October 26, 2008

Yale Reclaims Princeton Chase Title

Oct. 26, 2008

PRINCETON, N.J. - It almost didn't happen. After the team's bus broke down en route to Princeton, it looked like Yale would have to scratch the varsity eight event. But with a little luck, and a lot of speed, Yale's heavyweight crews arrived at the racecourse in time to lay hold on their boats and begin warming up. Nobody knew what to expect when the varsity eight pulled up to the line in the number two starting position. Thirteen minutes and seventeen seconds later, Yale's varsity reclaimed the Princeton Chase title and kicked off a day of big wins for the heavyweights and Yale crew in general.

Yale's varsity beat out the competition in the first event of the day in a time of 13:17.595. Princeton's varsity came second (13:19.525) followed by Columbia (13:21.343), Cornell (13:26.577) and Syracuse (13:27.083). For the Chase, Yale's varsity was composed of sophomore Spyridon Mastroyannis (stroke), captain Andrew Collard (seven), senior Pieter Morgan (six), sophomore Ezra Mitchell (five), senior Sean Riordan (four), junior James Tormey (three), sophomore Derek Johnson (two), junior Lucas Spielfogel (bow) and Rebecca Burgoyne-Allen (coxswain). Forty boats competed in the event.

In the same event, Yale's second varsity took third among second varsity crews (behind Princeton and Cornell) and tenth overall in a time of 13:51.643. The second varsity consisted of sophomore Marcos Carzolio (stroke), junior Henry Cole (seven), sophomore Benjamin Grant (six), sophomore Benjamin Ortiz (five), sophomore Daniel Klassen (four), sophomore Matthew Ramlow (three), senior Matthew Barber (two), sophomore Nathaniel Reeve (bow) and sophomore Francesca Yi (coxswain).

The third varsity of senior Charlie Pfeifer (stroke), junior Dominique Fenton (seven), junior Antonio Sirianni (six), sophomore George Moran (five), sophomore Patrick Vergara (four), junior Nolan Maher (three), senior Keir Evens (two), senior Kristoffer Strauss (bow) and senior Emily Flaxman (coxswain) posted a time of 14:00.975 to take second place among third varsity crews (behind Princeton) and eighteenth overall. They finished ahead of twenty-two other crews including the Pennsylvania, Boston University, Columbia, Georgetown and Dartmouth second varsity boats.

The Yale fourth varsity of sophomore Simon Warren (stroke), senior Vincent Granata (seven), junior Gregory Muir (six), sophomore William Martin (five), senior Colin Campbell (four), junior Josh Dorsey (three), sophomore Kevin Gallagher (two), sophomore Joseph Porter (bow) and Emma McBurney (coxswain) were the only fourth varsity entered in the event. They took thirty-third overall, ahead of seven second and third varsity crews. They completed the course in a time of 14:44.847.

Yale's next win came in the varsity four. The Head of the Charles four of Pieter Morgan, Andrew Collard, Derek Johnson, Lucas Spielfogel and coxswain Rebecca Burgoyne-Allen got another chance at gold. This time, free of equipment failure and collisions, the four took the top spot in 15:01.753 ahead of Boston University (15:03.053) and Syracuse (15:07.549). Yale raced three more fours in the event. They placed eighth, thirteenth and thirty-fourth in a field of forty-seven.

The biggest surprise of the day came in the debut of the freshman eight. The freshmen, who have been rowing in an eight together for not much more than a week, won the event by over seventeen seconds. The eight of Robert Macmillan (stroke), Benjamin Bowles (seven), Jonathan Martin (six), Thomas Dethlefs (five), Joseph Alagna (four), Keith Pfirrman (three), Django Broer-Hellermann (two), Patrick O'Malley (bow) and Morgan Welch (coxswain) won in 14:02.025. Following Yale came boats from Princeton (14:19.267), Navy (14:27.035), Pennsylvania (14:29.809) and Dartmouth (14:42.213) to round out the top-five. Sixteen boats raced in the event.

Yale wrapped up the day with two pairs that raced in the small boats event. The top heavyweight finisher was the sophomore pair of Benjamin Grant and Nathaniel Reeve. They took eleventh in the event (17:23.165) and eighth for the pairs. The pair of Simon Warren and Vincent Granata took eighteenth. The event was won by a Princeton double.

This wraps up the traditional portion of Yale's fall season. However, Yale heavyweight crews may race one more time this fall at the Foot of the Charles on Nov. 22.

Report filed by Dominique Fenton '10, Yale Sports Publicity