May 29, 2011

Bulldogs Finish 11th At NCAA Championship

Varsity Eight Second In Petite Final

GOLD RIVER, Calif. – The Yale women's crew finished 11th at the 2011 NCAA Championship on Lake Natoma. The Bulldogs had 42 points, two less than 10th-place Ohio State. On the final day, Yale's varsity eight placed second in the petite final. The second varsity and varsity four both finished sixth in the petite final.

"It was a major accomplishment for us to be one of the top teams in the country this year," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "Being able to race against the top programs was an excellent opportunity. We were able to see where we stand and see the work we need to do to close the gap."

Brown won the NCAA title for the seventh time in the last 15 years. The Bears and Stanford both had 85 points, but Brown finished higher in the varsity eight grand final to claim the championship. Princeton won the varsity eight grand final.

Yale's varsity eight of coxswain Kristen Brownlee, Elizabeth McDermott, Stephanie Madner, Dara Dickson, Armine Afeyan, Natalie King, Caroline Nash, Maddie Lips and Catherine McDermott was involved in an exciting petite final. The Bulldogs led for the first 1500 meters before Virginia used a late push to move in front. Yale finished in 6:33.83, less than a second behind Virginia (6:33.24).

"I thought they rowed hard," Porter said of the varsity eight. "To be the eighth fastest boat in the country is very respectable."

Nash and Madner are the only two seniors in the crew.

The second varsity's string of close races continued in the petite final. Less than eight seconds separated the winner from seventh place. The Bulldogs crossed the line in 6:43.59 to finish sixth.  Washington won with a time of 6:35.91.

The crew for Yale was Sarah Brownlee, Eliza Hastings, Georgia Separovich, Kathleen O'Keefe, Jen Stockwood, Nikki Grigg, Claire Tolson, Kathryn D'Andrea and Emily Tormey. Brownlee, the coxswain, was the only senior.

The varsity four of coxswain Margaret Ayers, Elizabeth Kalina, Alexandra Fields, Brittany Bowman and Lauren Ross also finished sixth with a time of 7:29.57. It was the last race for seniors Kalina, Fields and Ross.

The Bulldogs were making their 11th overall and 10th straight appearance in the team championship.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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