May 20, 2013

Varsity Eight Finishes Fifth at Sprints

Bulldogs Post Best Finish in Five Years

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Yale heavyweight crew team had its best finish in five years at the Eastern Sprints on Sunday.  Yale's varsity eight locked in a grand final berth with a solid second-place finish in the heat and came back in the afternoon to finish fifth in the grand final.  This marks the best finish for the crew since 2008 where the varsity eight finished fourth.  Yale's other crews raced well all around, with the JV leading both the heat and petite final for the first thousand meters, the 3V making a big turnaround from its heat to the petite final and the four finishing third in its straight final.  The Bulldogs were in the hunt in each and every race, and will look to build on these solid performances in two weeks at the IRA.

In the first race of the day for the Bulldogs, Yale fielded a four with coxswain that raced in a straight final against BU, Dartmouth, Holy Cross, Northeastern and Syracuse.  Here Yale finished third behind Syracuse and BU. 

4VH4 GF

Order   Entry                Result

1          Syracuse         6:46.849

2          BU                  6:50.805

3          Yale               6:54.165

4          Northeastern   6:57.560

5          Dartmouth      7:19.956 

The first eights race of the morning for the Bulldogs was the third varsity eight.  Yale finished the heat in fourth place with a time of 6:19.058, about ten seconds off the pace of the lead pack that included Navy, Northeastern and Columbia in third.

In the petite final the Bulldogs turned it around, getting their bow ball in front off the start.  Columbia pushed back into the Bulldogs around the 1000-meter mark and overstroked the field with several hundred meters left to go.  The Lions were able to hold on to this high rating and crossed the line first, followed by Cornell, and then Yale in third for a ninth-place finish overall.  The Bulldogs closed the 10-second gap behind Columbia from the heats to just 2.5 seconds, and likewise held Cornell to roughly the same margin that that separated them from the Big Red at the Carnegie Cup back in April.

3VH8 PF

Order   Entry   Result

1          Columbia         6:25.278

2          Cornell            6:26.511

3          Yale               6:27.948

4          Harvard          6:31.696

5          Syracuse        6:33.139

6          Dartmouth      6:35.410

Yale's second varsity eight had a great start to its first race of the day.  In the second of three second varsity eight heats, the Bulldogs had an inspired first thousand meters, jumping off the line to lead BU, Harvard, Holy Cross, MIT and Navy after about 40 strokes.  Yale had a few seats over Harvard and nearly a length on BU heading into the halfway point of the race, at which point the Crimson and the Terriers started to press back.  The Bulldogs tried to hold off BU in the last 750 meters but could not keep their bow ball in front.  At the finish line it was Harvard followed by BU and Yale in third headed to the petite final.

In the afternoon's petite final the Yale second varsity again put its bow ball out front after the start.  The Bulldogs held on to the lead up to the 1000-meter mark but Cornell started to come back.  Yale responded with a sprint but could not close the gap all the way.  At the finish line it was Cornell by 1.4 seconds over Yale, again a big improvement over the six seconds that separated the Bulldogs from the Big Red three weeks ago.

2VH8 PF

Order   Entry               Result

1          Cornell             6:25.136

2          Yale                6:26.527

3          Syracuse          6:30.909

4          Penn                6:36.606

5          Navy                6:38.367

6          Columbia          6:44.263

The last race of the morning for Yale was the varsity eight.  In a heat with No. 2-seeded Northeastern, the Yale varsity would need to do as the 3V and JV did and close the gap on Cornell that had lingered since the Carnegie Cup in order to get a spot in the finals.  The Bulldogs rose to the challenge with great endeavor, pulling ahead of the Big Red early on and putting nearly six seconds between them by the finish line.  Northeastern won the heat, but Yale would also go through to the grand final.

VH8 H2

Order   Entry               Result

1          Northeastern   6:11.233

2          Yale               6:14.799

3          Cornell            6:20.600

4          Georgetown     6:28.719

5          Columbia         6:36.696

6          MIT                 6:55.652

The varsity eight grand final went off at 5:00 p.m. as scheduled, by which point a headwind had picked up and a light rain had started to fall over Lake Quinsigamond.  The Bulldogs handled the conditions well from lane five and locked into a race with Princeton in lane six off the start.  Brown, Harvard and Northeastern all got out quick as well, and through the body of the race it looked like Harvard and Brown were carving out a lead with Northeastern in the mix and Yale and Princeton not far off.  At the finish Harvard sprinted to the line for the win, followed by Brown and Northeastern, but Yale sprinted as well to close on Princeton and cross the line for a close fifth-place finish.

VH8 GF

Order   Entry               Result

1          Harvard           5:56.721

2          Brown             6:01.925

3          Northeastern   6:03.746

4          Princeton         6:08.917

5          Yale               6:09.432

6          BU                  6:15.723

The Bulldogs now have about a week and half before their next race, the IRA National Championships.  This year's regatta will be held in Sacramento, Calif., from May 31 to June 2.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity

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