NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Tom Dethlefs has been elected captain of the Yale heavyweight crew team for the 2011-2012 season. Dethlefs, a history major in Ezra Stiles College who hails from Lawrenceville, N.J., will take over leadership duties from outgoing captain Derek Johnson.
"It is an honor to have received the recognition of my teammates in this capacity," said Dethlefs. "Derek has done a great job setting an example for the team and it is a privilege to continue this standard."
During his first year at Yale Dethlefs sat in stroke seat of the freshman eight. His crew had a solid fall season, winning the 2008 Princeton Chase by over 17 seconds. The boat then went on to take second at the Foot of the Charles, finishing just 4.7 seconds behind Harvard over 2.5 miles on the Crimson's home river and in temperatures below freezing. In the spring Dethlefs and the Class of 2012 triumphed over Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, Princeton and Cornell in dual season racing. At the Eastern Sprints they made it to the grand final, finishing sixth, and were just eight seconds behind Harvard in the two-mile Harvard-Yale Regatta.
As a sophomore Dethlefs earned a spot in Yale's varsity eight. This crew defeated the same teams that Dethlefs' freshman boat did during the regular season, but as a varsity squad member that meant Dethlefs helped to bring the Olympic Axe, Blackwell Cup and Carnegie Cup back to Gilder Boathouse.
This year Dethlefs was one of five oarsmen to return to the varsity eight, and one of three juniors in this year's varsity. He was present in the lineup all season, which includes wins over Dartmouth for the Olympic Axe and Penn and Columbia for the Blackwell Cup.
Dethlefs also has a good deal of international rowing experience. The summer after graduating from high school he was on the U.S. Junior National Team, rowing five-seat of the eight that won a bronze medal at the 2008 Junior World Rowing Championships in Linz, Austria. In between his freshman and sophomore years at Yale, Dethlefs was part of the Yale delegation that traveled to Kunming, China, to compete at the 2009 World Top University Rowing Challenge, placing second. Last year he earned a spot on the U.S. Under-23 National Team, this time rowing six-seat of the eight that won a silver medal at U23 Worlds in Brest, Belarus. That same summer Dethlefs rowed with the U.S. National Team at the 2010 E.On Hanse Cup in Rendsburg, Germany. This year Dethlefs has again received an invite to U23 selection camp and will look to make the team once again in hopes of competing at this year's U23 World Championships in Amsterdam.
Dethlefs is a 2008 graduate of The Lawrenceville School where he rowed for all four years and earned three varsity letters. In his junior year he was part of a four that finished fourth at the SRAA National Championships.
"I look forward to continuing to raise the bar for our squad in the coming year," said Dethlefs. "With head coach Steve Gladstone now in his second year at Yale all the components are in place to carry the momentum from this past season on into the fall. I am confident the team will rise to the occasion, picking up in September ahead of where we have left off."
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity