May 27, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Rachel Jeffers, who helped lead the Yale women's crew team to a pair of Ivy League titles and this year's varsity eight NCAA Championship, is the recipient of the 2007 Nellie Pratt Elliot Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior female at Yale. The award was presented at the Class Day exercises on May 27. Jeffers was unable to receive the award in person because she and her teammates were competing at the NCAA Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn, where her boat captured the national title after edging Ohio State by two seconds.
The Nellie Pratt Elliot Award goes to the senior woman whose excellence in the field of athletics and in her life at Yale best represents the ideals of sportsmanship and Yale tradition. It is awarded in memory of Nellie Pratt Elliot, who was an assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Yale for 46 years.
Jeffers is a two-time first team CRCA All-American and will likely add a third honor when the 2007 team is selected in early June. She also is a three-time (soon to be four-time) first team All-New England selection.
This spring as a senior, Jeffers, the team captain, stroked the Yale varsity eight to the Eastern Sprints and Ivy League title. The Bulldogs were 12-0 in the dual-race season and ranked second in the nation in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/U.S. Rowing poll. Yale has qualified for the NCAA Team Championships in each of Jeffers' four years.
In her freshman season, she sat in the No. 1 seat as the Bulldogs finished second in the NCAA Grand Final, less than two seconds behind national champion. In her sophomore year, the Bulldogs won their first Sprints and Ivy League titles since 1981. Yale captured the bronze medal at Sprints in her junior season.
Jeffers, who started rowing in her sophomore year of high school at a club in her hometown of Los Gatos, Calif., also has international experience. She was part of the United States national eight team that won a silver medal in last year's World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. She is a candidate for the U.S. team that will compete at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
Jeffers, the daughter of Theresa Pfeiffer and James Jeffers, is a history major with a 3.47 GPA. She resides in Branford College.