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Bulldogs Earn Spot In NCAA Championship

The Ivy League champion varsity four will be one of the three crews competing at the NCAA Championship. (Ahsan Iqbal photo)
The Ivy League champion varsity four will be one of the three crews competing at the NCAA Championship. (Ahsan Iqbal photo)

National Champion To Be Determined May 25-27 In Sarasota, Florida

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – As expected, the Yale women's crew received one of 11 at-large bids to the NCAA Championships when the field was announced on Tuesday afternoon. The Bulldogs will be one of 22 crews competing for the national championship on May 25-27 at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida.

The team watched the on-line selection show from the crew tanks in Payne Whitey Gymnasium and celebrated when Yale flashed across the screen.

The Bulldogs, who were No. 9 in the latest CRCA national poll released last week, built a strong resume during the regular season, knocking off a number of nationally ranked crews and then capping it off by winning the team points title at the Ivy League Championship last weekend.

"We can't wait to race again," said Will Porter, The Friends of YWC Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "I think we can find more speed in the next two weeks."

Yale will be facing a number of familiar crews. Princeton earned the Ivy League's automatic bid and Brown also received an at-large selection. In addition, Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin and Northeastern - crews the Bulldogs faced during the regular season - are all in the field.

The rest of the crews are: Washington, Stanford, California, Texas, Southern California, Indiana, Washington State, Syracuse, Gonzaga, Navy, Central Florida, Rhode Island and Jacksonville.

Yale has now earned a spot in the NCAA Championship in 18 of the last 19 years.

The Bulldogs' best finish came in 2004 when they were second, and they have 14 top-10 finishes. Yale has had one crew win a grand final four times. The varsity eight finished first in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and the second varsity won in 2009.

Yale's varsity eight qualified for the grand final last year, helping the Bulldogs to a seventh-place finish.

Washington is the defending champion.

In addition to announcing the field, the seeds also were released by the NCAA. Yale's varsity eight is seeded ninth, the second varsity eight is 12th and the Ivy League champion varsity four is seeded sixth.

With classes over for the semester, the Bulldogs can devote their full attention to preparing for the NCAA's over the next week.

"Our students love to become full-time athletes at this time of year," Porter said. "No more classes, just rowing."

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity