Inaugural Ivy League Championship Set For Sunday

Bulldogs Enter Ranked 10th In Nation

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A quick glance at the latest CRCA/US Rowing national poll gives a pretty good indication at how competitive Sunday's inaugural Ivy League Women's Rowing Championship figures to be. Seven of the eight Ivy teams are ranked in the top 20, including No. 10 Yale.

The morning heats at the Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, N.J., kick off at 9:30 a.m., and the afternoon finals start at 3 p.m. The day culminates with the varsity eight grand final at 4:45 p.m. that will determine the Ivy League champion.

"The Ivy League championship is exactly what I knew it would be, a pressure cooker," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "It seems like everyone is fast. We are just trying to keep up and do our best. It's not personal. We have no grudges. We are just looking to go as fast as we can and have a ton of fun."

The Bulldogs, who haven't raced since winning the Nat & Anne Case Cup from Brown on Apr. 28, are battle-tested. In addition to racing the other  Ivy schools, Yale also has faced No. 3 USC, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan.

While the Ivy title is the ultimate prize, Sunday's championship is also one last chance to impress the NCAA selection committee. The 16-team field for the NCAA Championship will be announced next Tuesday at 5 p.m.

"I expect the Ivy League to receive five or six team bids based on the speed and depth of the league," Porter said. "People have been saying that this is a slow year for the Ivy League. I don't see it that way at all. I see our league getting faster so the top teams are not as separated from the rest of the league. Last time I checked, we have the defending national championship team [Brown] and the defending varsity eight champion [Princeton]."

The seven nationally ranked teams are the most of any conference.

The Bulldogs enjoyed great success recently at the Eastern Sprints, which was used to determine the Ivy champion. Yale has won four of the last seven Ivy titles and captured the Charles Willing Team Trophy for overall supremacy at Sprints in 2009 and 2010.

The Bulldogs hope the new era of Ivy League women's rowing will be just as successful.

Yale Boatings

Varsity Eight

Cox: Christine Devlin (Harvard, Mass.); 8: Elizabeth McDermott (Cazenovia, N.Y.); 7: Nina Demmerle (Greenwich, Conn.); 6: Dara Dickson (Lafayette, Calif.); 5: Armine Afeyan (Lexington, Mass.); 4: Natalie King (Weston, Conn.); 3. Maddie Lips (Parker, Colo.); 2. Eliza Hastings (Berwyn, Pa.); 1: Catherine McDermott (Cazenovia, N.Y.)

Second Varsity Eight

Cox: Kristen Brownlee (Port St. Joe, Fla.); 8: Jen Stockwood (Winchester, Mass.); 7: Claire Tolson (San Mateo, Calif.); 6: Kathleen O'Keefe (Washington, D.C); 5:  Amber Anderson (Richmond, United Kingdom); 4: Kristina Wagner (Weston, Mass.); 3: Elizabeth Vincent (Mercer Island, Wash.); 2: Nikki Grigg (Washington, D.C.); 1: Emily Tormey (Seattle, Wash.)

Varsity Four

Cox: Margaret Ayers (Portland, Me.); 4: Amanda Grady (Orlando, Fla.); 3: Georgia Separovich (Sydney, Australia); 2: Brittany Bowman (West Grove, Pa.); 1: Kim Szokol (Winnetka, Ill.)

Second Varsity Four

Cox: Laura Grimbergen (Redwood City, Calif.); 4: Madeline Dinse (Portland, Ore.); 3: Amina Edwards (Boston, Mass.) 2:  Abby Loucks (Dover, N.H.); 1: Kristjana Gudmundsson (Dallas, Texas)

Third Varsity Eight

Cox: Sarah Weil (New York, N.Y.); 8: Blair Baker (Boca Raton, Fla.); 7: Kara Freeman (Longmeadow, Mass.); 6: Maureen O'Hanlon (Los Angeles, Calif.);  5: Juliet Caragianis (Ottawa, Ontario); 4: Natalie Lapides (New Haven, Conn.); 3. Tierney Larson (Omro, Wis.); 2: Erica Tavera (La Canada, Calif.); 1: Jane Kozey (Ansonia, Conn.)

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity