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Varsity Four Advances To Semifinals After Morning Heats

Varsity four (Tim Bennett photo)
Varsity four (Tim Bennett photo)

Varsity Eight, Second Varsity Eight Headed To Afternoon Repechage

RANCHO CORDOVA, CALIF. – Yale's varsity four made a big statement in the morning heats on the opening day of the NCAA Rowing Championship on Lake Natoma. The Bulldogs earned a spot in Saturday's semifinals by winning their heat with a time of 7:18.168.

Yale's varsity eight and second varsity eight both finished third in their respective heats but will get a second chance to earn a spot in the semifinals later Friday in the repechage.

Yale's four, the Ivy League champion and second seed, grabbed the lead off the start, opened up an open-water advantage and then held off a late push from Texas and Brown.

The Longhorns (7:19.333) earned the second semifinal spot, finishing less than a second ahead of Brown (7:19.801), who will now have to race again on Friday in the afternoon repechage.

The crew for the Bulldogs is: stroke Kendall Chapin (Sr., Radnor, Pa.), Mary Farner (Sr., Kalamazoo, Mich.), Olivia Maclean (Jr., Harvard, Mass.), Kate Horvat (So., Philadelphia, Pa.) and coxswain Sara Lee (Jr., Charlotte, N.C.).

"The four did what it has done all year – win," said Will Porter, The Friends of YWC Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "They rowed well."

Yale's varsity eight of stroke Meg Galloway (So., Ridgefield, Conn.), Schuyler Ritchie (Jr., London, England), Marybeth Swords (So., Sudbury, Mass.), Julia Sesler (So., Bronxville, N.Y.), Arwen Neski  (Fr., Ashley Falls, Mass.), Alison Nordell (Fr., Gates Mills, Ohio), Abbie Young (Sr., Barnstable, Mass.), Colleen Maher (Sr., Oakton, Va.) and coxswain Jessica Michaels (So., Bangkok, Thailand) finished with a time of 6:29.297.

Stanford and Michigan went back and forth for the lead. The Bulldogs were within striking distance after 500 meters, but the Cardinal and Wolverines seized control by the halfway point. Stanford won the heat in 6:20.073, nearly two seconds faster than Michigan (6:21.885). Gonzaga placed fourth in 6:32.363 followed by Northeastern in 6:40.639.

In the repechage at 7:24 p.m. EDT, Yale races in lane two and faces Washington, Syracuse, Duke, Northeastern, Central Florida and Navy. The top two finishers advance to the semifinals.

Midway through the second varsity eight heat, Yale and Texas were locked in a battle for second place. The Longhorns, though, used an impressive push over the next 500 meters to pull away to secure a spot in the semis.

California won with a time of 6:27.669, more than four seconds faster than Texas (6:31.954). The Bulldogs cruised through the final 500 meters and crossed the line in 6:40.521, well ahead of fourth-place Gonzaga (6:50.850) and fifth-place Northeastern (6:53.160).

The crew for the Bulldogs is: stroke - Mieke Scherpbier (Sr. Upper Dublin, Pa.), Casey Wizner (Jr., Grosse Pointe, Mich.), Martha Cosgrove (Sr., Winchester, Mass.), Kate O'Brien (Jr., Clare, Ireland), Lily Lindsay (So., Harrison, N.Y.), Amy Warner (So., East London, South Africa), Sophie Deans (So., Sydney, Australia), Lydia Keating (Jr., Brookline, Mass.) and coxswain: Anisa Iqbal (Fr., Philadelphia, Pa.).

Yale races in the repechage at 7:48 p.m. EDT. From lane two, the Bulldogs face Indiana, Syracuse, Michigan, Northeastern, Navy and Central Florida.

Both Yale's varsity eight and second varsity eight are seeded 10th.

"The 1V and 2V held seed," Porter said. "Their challenge will be to progress this afternoon."

NCAALive has video of the repechage later today.

Check back to for the results.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (, Yale Sports Publicity