DERBY, Conn.- Yale’s heavyweight crews opened their season with three wins over Ivy League rivals Brown. The Bulldogs won the morning’s first three events: the four, the third varsity eight and the first freshman eight. The last two—the second varsity and varsity events—were claimed by Brown. The Bears topped the Bulldogs in the varsity event by 1.8 seconds.
The first race of the morning pitted a Yale 4+ comprised of two varsity oarsmen, one freshman and one lightweight against two Brown fours that are normally their 4V/2F eight. The Yale coxed four was put together earlier in the week when the opportunity presented itself for the oarsmen not in the eights to race. Coxed by senior Ian Schmertzler, the four featured junior Benjamin Ortiz in stroke, senior Nolan Maher in three, sophomore lightweight Max Micali in two and freshman Jon Morgan in bow.
By the thousand-meter mark the Yale four was up by a length on the nearest Brown four. They held on to win the race in a time of 6:42.5. Brown A took second place 1.7 seconds later in a time of 6:44.2. Brown B finished in 7:02.8.
The Bulldogs followed up this win with another: the third varsity eight. The Yale eight started with the advantage of the stagger, but by the end of the first thousand found itself down three seats on the Brown eight. Coxswain Morgan Welch called a power-ten with 750 meters to start getting the Bulldogs even with the Bears. Welch then called another move at the 700-meter mark. The eight rowers responded and from there the Yale eight didn’t look back.
The Yale eight continued to take seats down the rest of the course to finish almost eight seats up on the Brown crew, storming up nearly twelve seats in the second thousand.
“The boat did a phenomenal job of staying composed and then really going after it in the sprint. I couldn't be more proud of this boat,” noted senior James Tormey.
The third varsity eight was comprised of sophomore Patrick O’Malley (stroke), senior Dominique Fenton (seven), senior James Tormey (six), sophomore Jonathan Martin (five), sophomore Keith Pfirrman (four), junior George Morgan (three), sophomore Alexander Krey (two), junior Simon Warren (bow) and sophomore Morgan Welch (cox). The Yale eight topped Brown by 2.7 seconds with a time of 5:50.6 to 5:53.3.
The third event of the morning was the freshman eight. The Bulldogs picked up a close win, beating the Bears by 1.3 seconds. Yale finished the 2000-meter course in a time of 5:49.5 to Brown’s 5:50.8.
The freshman eight had the inside lane, so they started down on Brown but had almost walked up even by the turn.
“We had a big move at the halfway point, taking the lead, but Brown came back a bit meaning we had to answer with a big sprint,” noted freshman Tom Lynam.
The sprint paid off and the Bulldogs were able to hold off their opponent to cross the line first. This year’s winning eight featured Don Leatherwood (stroke), Viktor Romanov (seven), Grant Stegelmann (six), Harry Picone (five), Tom Lynam (four), Harry Simperingham (three), Ian Suvak (two), Philippe Mastroyannis (bow) and Ian Forsyth (cox).
Brown won last year’s freshman event by 9.13 seconds and went on to win Eastern Sprints. In fact, many members of Brown’s current team carry Eastern Sprints gold medals. The Bears swept all four events they raced in (1V, 2V, 1F, 2F) at last year’s championship to take the team trophy.
The fourth event of the morning saw the Yale second varsity eight fall to Brown’s by 6.3 seconds. The Bears completed the course in 5:47.7, while the Bulldogs finished in 5:54.0.
Senior Antonio Sirianni noted, “We had the intensity to hang with a very strong Brown crew for the first half of the race. Now we need to find the technical composure necessary to finish the job.”
That eight was comprised of junior Duncan Logie in stroke, junior Benjamin Grant in seven, junior Nathaniel Reeve in six, senior Antonio Sirianni in five, sophomore Django Broer-Hellermann in four, junior Daniel Klassen in three, sophomore Joseph Alagna in two, junior Patrick Vergara in bow and Emma McBurney as cox.
Sirianni, from Buffalo, N.Y., added, “We're disappointed but looking forward to racing them again at Eastern Sprints.”
Last year’s second and third varsity boats both raced and fell to Brown’s second varsity. The Brown JV posted at time of 5:46.45 compared to 5:51.86 for the Yale JV and 5:54.11 for the Yale third varsity when the three boats raced on the Seekonk River in Providence, R.I.
The morning wrapped up with the varsity eight event. The Yale varsity jumped to an early lead to hold a three-seat advantage on the reigning Ivy League champions by the thousand-meter mark.
Brown however walked back on the Yale eight in the second thousand to take the win by 1.8 seconds. The Bears’ bow-ball crossed the line in 5:38.0 while Yale’s finished in 5:39.8.
Though still a loss, the varsity’s performance is a remarkable improvement on last year’s 9.9-second loss. In the Yale varsity eight for the dual against Brown were sophomore Benjamin Bowles (stroke), senior Henry Cole (seven), junior Marcos Carzolio (six), junior Derek Johnson (five), sophomore Thomas Dethlefs (four), junior Matthew Ramlow (three), senior Lucas Spielfogel (two), junior Alex Mastroyannis (bow) and senior Rebecca Burgoyne-Allen (cox).
The Bulldogs are back in action at home next weekend when they host the Dartmouth Big Green.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity.