Yale Wins Three of Four in Blackwell Cup

April 19, 2009

ORCHARD BEACH, N.Y. - On a warm spring evening, Yale's heavyweight crews won three out of four races at Columbia's Orchard Beach racecourse. However in the cup-deciding race, the Lions topped the Bulldogs to ensure that the Blackwell Cup stays in New York for a second year. Columbia took possession of the cup last year for the first time in sixty-seven years.

The evening's racing kicked off at 6:10 p.m. with the Yale third varsity against Pennsylvania. Coxed by sophomore Francesca Yi, the third varsity of senior Kristoffer Strauss (stroke), senior Vincent Granata (seven), sophomore Nathaniel Reeve (six), senior Matthew Barber (five), sophomore Spyridon Mastroyannis (four), sophomore Patrick Vergara (three), junior Nolan Maher (two) and senior Charlie Pfeifer (bow) completed the 2000-meter course in a time of 6:16.8. The Penn eight finished 13.5 seconds later with a time of 6:30.3.

The Yale freshmen followed this victory up with wins of their own over the Penn and Columbia freshman eights. The freshmen took the race in a time of 6:05.5; 6.2 seconds ahead of second-place Penn and 12.1 seconds ahead of third-place Columbia. Stroked by Thomas Dethlefs and coxed by Emma McBurney, the eight also included Joseph Alagna in seven seat, Benjamin Bowles in six, Jonathan Martin in five, Patrick O'Malley in four, Robert Macmillan in three, Keith Pfirrman in two and Django Broer-Hellermann in bow. Last year's freshman eight came in 10.1 seconds ahead of second-place Columbia and 21.1 seconds ahead of third-place Penn.

These two wins were matched in the 6:50 p.m. second varsity race. After starting half a boat-length down due to confusion at the start, senior coxswain Emily Flaxman and her crew rallied to pull up even by the 500-meter mark. From then on, the Yale second varsity took charge of the race. The Yale eight finished with open water on Columbia and Penn in a time of 6:07.0. Columbia took second place and Penn finished third, 6.8 and 11 seconds behind Yale, respectively. Along with Flaxman, the boat was lead by seniors Erik Woelber in five seat and Keir Evans in bow. The eight also included two juniors, Dominique Fenton in four and Antonio Sirianni in three, and four sophomores, George Moran in stroke, Benjamin Grant in seven, Benjamin Ortiz in six and Duncan Logie in two. Last year's junior varsity held off moves by Columbia to take the second varsity race by 8.7 seconds. In third place, and 16.2 seconds after Yale, came the Penn 2V.

The last event of the evening was the varsity race for the Blackwell Cup. After the Columbia varsity's strokeman caught a boat-stopping crab at the start, the race was delayed while Columbia coaches fixed the damage caused by the false start. When the race was finally underway, the eights saw near perfect conditions as the sun set over the lagoon. The previous races saw moderate crosswinds and light chop. In a close finish, the Columbia eight topped Yale's varsity 5:54.0 to 5:56.8. Penn finished third in a time 6:07.8. The Yale varsity was comprised of sophomore Derek Johnson (stroke), senior captain Andrew Collard (seven), senior Pieter Morgan (six), junior Lucas Spielfogel (five), sophomore Matthew Ramlow (four), junior James Tormey (three), junior Henry Cole (two), sophomore Marcos Carzolio (bow) and Rebecca Burgoyne-Allen (cox). Last year the Columbia varsity crept back on Yale in the last 250 meters to win the varsity race and Blackwell Cup by 1.2 seconds.

Yale crews will head to Ithaca, N.Y. to face Cornell and Princeton for the Carnegie Cup on Apr. 25. This will be the Bulldogs' last race before Eastern Sprints on May 10.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity