Varsity Eight And Third Varsity Eight Place Fourth
CHERRY HILL, N.J. – All four Yale crews had top four finishes at the Eastern Sprints on Sunday on the Cooper River. More importantly, it would appear the Bulldogs had strong enough finishes to earn their 10th straight appearance in the NCAA Championships, but they'll have to wait until the 16-team field is announced on Tuesday to be sure. Yale's second varsity finished second, the varsity four was third and the varsity eight and third varsity eight each placed fourth.
"I believe we can present a strong case for an NCAA bid," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "I thought we raced hard today and showed a lot of heart."
The second varsity eight of coxswain Kristen Brownlee, Elizabeth McDermott, Amber Anderson, Kathleen O'Keefe, Jen Stockwood, Kathryn D'Andrea, Claire Tolson, Nikki Grigg and Georgia Separovich had the most impressive performance of the day. The Bulldogs, who were seeded third, edged Brown by two-tenths of a second, to place second. Yale finished in 6:39.58, while the Bears crossed the line in 6:39.79. Princeton won with a time of 6:36.7.
"The second varsity had a really gutsy race," Porter said. "They stayed with it the whole way down and drove to the line."
The battle for second place in the varsity four was even closer, but in this race Brown walked away with the silver medal. The Bears finished in 7:22.02, while Yale crossed the line in 7:22.03. Princeton was first with a time of 7:18.50. The crew for the Bulldogs was coxswain Margaret Ayers, Elizabeth Kalina, Alexandra Fields, Brittany Bowman and Lauren Ross.
"It was ridiculously close," Porter said. "It was probably the width of a cell phone."
Princeton capped a memorable day by winning the varsity eight by nearly four seconds. The Tigers, who claim the Ivy League title with the win, finished in 6:20.48. Brown (6:24.61) was second followed by Dartmouth (6:31.0) and Yale (6:34.63). The Bulldogs avenged a regular-season loss to Radcliffe by finishing less than a second faster than the Crimson.
"There was a lot of parity in the varsity eight in the league this year, and we battled," Porter said. "We were seeded fourth, and one of our goals was not to finish lower than our seed."
Yale's third varsity eight of coxswain Elisa Visher, Mary Barrosse-Antle, Lily Blair, Abby Loucks, Emily Tormey, Melissa Weigel, Sabrina Malak, Reynolds Ostrover and Jane Kozey finished fourth with a time of 6:54.16.
Video of Tuesday's NCAA selection show will be available at ncaa.com beginning at approximately 5 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity