Historic Day For Yale At NCAA Championships

May 29, 2004

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA. -- The Yale women's crew team had a glorious second day at the NCAA Championships on Lake Natoma. All three boats -- the varsity eight, second varsity eight and the varsity four -- qualified for the Grand Final for the first time in school history. In the semifinals of the varsity eight, the Bulldogs won their heat with a time of 6:36.6, nearly one second ahead of second-place Michigan. In the second varsity eight, Yale was second in the repechage with a time of 6:48.8. The top two teams in the repechage advance to the Grand Final. The Bulldogs also finished second in the varsity four repechage with a time of 7:34.0. Yale is one of only three schools to have a boat in the three Grand Finals. California and Brown are the others.

"It's so exciting," said Alicja Witkowski, who was in the eight seat of the varsity boat. "This is a groundbreaking day for Yale women's crew. It's a testament to the tremendous amount of work we've put in all season long."

"This is a huge step for our program," added Yale Head Coach Will Porter. "We've talked all season about being at our best when our best is needed, and today we did that."

Joining Witkowski in the varsity boat are Jehan Budak, Jane Moore, Ashley Brzozowicz, Claire Norsetter, Maria Stevens, Amanda Kendrick, Joanna Hess and Rachel Jeffers.

Yale's second varsity is Emily Cleveland, Charlotte Taft, Jennifer Reifsnyder, Dinah Dimalanta, Rachel Withers, Catherine Wassenaar, Mary Kate Sullivan, Annemarie von der Goltz and Jennifer Draxl.

The members of the varsity four are Ari Romney, Katie Curran, Elizabeth Stowers, Christine Geiser and Emily Shuey.

The varsity four Grand Final is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. PST, followed by the second varsity Grand Final at 11:15 and the varsity eight Grand Final at noon.

"We have momentum and we'll race with that," Porter said. "It should be a great day of racing."

NCAA Women's Rowing Championships

Lake Natoma

Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Varsity Four Repechege

1. Brown 7:33.0; 2. Yale 7:34.0; 3. Michigan State 7:36.2; 4. Wisconsin 7:36.8; 5. Washington State 7:47.5

Second Varsity Eight Repechege

1. Washington State 6:48.4; 2. Yale 6:48.8; 3. Virginia 6:49.3; 4. Michigan State 6:58.9; 5. Ohio State 7:00.9

Varsity Eight Semifinals

1. Yale 6:36.6; 2. Michigan 6:37.8; 3. Ohio State 6:38.9; 4. Virginia 6:40.1; 5. Notre Dame 6:51.3; 6. USC 6:51.31

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