On the heels of Saturday’s unexpected snowstorm, the Yale men’s lightweight and women’s crew teams concluded their fall seasons this past Sunday at the Princeton Three-Mile Chase.
Boats from both teams finished in the top five at the invitational race hosted on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J. In the final regatta of the season the Bulldog men took fourth place in the varsity eights event, finishing in 13:32.2 and beating out Ivy foes from Cornell, Columbia, Penn and Dartmouth. Harvard won the race in 13:15.4. Coach Andy Card went into the race wanting to improve on the team’s race the week before at the Head of the Charles, and while he said the team did improve, there is still much to work on over the winter.
“Some things we did better, some things were left on the table,” Card said in an email to the News. “I know our captain Dave Walker ’12was a bit displeased with his boat’s first half of the race. Still, we are following our own timetable as we always do, and we won’t be rushed.”
Yale’s ‘B’ crew also left a strong impression on the 27 crew field. As the first ‘B’ crew to cross the line, it finished eighth in 13:44.6 and beat out the ‘A’ crews from Penn, Dartmouth and Delaware. Many Yale rowers also raced a second time in a fours or pairs event. Yale took eighth in the fours event and second in the pairs event.
Walker commended the freshmen eight for the fourth place finish in the freshmen race.
“All in all, I’m very happy with how the younger levels of the team performed and are stepping up to the level of the older guys,” Walker said.
The women’s crew team also raced its final regatta, finishing off its fall season with solid performances.
Entering the race, the Bulldogs looked to build off the team’s success this fall.
The varsity eight took third place in the 49 boat field with a time of 14:53.50, finishing behind the crews from Virginia and Princeton while beating out Ivy foes from Cornell, Dartmouth, Penn, Brown and Columbia. The women’s novice boat took 14th in the novice open 8+ final with a time of 18:15.91.
For both crew teams, the fall season has provided an opportunity to see individual and team strengths and weaknesses.
The season also gave the Bulldogs insightinto how they compare to their Ivy League and national competition.
Women’s crew captain Kathleen O’Keefe said the Princeton Chase showed the team where it stands in the spring racing field.
Walker added, “The main goal of the fall season is really team development. The fall was very successful in that we exposed a lot of things we need to work on and will go in to the winter with an
understanding of what we need to do to get ready for the spring.”
With the conclusion of the fall season, the teams now head indoors for intense winter training in preparation for the championship spring season. Both teams will use the winter to build on their strengths and work to improve their weaknesses in order to lay the foundation for a successful spring season.
O’Keefe said the women’s team will have to work hard to be competitive in the spring.
Card added that the lightweight crew team’s fundamentals are solid, but the team is looking to move to the next level over the winter.
“There are just so many things that are different between the fall 5ks and the spring 2ks that you cannot conflate the two,” he said. “So we know a little more now than we did on Saturday, but we don’t know how things will play out in the spring.”
The men’s lightweight team looks to repeat its2011 National Championship season while the women’s team aims to improve upon its 11th place finish at the 2011 NCAA
Championships. The women’s crew and the lightweight men’s crew will be back on the water at the Connell Cup in New York, New York on Mar. 24.