Even without the leadership of their captain, the Yale women’s crew team produced a solid overall performance this weekend.
The Bulldogs raced Sunday in the Princeton Chase on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J.. The best showing was put forth by Yale’s first varsity boat in women’s eights, which garnered a second-place finish with a time of 16:19.42 in the field of 45 boats. Yale’s second varsity boat in the women’s eights finished a solid ninth with a time of 16:57.22. In the women’s fours, the Elis’ third boat finished with a time of 18:16.59, putting them in eleventh place overall, while Yale’s first boat finished with a time of 18:19.62, placing them thirteenth out of 51 boats, and the fourth boat earned 18th in 18:29.87.
Having finished well in the Head of the Charles Oct. 23 and 24 in Cambridge, the Bulldogs were hoping to post similar times in the Chase’s 45-boat field. Despite setbacks, including the absence of their captain, Dinah Dimalanta ’05, who had a stomach flu, the team still managed to post respectable finishes over the weekend.
Team members said the loss of Dimalanta was especially difficult because the Bulldogs were facing fast teams such as UVA and Wisconsin that they traditionally never see in the fall, and because Princeton tends to capitalize on home field advantage.
“Not having Dinah was a very significant loss for all boats, as she is an extremely important presence on the team,” Meredith Garagiola ’05 said. “Everyone had to rally a little to try to make up for the absence.”
Head coach William Porter said he was proud of the team’s performance without its captain.
“We are an extremely lean team in numbers this year, making her absence a huge challenge to us as a team,” Porter said. “The second varsity was forced to row with a shuffled lineup, but still came up big with a ninth place finish over all, beating the first varsity crews from BU, Cornell, Penn, Syracuse, Navy, Rutgers and Columbia.”
Porter said the women had great concentration as they stuck to their game plan and executed it well.
“Our varsity was the second fastest crew at the Head of the Charles and again at the Princeton Chase,” Porter said. “They have shown consistent speed and skill. They know there are no guarantees, they will have to work hard all winter and race hard all spring to get where they want to go.”
This was the last race of the fall for the varsity boats, who will move indoors to train until spring break. Porter said that the spring season is a long way off, but that early indicators are that his team is in a good position for going into the winter.
Emily Cleveland ’07 said the team was also looking forward to the new season.
“As we start winter training indoors in the tanks, we’re definitely looking forward to this year’s spring season, which gets started in March,” Cleveland said. “I think we all feel really optimistic about our ability to compete with the best teams in the country.”
Next weekend the novices compete in their last race back in Princeton for The Belly of the Carnegie Regatta.