Margaret Sullivan and coxswain Alyssa Reyes.

The Bulldogs should earn a spot in the NCAA Championship when the selections are announced on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity