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Elis Bounce Back at the Chase

(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
(photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Bulldogs closed out the fall calendar with an impressive performance at the Princeton Chase Sunday. The regatta gave most of the squad an opportunity to race against the league competition they will face in the spring. Highlights included a first-place finish in the second varsity eight, and second-place finishes in first varsity eight and the first varsity four.

The results continue Yale's run of positive results at the Chase. In 2012, the eight placed second, followed by a victory last year; Yale has now finished second in the fours for three successive seasons.

The first race of the day was the men's lightweight eight. Starting first, the Elis were able to use the starting order to their advantage -- pulling away from No. 2 Princeton from the start. By the halfway mark, last season's Eastern Sprints gold and silver medalists -- Cornell and Yale -- had pulled away from the pack. Both crews continued to drive for the line, matching in speed all the way down the course. Ultimately, however, Yale was edged to the line by Cornell, with both crews finishing well ahead of the field. 

Yale 'B' finished first of all second varsity eights and beat several first varsity eights in the process. The eight started first of the second varsity entries, facing a tough challenge to hold off a Princeton 'B' entry that performed strongly at the Head of the Charles a week earlier. The Bulldogs were able to do just that, consistently moving out on the Princeton crew as the race went on. Yale won in 13:40.08, six seconds ahead of Princeton and 11 seconds ahead of third-place Cornell.

After a brief respite, the Elis took to the water again in the lightweight four. Yale's 'A' entry started second behind Harvard and ahead of Princeton. Yale immediately pulled away from Princeton and the race became a battle between two frontrunners. The Bulldogs hung tough, but Harvard was able to use the start order to its advantage and pull away in the final stretch. Harvard won the event in 14:51.67, with Yale just behind in 14:59.53. It was a similar story with Yale 'B,' as they battled another tough Harvard crew to the line but ultimately fell just short: finishing fourth in 15:30.57. Yale 'C' finished seventh, just over five seconds back, followed by Yale 'D' in ninth.

With most of the squad competing, Yale oarsmen drew strength from their teammates and clocked impressive performaces across the board. Y150 Alumni Head Coach of Lightweight Crew Andy Card described the effect of this cameraderie on his team's performance.
"The Chase is a great fall race simply because the whole team can race," Card said. "The Y150 likes it better when the whole team can race -- we feed off each other's energy -- and in this sense the Chase is more fun than the Charles."

Overall, it was a positive day for the Bulldogs, who look to build on these results in the spring. With most of the squad gaining valuable racing experience this weekend, the Elis now enter winter training as they seek to recapture the national championship Yale last won in 2011.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity