The freshman women’s crew team had a strong showing at the Yale Freshman Invitational in Derby, Conn. on Saturday, falling 30 seconds short of first place.

Two Bulldog boats took part in the race. Yale’s A boat finished with a time of 15:08, immediately behind first place Boston University which came across the line with a time of 14:38. Yale’s B boat finished the race in 17th place.

Twenty-one boats competed in the race on Saturday.

The course was three miles long and the boats raced individually against the clock. Yale head coach William Porter said he expects the races to become much closer in the spring, when the length will be reduced to 1.25 miles.

The women’s last regatta of the fall is the Belly of the Carnegie next weekend in Princeton, N.J.

Porter said he is very satisfied with the women’s performance this fall. He said their 13th place finish at the Head of the Charles Regatta on Oct. 19 was indicative of a team with potential.

“They have some good natural talent,” Porter said.

Even for those on the A boat, Porter said collegiate rowing has been a big change for those used to the less intense training regiments of high school. He said his athletes will spend the winter focusing on physical training. Because of Ivy League rules, athletes will direct much of this training by themselves, which will demand individual commitments from players, Porter said.

“The main thing we look for in the fall with the freshmen is for team members to adjust to the demands of both school work and team practices,” Porter said.

Varsity captain Alicja Witkowski ’04 said being confined to indoor training in the offseason can be difficult and monotonous, but is the optimal time for the team to become more competitive.

“We are really going to concentrate on getting faster on the [ergometers], stronger in the weight room, and improving our technique in the tanks,” Witkowski said. “By training hard in the offseason we can give ourselves the base we need to win our races in the spring.”

Porter said the novice B boat — composed entirely of walk-ons — will spend the winter focusing on the fundamentals of rowing.

Orly Friedman ’07, coxswain for the A boat, said she was very happy with her team’s performance on Saturday.

“I think it was probably one of our best races this year,” Friedman said. “I think everyone really pulled their hardest.”

Friedman said finishing ahead of Ivy League rival Dartmouth College — which did not have a boat at the Head of the Charles Regatta on Oct. 19 — was very satisfying. She said the prospect of beating Radcliffe in the spring will motivate team members to train harder over the winter.