MADISON, Wisc. —Despite never sailing in the 2010 ICSA Women's National Championship due to a lack of breeze for the semifinals, senior Sarah Lihan was named a skipper All-American. It is the first time that Lihan has garnered the honor.
Lihan demonstrated her phenomenal skills all season long both in singlehanded competition and doublehanded competition with crew junior Elizabeth Brim. Her accomplishments throughout the season gained her the award despite the bitter end to the season.
In the fall, Lihan and Brim were named NEISA sailors of the week twice. Lihan skippered the team to a win at both the Navy Fall Women's Intersectional and the Yale Women's Intersectional, the lone home regatta for the Bulldogs. Lihan also succeeded on her own in the Laser Radial, finishing second at the New England Singlehanded Championships landing her a spot at the National Singlehanded Championships in Corpus Christi, Tex. where she finished fourth.
This spring, Lihan proved her sailing mastery by becoming one of the three skippers on the Bulldogs' team racing team. Most schools sail three male skippers in team racers but Lihan was able to prove her gender proud by sailing with and past the boys from other teams. She used these skills to lead the women's team to a win at the Duplin Trophy, the only women's team race on the schedule. Following this performance, she and Brim were named NEISA sailors of the week.
At the end of the New England season, Lihan was named First Team All New England. This was her first stint on the First Team, following last year's Second Team achievement.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Lihan's season is what cannot be quantified in results or awards. After three years of being one of the Bulldogs top reserves, Lihan stepped up to the challenge of becoming the number one skipper for the Bulldogs. Not only was Lihan successful in the A division fleet, but she was also able to lead a very young Bulldog team made up of exclusively freshmen and sophomores aside from herself, senior Rebecca Jackson, and Brim. She helped the younger members of the team adjust to major events, many of which were very new to the sailors who, as freshmen, had never experienced college sailing before.
Lihan has deserved this honor before and now can finally call herself an All-American. Her towering presence will be greatly missed by the Bulldogs next season.
Report filed by Margot Benedict '12, Yale Sports Publicity