May 14, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale's women's crew begins the 2009 post-season on Sunday at the Eastern Sprints on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. The Bulldogs' varsity eight is seeking its third Ivy League title in the last five years. The top Ivy finisher at Sprints wins the Ivy crown. The heats begin at 8 a.m. and the finals get under way at 1:30 p.m.
"The Sprints is the best regional regatta in the country. It has produced five of the last six NCAA varsity eight champions," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "The one day format requires sustained concentration, peak fitness and pure old-fashioned toughness."
Yale, whose varsity eight is ranked fifth in this week's CRCA-USRowing national poll, has been off since racing Brown on May 2.
"Since our last dual race we have been in exams which creates a balancing act for practice each day," Porter said. "Our main focus has been to get faster off the start, produce better base speed and close with a vengeance, while being careful not to exhaust the athletes and inhibit their ability in the classroom."
The varsity eight, which suffered its only loss against Brown, is seeded second behind the Bears. The Bulldogs will race in the second heat at 8:50 a.m. against Rutgers, Syracuse, Dartmouth, Columbia and MIT. The top two finishers qualify for the Grand Final, which is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. Last year the Bulldogs finished second in the Grand Final, a little more than one second behind Brown.
Yale's second varsity is undefeated and the top seed. The Bulldogs race Rhode Island, Columbia, Boston University and Navy in their heat at 9:10 a.m. The second varsity Grand Final is set for 4:10 p.m. The last time Yale's second varsity won the Sprints title was 1988.
Yale's varsity four, seeded second after losing only to Brown in the dual race season, faces Rhode Island, Penn, Radcliffe and Boston College in its heat at 9:55 a.m. The Grand Final is at 3:30 p.m.
In the novice eight, the Bulldogs race George Washington, Radcliffe, Dartmouth and Boston University at 8:10 a.m. Yale is seeded second and suffered its only loss to Brown. The Grand Final is scheduled for 2:40 p.m.
Yale's second varsity four has its heat at 10:35 a.m. and the third varsity four has already qualified for the Grand Final, which starts at 1:35 p.m.
"Six boat racing is a blast," Porter said. "It really forces us to stay internal and do what we do as well as we can and trust that it will be enough to get us to the line first."
Yale Boatings For Eastern Sprints
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity