For the first time in eight years, a Yale sailor placed at the top of a national sailing championship.

Molly Carapiet ’06 placed second in the Women’s Singlehanded National Sailing Championship in Houston, Texas, Nov. 8-10.

Sailing coach Zack Leonard ’87 said Carapiet’s finish was the best for a Yale sailor in a national championship in almost a decade. In the early 1990s, Nicole Beault ’94 placed first in the A Division of the doublehanded national sailing championship.

Singlehanded sailing contests involve single-sailor boats; doublehanded sailing includes a skipper and a single crew member.

Carapiet was the only Yale sailor at the women’s championship and one of only two freshmen in a field of 16.

Carapiet said she was pleasantly surprised by her finish but had still hoped for more.

“I’m very happy with how I sailed, and I didn’t expect to do as well as I did, but of course I wish I could have won,” Carapiet said.

But Leonard was not surprised by the result.

“I knew that she was capable of this,” Leonard said. “But she really did what she was capable of, and people don’t always do that in sports.”

Carapiet was the only Yale sailor competing this weekend; the rest of the team prepared for the women’s and coed Atlantic Coast Championship on Nov. 16-17.

Anna Tunnicliffe, a sophomore from Old Dominion University, took first place in the women’s championship. Carapiet, Tunnicliffe and two others were locked in a tight battle over all three days and 16 races.

Andrew Campbell, a freshman prodigy at Georgetown University currently ranked first on the U.S. Olympic Team, took the men’s title. William Campbell, Andrew’s father, won the event for the U.S. Naval Academy, also on his first attempt, in 1971.

Carapiet finished second overall because of remarkable consistency: she finished in the top half of the fleet in all but one of the races. Carapiet also finished first three times, including in the final race, moving her from third place into her second-place finish.

Leonard said he admired Carapiet’s tenacity.

“Molly [Carapiet] was fighting for the win the whole way in, and in really tricky conditions,” Leonard said.

Carapiet finished one point ahead of Lindsay Buchan, a junior from the University of California at Santa Barbara and 10 points behind Tunnicliffe.