May 15, 2007

Bulldogs Earn Sixth Straight NCAA Team Championship Bid

May 15, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's crew team has already captured the Eastern Sprints and Ivy League titles. Now, the Bulldogs will turn their attention to the NCAA Championships. Yale has been selected to participate in the NCAA Team Championships held May 25-27 on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The Bulldogs, who earned an invitation to the team championships for the sixth straight year, are required to field two boats of eight rowers each and one boat of four rowers.

"It is always exciting to be selected to the NCAA Championships, and we never think it will be automatic," said Yale Head Coach Will Porter. "Each year it is hard work, determination and a certain amount of luck that helps us make our way back. As a team we know how difficult it is to make the cut, especially coming out of the New England region which is super competitive but not as highly publicized as other regions."

Yale's varsity eight was ranked second nationally behind only USC in the May 8 CRCA/U.S. Rowing poll. The Bulldogs were 12-0 during the dual-race season and captured the Sprints title for the second time in three years, finishing nearly four seconds ahead of second-place Brown.

Yale's second varsity was 9-3 in the dual-race season and placed third at Sprints, behind Brown and Radcliffe. The Bulldogs' varsity four was 7-5 in dual-race competition, but cruised to a nearly 10-second victory in the Grand Final at Eastern Sprints.

"A key component of what we do is to stay focused on ourselves and enjoy the experience each day," Porter said. "We want to enjoy practice and approach it with passion. We want to enjoy traveling, enjoy racing and enjoy our time together as a team. Performance is certainly important, but we know we are more likely to succeed if we continue to do what we do and have fun doing it."

Joining Yale in the NCAA team field are Brown, California, Harvard, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Princeton, USC, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. Dartmouth, Stanford, Central Florida and UCLA are at-large varsity eight selections. The Bulldogs have already raced Minnesota, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Brown and Tennessee this season.

Yale is making its seventh overall appearance in the team championships. The Bulldogs' best finish came in 2004 when they were second. Last year, Yale placed 10th. California is the defending champion.

The Bulldogs will head to Tennessee next Tuesday, and the first day of racing is Friday, May 25.

"We will stay in our normal training schedule and continue to do the things that have brought us to this point in the season," Porter said.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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