CREW: Yalies dominate in season openers

Both the Yale men’s heavyweight crew and women’s crew teams opened their seasons with victories this weekend.

The men raced Brown at home, while the women brought home the Longhorn Invitational title in Austin, Texas at Lady Bird Lake.

The Eli men beat the first and second Brown varsity boats, but were bested by the third boat. Yale’s first varsity boat finished the 2000-meter course on the Housatonic in 5:50.88 minutes, earning a nearly two-second victory over Brown’s first boat. The second boat, finishing in 6:14.6 minutes, also beat the Bears by about two seconds.

“This weekend’s results were a product of the countless hours of work the squad put in over the past few months,” John Risbergs ’17 said. “Although early season speed is an indicator of progress from top to bottom, the guys have their eyes set on the national championships. We have bigger fish to fry.”

The men’s third varsity boat finished in 6:30.5 minutes, about four seconds behind Brown.

All five women’s boats won their races in Austin on Sunday. The team participated in the Longhorn Invitational after finishing up the second week of their spring training in Texas. At the regatta, Texas hosted Yale, San Diego, Central Florida, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Tulsa and Canisius.

“It was a really great trip down to Texas,” said captain Maddie Lips ’14, who rowed in Yale’s first varsity eight. “The [University of Texas at Austin] team and coaches were so nice in letting us train there for the week, and it was great to get out in the sunshine after this cold weather.”

After Yale beat Canisius and Tulsa, the Longhorn title came down to Yale’s five crews, three eights and two fours, versus the University of San Diego boats.

The first varsity boat saw the closest race, edging out a slim two-second win over San Diego in 6:26.2 minutes. The third varsity boat had the widest margin of victory, finishing the 2000-meter course 14 seconds before its opponent.

Lips said team members were excited to kick-start the season with three wins under their belts.

“Racing in the Longhorn Invitational was great,” women’s coach Will Porter said. “We have a bunch to work on. We need to set a line up and find our speed. It’s very early for us.”

The heavyweight team will rest for three weeks before hosting Dartmouth at home. The women will have their first Ivy race of the season against Penn and Columbia at home this weekend.

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