NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale lightweight crew team is preparing for a big day of racing this upcoming Sunday, May 16. The Bulldogs are set to compete in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Sprints, a race that also determines the Ivy League Championship. Since their last regatta against Harvard and Princeton, the lightweights have had two weeks of time to prepare for the Eastern Sprints and will look to show improvements when they head to Worcester, MA this weekend.
The Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges is rowing conference is associated the Eastern College Athletic Conference. The member colleges who participate in the lightweight race are Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Harvard, MIT, Navy, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Rutgers, and Yale. The Eastern Sprints will take place on Lake Quinsigamond and will serve as the de facto Ivy League Championship. Despite the participation of non-Ivy League universities, the final standings for the Ivy League Championship will be determined by each Ivy League school's placement at the Eastern Sprints, in relation to the other Ivies.
At last year's Eastern Sprints, the Yale varsity eight boat took fifth place, the junior varsity boat won the gold, and the freshman eight took third place. The second varsity eight's victory gave them the Cornell Trophy. In finishing after Princeton and Harvard, the varsity eight's performance gave the Bulldogs third place in the Ivy League.
This year, the Bulldogs enter the EARC Sprints ranked fifth, after a somewhat disappointing third place finish against No. 1 Harvard and No. 2 Princeton in the Goldthwait Cup race. Yale is also ranked behind Navy and Georgetown. However, the Bulldogs have made a habit of finishing their seasons strong. Last year, after being ranked fifth most of the season, the Elis pulled off a remarkable turnaround to take the silver in the IRA Regatta. Given its history, Yale should be a force to be taken seriously on Sunday.
The defending-champion Yale junior varsity boat will enter the Eastern Sprints ranked second. Their only loss was to No. 1 Princeton, two weeks ago. The Bulldogs lost by 4.5 seconds, and they will look to narrow and eliminate that gap on Sunday. The Yale third varsity boat is also enters the Eastern Sprints ranked second, with only one loss on their record. The Bulldogs' only loss came against No. 1 Cornell in mid-April. Finally, the Yale freshman boat is enters the race ranked fifth, and the second freshman boat is ranked second.
Racing begins at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Full Schedule of events can be found here.
A live audio broadcast of the races can be found here.
Report by Arsi Sefaj '11, Yale Sports Publicity