May 2, 2009
DERBY, Conn. - There is no question that Yale and Brown is one of the best rivalries in all of collegiate women's rowing. So it wasn't surprising that Saturday's varsity eight race came down to the final stroke. The Bears, ranked 10th in the nation, edged No. 2 Yale by one-tenth of a second on the Housatonic River. Brown finished the 2,000-meter course in 6:02, while the Bulldogs came in at 6:02.1.
"It was a great race," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "It was difficult for us to get settled and find any rhythm. Brown has the ability to find speed late in the season. This year is not any different. It should make for an interesting Eastern Sprints."
The teams will very likely face each other again in two weeks at the Sprints on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. The last three races between the two schools have been decided by less than two seconds. Last spring, Brown won the Eastern Sprints title before Yale rebounded to win the Grand Final at the NCAA Championships.
"I think we're ready for the transition to six-boat racing," Porter said. "We just need to focus in on what we are trying to do not worry about our opposition."
Brown retained possession of the Nat & Anne Case Cup with the victory in the varsity eight race.
Yale's second varsity topped Brown for the first time since 1988. The Bulldogs finished in 6:11.3, a little more than two seconds ahead of the Bears, who came in at 6:13.5.
"Our second varsity rowed a really strong race," Porter said. "We had an injury that forced us to shuffle our lineups a little bit. The second varsity handled the change the best of any of our crews."
The battle of unbeaten varsity fours went to Brown. The Bears crossed the line in 6:52.9, three seconds ahead of Yale.
Brown also won the novice eight, while the Bulldogs captured the second and third varsity four races.
1. Brown 6:02.0
2. Yale 6:02.1
1. Yale 6:11.3
2. Brown 6:13.5
1. Brown 6:52.9
2. Yale 6:55.9
Second Varsity Four
1. Yale 6:57.4
2. Brown 7:02.7
Third Varsity Four
1. Yale 7:05.2
2. Brown 7:10.7
3. Brown 2N 7:22.3
1. Brown 6:23.2
2. Yale 6:26.2
Yale Novice Eight - C: Katie Munyan; 8: Catherine McDermott; 7: Elizabeth McDermott; 6: Georgia Separovich; 5: Kathleen O'Keefe; 4: Katherine Dyke; 3: Nikki Grigg; 2: Alexandra Fields; 1: Mary Jo Toothman
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity