WORCESTER, Mass. – Behind first place finishes from the freshmen and second varsity eights, the Yale lightweight crew team won the Jope Cup for overall team supremacy, Sunday, at the EARC Sprints in Worcester, Mass. Coming in ranked first, the freshmen and second varsity eights executed their race plans and won their events. The varsity eight finished in fourth and that was enough for the Bulldogs to claim the Jope Cup for the first time since 2002. It also qualified the Bulldogs for the IRA National Championship later this month.
In the first final of the day, the third varsity eight battled hard but came up short, finished fifth. In the race won by Cornell in 6:33.2, Yale finished with a time of 6:58.4, also finishing behind Harvard, Navy and Dartmouth.
The freshmen eight completed an undefeated season, besting Princeton by 4.6 seconds in the final. In the morning heats, Yale used a strong start to win their heat by 4.0 seconds over Navy. Then, in the afternoon final, Yale once again used a quick opening to get a lead. Settling into a strong rhythm, the Bulldogs used several solid moves to counter Princeton's surges to pull away to win in 6:20.3, claiming the Gary W. Kilpatrick Cup. Princeton finished in second in 6:24.9 and Harvard rounded out the top three, 1.3 seconds back in 6:26.2. This also marks the second consecutive undefeated season for freshmen coach Colin Farrell.
In the next race, the second varsity eight also finished the season with an undefeated record. The Bulldogs, coming in with a number one ranking, set themselves up for the afternoon with a victory in the heats over Princeton. In the afternoon final, Yale used its powerful start to gain half a length on the field. Establishing a solid rhythm, Yale continued to separate itself from the pack to win the race in 6:09.6, claiming the Cornell Trophy. Cornell finished in second, 2.0 second back in 6:11.0 and Columbia was third in 6:13.8.
In the final race of the day, the Yale varsity eight exceeded their fifth place seed and finished in fourth. After qualifying in their morning heat with a third place finish, the varsity got out to an early lead in the final. However, strong moves by other boats proved too much for the Bulldogs, who fell to fourth, finishing in 6:30.2. The race was won by Harvard in 6:22.5. Dartmouth finished second, 2.2 seconds behind Harvard, in 6:24.7 and Princeton finished in third, .8 seconds back in 6:25.5. The fourth place finish means that Yale will advance to the IRA National Championship, held in Camden, N.J., on June 2.
The varsity, second varsity and freshmen eights proved to be too much for the other schools, leading the Bulldogs to a Jope Cup victory with 34 points. Princeton and Harvard tied for second with 29 points apiece. This victory marked the Bulldogs' first Jope Cup victory since 2002.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity