Yale Earns Ninth Straight NCAA Team Championship Bid

Varsity four receives its medals (Tim Bennett photo)
Varsity four receives its medals (Tim Bennett photo)

Bulldogs Seek Fourth Straight Top-Four Finish

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A spot in the NCAA Division I Rowing Championship is becoming commonplace for the Yale women's crew. The Bulldogs earned their ninth straight bid when the 16-team 2010 field was announced on Tuesday afternoon. Head coach Will Porter, though, still doesn't take it for granted.

“Qualifying for the NCAA Championships never gets boring. Every year it is a new team, and there are athletes who are new so it is their first NCAA,” Porter said. “The athletes cherish the accomplishment every year.”
The Bulldogs will be heading to Gold River, Calif., and Lake Natoma for the three-day championship which begins on May 28. Yale will field two boats of eight rowers each and one boat of four rowers.
Two other Ivy League teams – Princeton and Brown – also qualified. The rest of the field is California, Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Southern California, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia, Washington, Washington State and Wisconsin.
The Bulldogs, ranked sixth in the latest CRCA-US Rowing national poll, won the Charles Willing Team Trophy at the Eastern Sprints on Sunday. The varsity eight won the Ivy League title by edging Princeton by less than a second. Yale's second varsity placed third, while the varsity four came in second.
Yale is making its 10th overall appearance in the team championships. The Bulldogs' best finish came in 2004 when they were second. Yale has had at least one boat win a grand final in each of the last three years. The varsity eight finished first in both 2007 and 2008 and the second varsity won last year.
Stanford is the defending champion. The Bulldogs placed third last year.

“As a team we need to focus on our speed,” Porter said. “We want to be at our best when our best is needed and that means doing all the small things right.”

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity