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Lightweights Ready to Open Season

Photo Courtesy of Row2k
Photo Courtesy of Row2k

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Coming off a Jope Cup victory last spring, the Yale lightweight crew team is looking to continue its string of success this Saturday. Last spring, the team won the Jope Cup, which is awarded for overall team supremacy, at Eastern Sprints for the first time since 2002. Undefeated regular seasons in the second varsity and freshmen boats were also capped with gold medals at Sprints, claiming the Cornell Trophy and the Kilpatrick Cup for Yale. The varsity also brought home a hard-fought bronze medal at the IRA National Championships. With Andy Card returning for his 24th season as head coach, the Bulldogs look to produce a fast start this fall. Joining Coach Card following the departure of Coach Colin Farrell is Coach Ned DelGuercio in his first season as assistant coach. DelGuercio brings his knowledge and experience from serving as coxswain on the US national team to Yale.

Captain William Ferraro is excited to get underway with the fall racing season and continue to improve. Joining Ferraro are five other members of the bronze-medal winning IRA boat. Returning varsity oarsmen are senior Patrick O'Keefe, senior Thomas Swartz, junior Matthew Bridgwater, junior Joseph Hanlon, and junior Matthew O'Donoghue.  In addition, senior Joshua Ruck and junior Josh Mann also spent significant portions of the season in the varsity boat, gaining valuable experience. Also, returning from a gap year is now-senior Greg Hausheer, a member of the 2011 national championship boat. Complementing these athletes are the other seniors Cameron Best, David Bloom, Franz Colloredo-Mansfeld, Scott Isaac, Wendy Lin and Christopher Vasseur. Led by these athletes, the Elis have been working hard everyday getting ready for the season.

Joining the varsity ranks is the gold-medal-winning class of 2015. With strong summers behind them, they are looking to make an immediate impact. Depth should be one of the Bulldogs' strong assets this year. Additionally, the program welcomes the class of 2016. This offseason, there was a rule change eliminating separate freshmen rowing, which means all of the classes are now competing on the varsity level. The class of 2016 brings with it a significant number of accolades from the high school level, including victories at Canadian National Championships, Youth National Championships, Stotesbury Cup, SRAA National Championship and C.R.A.S.H.-B.World Indoor Rowing Championship. The class shows a great deal of potential.

The team kicks off its fall season on Oct. 6 with the 18th Head of the Housatonic, held on Yale's home course in Derby, Conn. This regatta will give the Bulldogs a chance to earn some valuable racing experience before the Head of the Charles, as most athletes will be competing in multiple races. After a weekend off, the lightweights race at the Head of the Charles, the biggest two-day regatta, on Oct. 21. Last year, two Yale fours took second and third in the lightweight four event. The Bulldogs are looking to replicate that finish again this year as well as improve on their fifth-place finish in the lightweight eight event. Yale finishes its fall season on Oct. 28 with the Princeton Chase, held on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity