Three-Day Event Starts Friday
GOLD RIVER, Calif. – The first time the Yale women's crew raced on the Lake Natoma course at the NCAA Championships in 2004, the Bulldogs had one of their most memorable performances. Yale placed a surprising second that year, its highest finish ever, despite having come in third in the varsity eight at Eastern Sprints just two weeks earlier.
The circumstances are similar this year. The championship is back on Lake Natoma, and the Bulldogs are coming off a fourth-place finish in the varsity eight at Sprints. Yale hopes history repeats itself when the 2011 NCAA Championship gets under way on Friday.
"Racing at the NCAA's is a privilege, and we earned our spot," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "That's great. Now what? Now we have to get to work at showing our true speed."
The Lake Natoma course has been very kind to Yale over the years. In addition to the second-place team finish, two of the Bulldogs' varsity eight national titles have occurred there, including last year.
The Bulldogs, ranked ninth in the latest CRCA-US Rowing national poll, haven't raced since the Eastern Sprints on May 15. Yale finished fourth in the varsity eight, second in the second varsity and third in the varsity four.
Yale is making its 11th overall and 10th straight appearance in the team championships.
"It is always an honor to be selected to the NCAA Championship," Porter said. "It only seems to be getting tougher and tougher to make it. The current championship format does a great job of selecting the fastest teams in the country. It is important that teams are rewarded for going fast. It is a very deep field this year we have to concentrate and do our best in every race."
Racing begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. The finals are Sunday starting at 9:50 a.m.
C: Sarah Brownlee (Sr., Tampa, Fla.); 8: Elizabeth McDermott (Jr., Cazenovia, N.Y.); 7: Stephanie Madner (Sr., Kew Australia); 6: Dara Dickson (Jr., Lafayette, Calif.); 5: Armine Afeyan (Jr., Lexington, Mass.); 4: Natalie King (So., Weston, Conn.); 3: Caroline Nash (Sr., Darien, Conn.); 2: Maddie Lips (Fr., Parker, Colo.); 1: Catherine McDermott (Jr., Cazenovia, N.Y.)
2nd Varsity Eight
C: Kristen Brownlee (Fr., Tampa, Fla.); 8: Eliza Hastings (So., Berwyn, Pa.); 7: Georgia Separovich (Jr., New South Wales, Australia); 6: Kathleen O'Keefe (Jr., Washington, D.C.); 5: Jen Stockwood (Fr., Winchester, Mass.); 4: Nikki Grigg (Jr., Washington, D.C.); 3: Claire Tolson (Fr., San Mateo, Calif.); 2: Kathryn D'Andrea (So., Darien, Conn.); 1: Emily Tormey (So., Seattle, Wash.)
C: Margaret Ayers (So., Portland, Maine); 4: Elizabeth Kalina (Sr., Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.); 3: Alexandra Fields (Sr., Rock Island, Ill.); 2: Brittany Bowman (Jr., West Grove, Pa.); 1: Lauren Ross (Sr., Princeton, N.J.)
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity