May 20, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A berth in the NCAA Team Championships is becoming common place for the Yale women's crew. The Bulldogs earned their seventh straight bid when the field was announced on Tuesday afternoon. The championships are May 30 to June 1 at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif. Yale is required to field two boats of eight rowers each and one boat of four rowers.
"Every year it is exciting to qualify for the NCAA Championship. It never gets easier, and this year was no exception," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "It looks like a deep field of talented teams. We look forward to doing our best and see where that puts us when the dust settles."
Yale's varsity eight, the defending NCAA champion, is ranked third in the nation. The Bulldogs finished second to Brown by a little over a second in the grand final at the Eastern Sprints. Yale's only loss of the dual-race season came by nearly five seconds to Brown on May 3. The Bulldogs have victories over No. 6 Tennessee, No. 7 Princeton, No. 8 Radcliffe, No. 9 Virginia and No. 19 Dartmouth.
Yale's second varsity placed third at the Eastern Sprints, finishing less than a second behind second-place Dartmouth and nearly eight seconds behind first-place Brown. The Bulldogs went 10-1 during the dual-race season, losing only to Brown.
Yale's varsity four has been perfect so far this spring, capturing the Eastern Sprints grand final by nearly five seconds. The Bulldogs went 11-0 during the dual-race season, including a win over defending NCAA champion Virginia on Apr. 26.
Yale is making its eighth overall appearance in the team championships. The Bulldogs' best finish came in 2004 when they were second. Last year's varsity eight championship was Yale's first individual boat title, and the Bulldogs finished fourth as a team. Brown is the defending team champion.
Joining Yale in the NCAA team field are Brown, California, Michigan State, Ohio State, Princeton, Radcliffe, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Washington State and Wisconsin. All 12 of those crews will field a boat in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four. Clemson, Michigan, Stanford and USC are at-large varsity eight selections.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity