May 24, 2006

NCAA Championships Begin Friday

May 24, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Racing begins Friday at the NCAA Rowing Championship at the Finn Caspersen Center in West Windsor, N.J. Yale, which qualified for the fifth straight year, will be sending an extremely young squad to New Jersey. Fifteen of the 25 rowers making the trip are either freshmen or sophomores.

"Our kids have worked incredibly hard for this, and as a coach I am pleased to see that their hard work has been rewarded," said Yale Head Coach Will Porter. "We are young and inexperienced but feisty. Now we just want to race and see how we can do against this very deep field."

The Bulldogs will field two boats of eight rowers each and one boat of four rowers. A point system using the finish of each boat determines the NCAA champion.

Yale's varsity eight was ranked eighth in the May 17 national poll, was 9-2 in the regular season and finished third at the Eastern Sprints. The second eight also was 9-2 but finished second at the Sprints, while the four was 6-3 and third at Sprints.

"Our team only has five seniors this year, but they are solid leaders," Porter said. "We know what our goals for the year are, and ultimately we will decide if we are successful. We are not looking for outside approval."

California is the defending champion. Yale was seventh last year. The Bulldogs' best finish came in 2004 when they placed second.

In the varsity eight for Yale is freshman Cara Dermody, senior Jane Moore, senior Maria Stevens, junior Rachel Jeffers, sophomore Jamie Redman, sophomore Christine Geiser, senior Joanna Hess, sophomore Jennie Hansen. Junior Emily Cleveland is the coxswain.

The second varsity is comprised of senior Alexandra Moser, freshman Emily Matykiewicz, senior Katie Curran, junior Alexis Fleckenstein, freshman Caroline Berson, junior Amanda Rich, sophomore Suzanne Salgado and freshman Christine Glandorf. Sophomore Erin Haber is the coxswain.

Junior Julie Andress, freshman Shaughnessy Costigan, sophomore Milica Vujovic, freshman Lilah Hume and coxswain Berkley Adrio make up the four.

The finals for all three boats are Sunday.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity