Yale Crew Making Mark On International Stage
Aug. 16, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - It's been a busy summer for the Yale women's crew family. Two recent graduates - Rachel Jeffers '07 and Ashley Brzozowicz '04 - are training for the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships scheduled for August 26-September 2 in Munich, Germany. Rising senior Jamie Redman won a bronze medal as part of the U.S. eight at the 2007 World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Strathclyde, Scotland, in July. Incoming freshman Caroline Nash was a part of the United States junior women's eight that won a bronze medal at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Junior Championships in Beijing, China, in August, and assistant coach Kate Maloney went to Germany in July with the U.S. Junior National High Performance team.
"I am proud of all our athletes who are able to compete internationally," said Yale Head Coach Will Porter. "It is a strong statement about the level of our program and the way athletes can develop under our training program."
Jeffers, who stroked Yale's varsity eight to the NCAA title last spring, will race in the women's four without coxswain at the World Championships. She has spent the summer in Princeton, N.J., training with the U.S. team and won a gold medal in the eights at the World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland, in July.
"It was a great experience to go to Lucerne for the World Cup," Jeffers said. "There was some good competition from the Germans and Dutch but we were able to keep them off for the win. The team's focus for this summer is definitely the World Championships, but Lucerne is always a great place to race, and it was fun to test ourselves."
Jeffers said her time at Yale has helped her with the national team.
"Just about all of the other girls have been training as a group since at least January and most of them for the whole year," she said. "To be able to jump in with the group in the beginning of June after rowing at Yale for the year says something about the level of training at Yale. On another level, rowing at Yale helped me think about how to approach the sport. Being able to enjoy daily practices and the fact that I get to row, continual concentration and keeping some balance in my life are all things that I learned at Yale."
Following the world championships, Jeffers will return to Princeton and try to earn a spot on the 2008 United States Olympic team.
Brzozowicz, an All-American at Yale, helped the Bulldogs to a second place finish at the 2004 NCAA Championships. She will row in the eight for the Canadian National Team at the World Championships for the second straight year. Earlier this summer, she was part of the eight that finished fourth at a World Cup race in Linz, Austria. The team left Canada on August 7 and is currently training in Maribor, Slovenia.
Like Jeffers, Brzozowicz said her experience at Yale helped prepare her for international competition.
"My time rowing at Yale allowed me to grow and mature as an athlete," she said. "Without my experiences rowing with the team at Yale, I never would have had the skill or the confidence necessary to try out for the Canadian national team."
Redman sat in the No. 5 seat in the Yale varsity eight that went undefeated and captured the NCAA title last spring. This summer was her first experience with the U.S. national team.
"The selection experience was definitely an intense process," Redman said shortly after being named to the team. "The field was especially deep. All 20 women were very strong and very talented. Even during the slower, 'easier' practices, the competition never let up. Even though the practices were difficult, Yale women's crew prepared me well to meet the physical challenges. Aside from our 2007 Yale Crew, the U.S. boat is the strongest boat I've ever rowed in."
Nash will bring much international experience to Yale. She finished eighth in the women's pair at the 2006 FISA World Junior Championships. At the 2005 CanAmMex Regatta, she captured the gold medal in the women's eight and women's quadruple sculls.
Maloney, who was named the CRCA New England Region Assistant Coach of the Year in May, was in charge of the U.S. Junior National Team High Performance Camp, which consisted of high school rowers who were invited to try out for the Junior National Team but were not selected.
"It was my job to give them the mental and physical insight as to how to train for the next 365 days so that when they come back next summer, they are ready to make the Junior Worlds Team and be at a level where they will help us win medals there," Maloney said.
Maloney and Virginia's Sarah Cannon spent five weeks with the team in New London, Conn., and then took them to Berlin, Germany, to train with the German Junior National Team.
"Personally and professionally this was a great experience for me," Maloney said. "I was in charge of a group of girls' physical performance, but more so than that, I was in charge of shepherding their love of the sport and their desire to reach peak performance. I look forward to bringing the lessons I learned with the team to the incoming Yale freshman class."
The Bulldogs' first race of the 2007-08 season is the Head of the Housatonic on Oct. 6.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity