At the Head of the Charles Regatta on Oct. 19, the Yale women’s crew team beat Princeton by 12 seconds. On Sunday, the Tigers exacted their revenge, defeating the Bulldogs by 9.4 seconds at the Princeton Chase in Princeton, N.J.
“I think that we row well as a team — no question about it,” Yale head coach Will Porter said. “I think we made some poor decisions in our racing that affected the results.”
The Yale A team came in second in the Eights race with a time of 15:25.99 and sixth in the Fours competition with a time of 17:58.24. The Yale B boat finished eighth and eleventh respectively in the two races with times of 16:13.82 and 18:10.39. Three other Bulldog teams, C, D and E finished 19th, 25th, and 34th respectively in the Fours, and the Yale C boat finished 17th in the Eights.
Thirty-nine teams competed in the race on Sunday.
Captain Alicja Witkowski ’04 said that the team was dissatisfied with its runner-up finish in Princeton.
“It is disappointing to come out of the meet second to Princeton in every race,” Witkowski said. “But we put in a really good effort.”
In the past, Princeton has proven to be a difficult competitor on its home course. For the last five years, Yale has finished second to the Tigers at the Princeton Chase.
Porter praised the team for delivering a consistent performance that fell just short of victory. But he made it clear that the team is out to “get the results” and was not satisfied with only “coming close.”
“We want to win; it’s not like we are just going out and doing this for fun,” Porter said. “Our team needs to figure out how to work for that, and brace it, and get what they set out for, not come close, not be satisfied with coming close.”
Although Yale has an $11 million boathouse, state-of-the-art equipment, and what Porter calls “unbelievable, great coaching,” the Bulldogs will need more than hardware to win this spring. Porter was quick to point out that the deciding factor will be the rowers themselves.
“It all comes down to the human factor,” Porter said, “It comes down to the athletes.”
Echoing the general sentiments of several other Elis regarding the Princeton Chase, Ashley Brzozowicz ’04 said that the team performed well as a group but needs to stay focused during winter training in order to prepare for the spring races.
With an impressive performance at the Head of the Charles and a solid core of recruited athletes and returning veterans, Porter is confident that the Bulldogs will make their presence felt in the spring competitions. Yale only lost three seniors — two rowers and a coxswain — to graduation last year.
“Everything is in place — everything,” Porter said. “It comes down to how good [the team] wants to be in the spring.”