Second Varsity Eight, Varsity Four Advance To Semifinals After Morning Heats At NCAAs

Second varsity eight (Tim Bennett photo)

Varsity Eight Forced To Afternoon Reps

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. – Two of Yale's three crews earned a spot in Satuday's semifinals after the morning heats on day one of the NCAA Championship on Lake Mercer. The varsity four qualified with an impressive second-place finish in its heat, while the second varsity eight moved on by finishing third.  

Yale's varsity eight was forced into the Friday afternoon reps after a fifth-place finish in its heat. The Bulldogs will race again at 3:30 p.m. and must place in the top three to advance to the semifinals.

"At the NCAA's, everybody is fast so there isn't a lot of margin for error," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "I like the way our four raced, and I liked the way the 2v raced."

The most impressive performance of the morning came from the varsity four of coxswain Margaret Ayers, Amanda Grady, Georgia Separovich, Maddie Dinse and Kim Szokol who finished with a time of 7:25.73, nearly three seconds faster than third-place Wisconsin and seven seconds better than fourth-place Notre Dame. Ohio State won in 7:19.94.

"Our four showed pretty consistent speed," Porter said.

The second varsity also had a comfortable margin in advancing. The Bulldogs finished in 6:57.78, three seconds better than fourth-place Stanford. Michigan won in 6:50.77, and Virginia was second in 6:55.04. The crew for Yale is coxswain Kristen Brownlee, Jen Stockwood, Claire Tolson, Kathleen O'Keefe, Amber Anderson, Kristina Wagner, Elizabeth Vincent, Nikki Grigg and Emily Tormey.

"I thought the second varsity rowed a very composed race," Porter said. "It was a fast field."

The varsity eight of coxswain Christine Devlin, Elizabeth McDermott, Nina Demmerle, Dara Dickson, Armine Afeyan, Natalie King, Maddie Lips, Eliza Hastings and Catherine McDermott also was in a very competitive heat. The Bulldogs finished with a time of 6:52.60. Virginia won in an impressive 6:37.03, the fastest time in any of the three heats. Washington (6:43.51) was second followed by Radcliffe (6:44.18) and Brown (6:50.78).

Yale faces Cornell, Michigan State, Brown, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Stanford in the rep.

"This is a very deep regatta, so we are going to have to go fast," Porter said. "It will be nip and tuck."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity