May 17, 2009
CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Yale's varsity eight captured the Eastern Sprints and Ivy League titles for the third time in the last five years on Sunday on the Cooper River. The Bulldogs won a close Grand Final, finishing with a time of 6:21.95, less than a second ahead of second-place Harvard, which came in at 6:22.86.
"It was a great race. We never had more than a half-length lead that I saw," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "Everything we do is internal. We just try and focus on what we are doing. This is a special group of athletes.
Princeton finished third followed by Brown, Dartmouth and Northeastern.
"We got off to a good start," said Christina Person, the team captain who sat in the No. 3 seat. "We found our rhythm and were able to move constantly throughout the race."
"We got to our rhythm early on and it paid off," Adrio said.
The Bulldogs hadn't raced since falling to Brown on May 2, their only loss of the season.
"Sometimes losing can make you better," Porter said. "That's sounds crazy, but it gave us a chance to re-evaluate."
The varsity eight victory capped an outstanding day for the Bulldogs, who won the Charles Willing Team Trophy for overall supremacy at the Sprints for the second time in the last three years and just the fourth time in school history. All six Yale boats finished either first or second.
"Every kid in the program has a medal. At this level that is pretty amazing," Porter said.
Yale's third varsity four was the first to race in a Grand Final, and the Bulldogs finished second with a time of 7:48.09. Brown won in 7:43.41.
The second varsity four of coxswain Alyssa Reyes, Amanda Grady, Stephanie Madner, Laura Gottesdiener and Katherine Kazimer won the Bulldogs' first gold medal of the day. Yale finished in 7:26.61, nearly 10 seconds ahead of second-place Radcliffe.
Yale's novice eight of coxswain Katie Munyan, Catherine McDermott, Elizabeth McDermott, Katherine Dyke, Nikki Grigg, Georgia Separovich, Kathleen O'Keefe, Alexandra Fields and Mary Jo Toothman then won the novice eight Grand Final with a time of 6:42.63. Brown was second in 6:47.08.
The victory was Yale's first in the novice eight at Sprints since 1987.
"It's really important to win at the novice level," Porter said. "We haven't had the depth to do it until recently."
Yale's varsity four of coxswain Sarah Brownlee, Mary Pat Wixted, Katherine Adams, Roxanne Carini, and Karrin Weisenthal also finished first. The Bulldogs had a time of 7:27.32, nearly four seconds better than second-place Brown. It was the fourth straight year Yale has won the varsity four crown, and Weisenthal, a senior, has been in the boat for the last three.
"This is the most meaningful moment of my Yale career," Weisenthal said. "It was so much fun."
"Karri came up from the C boat and did a really good job," Porter said. "I don't usually like to single people out, but she really deserves it."
Yale's second varsity finished second with a time of 6:39.74. Brown won in 6:34.20.
The Bulldogs will return to the Cooper River in two weeks for the NCAA Championships. The 16-team field will be announced on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Yale's varsity eight is the two-time defending NCAA champion.
"Hopefully we can find another gear in the next two weeks," Porter said.
Varsity Eight Grand Final
1. Yale 6:21.95
2. Radcliffe 6:22.86
3. Princeton 6:23.53
4. Brown 6:26.94
5. Dartmouth 6:27.55
6. Northeastern 6:40.84
Second Varsity Eight Grand Final
1. Brown 6:34.20
2. Yale 6:39.74
3. Radcliffe 6:42.45
4. Princeton 6:46.95
5. Dartmouth 6:54.95
6. Boston University 7:06.81
Varsity Four Grand Final
1. Yale 7:27.32
2. Brown 7:31.31
3. Radcliffe 7:31.65
4. Princeton 7:37.56
5. Dartmouth 7:40.71
6. Navy 7:44.15
Novice Eight Grand Final
1. Yale 6:42.63
2. Brown 6:47.08
3. Cornell 6:47.64
4. Columbia 7:00.32
5. Dartmouth 7:03.27
6. Syracuse 7:07.89
Second Varsity Four Grand Final
1. Yale 7:26.61
2. Radcliffe 7:35.21
3. Brown 7:42.51
4. Princeton 7:53.30
5. Boston University 8:03.32
6. Syracuse 8:16.86
Third Varsity Four Grand Final
1. Brown 7:43.41
2. Yale 7:48.09
3. Radcliffe 7:58.01
4. Princeton 9:03.48
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity