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Bulldogs Set For NCAA Championship

Donna Knight photo
Donna Knight photo

Three Days Of Racing Starts Friday

NCAA Championship Central  |  Race Schedule

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Yale Championship Guide

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's crew will compete for a national title this weekend. The Bulldogs are one of 22 crews in Indianapolis preparing for this weekend's NCAA Championship at the Indianapolis Rowing Center at Eagle Creek Park. Racing gets under way on Friday with the heats, the semifinals are Saturday and the NCAA champion will be crowned on Sunday. has video on all three days.

"It is an honor to line up with the best teams in the country," said Will Porter, The Friends of YWC Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "We look forward to the challenge."

Yale is back at the NCAA Championships for the fifth straight year and the 19th time in the last 20 years.

"Returning to the NCAA Championships accomplishes one of our main goals for the season," said Victoire Lienau, the team captain who will sit in the bow seat of the varsity eight. "We are excited for the opportunity to show our strength as a program and line up against the best collegiate teams in the nation."

Yale, ranked ninth in the latest CRCA/US Rowing national poll, has been the highest Ivy League finisher and placed in the top-10 in each of the last two years.

This year, Yale's varsity eight is seeded ninth, while the second varsity eight and varsity four are both seeded 10th.

"Every boat's goal is to perform to their seed or higher, and each year we seek to outdo our previous year's performance," Lienau said. "We look to represent Yale and the Ivy League to the best of our ability."


The NCAA Division I Women's Rowing Championships feature 22 teams, which compete for a national title based on a points system that weighs the finish of each boat in its respective race.
The championship begins with four heats for each of the three boats – the first varsity eight, second varsity eight, and varsity four – on Friday. The top two boats from each heat advance to the A/B semifinals while the remaining crews proceed to the repechage races on Friday afternoon. The top two crews from the repechages also advance to the A/B semifinals while the remainders are placed in the C/D semifinals.
From there, the top three boats in each of the A/B semifinals move onto the grand final with the remainder proceeding to the petite final. The top three crews in the C/D semifinals advance to the C final while the rest compete in the D final.
In the finals, each boat earns points based off its finish in its race, and the program with the most points between its three crews at the conclusion of all the races earns the title of NCAA Champion.


The varsity eight will be the first to race on Friday in Heat 1 at 9 a.m. The Bulldogs, seeded ninth, face No. 17 Indiana, No. 1 California, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 16 Duke.

The second varsity eight, seeded 10th, races at 10 a.m. against No. 18 Northeastern, No. 2 Michigan, No. 7 Ohio State and No. 15 Rutgers.

The 10th-seeded varsity four caps the morning session for the Bulldogs at 10:48 a.m. against No. 18 Navy, No.2 Stanford, No. 7 Duke and No. 15 Central Florida.

In all three heats, the top two finishers advance to Saturday's semifinals, while the rest will be forced to race again later Friday in the repechage, a second chance to advance to the A/B semis.

The semifinals are Saturday morning and the finals are Sunday morning. The varsity eight grand final is the last event, scheduled for 11:12 a.m. on Sunday.


The Bulldogs' best finish at the NCAA Championship came in 2004 when they were second. Yale has 15 top-10 finishes. The Bulldogs have 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.

Last year in Sarasota, Fla., Yale had two crews – second varsity eight and varsity four - qualify for the grand final. That helped the Bulldogs to an eighth-place finish.


There are a number of familiar faces joining Yale in Indianapolis. Princeton earned the Ivy League's automatic bid and Brown and Harvard were at-large selection. In addition, Texas, Virginia, Michigan, Northeastern, Indiana and Wisconsin – crews the Bulldogs raced during the regular season – are all in the field. The rest of the crews competing are: Central Florida, Rhode Island, Marist, Washington, Navy, Gonzaga, California, Duke, Iowa, Ohio State, Rutgers and Stanford. Yale head coach Will Porter is a 1989 Rutgers graduate.


The Bulldogs have been in the top-10 in each of the 11 weekly CRCA/US Rowing National polls this spring. Yale's highest ranking was No. 5 in the Mar. 27 poll.


In what has become quite commonplace, all five Yale crews earned medals at the Ivy League Championship on May 19 on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J. That helped the Bulldogs to a strong third-place finish with 64 points in the overall team point standings. Yale also was third in the NCAA Automatic bid qualifier standings with 36 points. Yale's second varsity four and third varsity eight both placed second, while the varsity eight, second varsity eight and varsity four were each third.


Three Bulldogs earned All-Ivy recognition following the Ivy League Championship. Junior Daisy Mazzio-Manson was named to the first team, while senior Arwen Neski and junior Margaret Saunders were each second team selections.


Three Yale rowers - Daisy Mazzio-MansonMargaret Saunders and coxswain Aparajita Chauhan – have been invited to participate at the 2019 Under 23 Women's National Team Selection Camp this summer.

Mazzio-Manson also was invited in 2017. Chauhan coxed the United States eight at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships.

The women's camp will select the U23 women's eight, four, quadruple sculls and four with coxswain that will compete at the 2019 World Rowing Under 23 Championships scheduled for July 24-28 in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. The camp also will select a pair to race at USRowing's Under 23 World Championship Trials in early July.

The camp will be held at the Thomas Temple Allan Boathouse in Charlottesville, Va.

Yale assistant coach Jamie Snider is serving as an assistant coach for the United States.


Varsity Eight:                                                                                                               

Bow – Victoire Lienau (Sr., Paris, France)
2 – Claire Dirks (So., Toronto, Ontario)
3 – Ella von der Schulenburg (Jr., Zurich, Switzerland)
4 – Jenna van de Grift (So., San Diego, Calif.)   
5 – Arwen Neski (Sr., Ashley Falls, Mass.)
6 – Anna Matthes (Fy., Belmont, Mass.)
7 – Margaret Hedeman (Fy., Concord, Mass.)
Stroke - Daisy Mazzio-Manson (Jr., Wellesley, Mass.)
Cox – Aparajita Chauhan (So., Seattle, Wash.)

Second Varsity Eight:

Bow – Katie Gleason (Jr., Sudbury, Mass.)
2 – Alexia Rojas (Jr., Tampa, Fla.)
3 – Lane Unsworth (Sr., San Francisco, Calif.)
4 – Claire Grundig (Jr., San Carlos, Calif.)
5 – Phoebe Campbell (Fy., North Molton, Great Britain)
6 – Margaret Saunders (Jr., Arlington, Va.)
7 – Lucy Edmunds (Fy., North Yorkshire, Great Britain)
Stroke – Katie King-Smith (So., Oxford, United Kingdom)
Cox – Hannah Malzahn (Sr., Edmond, Okla.)

Varsity Four:

Bow – Margaux Paradis (Jr., San Francisco, Calif.)
2 – Riley Eversole (So., Oakland, Calif.)
3 – Sera Bulbul (Sr., Geneva, Switzerland)
Stroke – Anna Scott (Fy., Denver, Colo.)
Cox – Alin Pasa (Fy., Westport, Conn.)


Grace Galloway (So., Sydney, Australia)
Hannah Johns (Fy., Longmeadow, Mass.)     

Report filed by Tim Bennett (, Yale Sports Publicity