The Head of the Housatonic was crowded on Saturday, when all three of Yale’s crew teams took to the water for their first regattas of the fall season.
The women’s crew team started their second consecutive season as reigning NCAA champions with a bang, taking the top four slots in the collegiate eights with times ranging from 13:59.082 to 14:40.075. The collegiate fours were also a Bulldog triumph, with Eli boats coming not only in first, with a time of 16:23.477, but also in second and seventh.
“We were very excited about Saturday’s results,” Christine Glandorf ’09 said. “All of our boats achieved their goals of rowing aggressive, smart races. I know we all are pleased with the team this fall and are especially proud of our new freshmen who have really stepped up and were integral to yesterday’s results.”
Men’s lightweight crew had a strong showing as well, with four Bulldog boats filling up first through fourth place in the open pairs. They snagged a first and a third in the fours as well, with a winning time of 14:18.95. The Elis also added two more second-place finishes in the open eight and the freshman eight.
Despite Saturday’s solid start, head coach Andy Card said this weekend was not “a full team effort.”
“Not everyone on the team was able to race, which is different than in the spring,” he said. “I think more encouraging [than Saturday’s results] has been our day-to-day attitude and efficiency, but yes, I am encouraged that our squad came off the water feeling that there is more speed there.”
Meanwhile, the men’s heavyweight squad split up to row at both the Housatonic and the Head of the Genesee. The top three varsity boats headed to Rochester, where the varsity eight took third in the open eights with a time of 15:15.05, behind two of Brown’s boats. Second varsity clocked in at 15:49.37, which placed them in sixth, while the third varsity eight divided into two boats to row the open fours. It was the Bears who edged out the Bulldogs once again, as the two fours took second and third behind Brown with times of 17:11.51 and 17:20.87.
Back in Connecticut, the fourth varsity took fifth in the collegiate eight with a time of 13:52.57, and the freshmen split up to race in the collegiate fours alongside lightweight crew. They took second and sixth in the contest, with times of 14:40.16 and 15:01.614, respectively.
“We’ve been practicing well, but we got thumped this weekend,” heavyweight head coach John Pescatore said. “We’ll have to work a lot harder over the coming weeks to get faster for the fall season.”
As all three squads move forward into the thick of competition, they will be looking to build on the base established this weekend, thanks to veterans and freshmen alike.
“[The women’s crew] is already pretty close-knit,” women’s crew head coach Will Porter said. “It’s most likely because we only graduated a few athletes from last year’s team and the current freshmen are doing a great job making the transition to Yale.”