Three races into the spring season, and the women’s crew team has yet to lose possession of any of last season’s awards.
The Bulldogs successfully defended their claim to the Class of 1985 Cup against Dartmouth and Boston University over the weekend in their third-straight regatta on the Housatonic. With victories in the first and second varsity eight as well as the first and third varsity four, the Elis fell short only in the novice-boat categories.
“I don’t think the freshmen have found their stride yet,” captain Jennie Hansen ’08 said. “They need to keep working hard and get things figured out in order to get some momentum going.”
Yale’s varsity eight, which is ranked second in the nation behind the University of California Berkeley, continued its undefeated streak with an 8.8-second victory over its two visiting foes. The Elis clocked in at 6:35.5, with the Terriers pulling in at 6:44.3 and the Big Green bringing up the rear at 6:47.8. The composition of the varsity eight remained the same this week following a few minor changes between the first and second spring regattas.
The second varsity eight continued to shift seats around and found another winning combination this weekend. The rowers came in with a solid 6:49.8, safely 5.6 seconds ahead of Dartmouth and an impressive 18.7 seconds before Boston.
The margin for the varsity four was larger still. The Bulldogs cruised in a comfortable 15.4 seconds ahead of the Big Green with a time of 7:40.8, leaving the Terriers to limp in at 8:02.8, 22 seconds behind.
“I was pleased with our racing against BU and Dartmouth, but we still have plenty to work on,” head coach Will Porter said. “Our starts need to be a bit quicker, our base speed a bit stronger, and our sprint needs work — but we are getting there. We were better than last week.”
“We performed pretty well today and did a nice job as a team,” Hansen added. “The adjustments made to some of our lineups seem to be working well. I’m sure we’ll make changes in the future if necessary, though.”
Last weekend, the second and third varsity fours “raced hard from wire to wire,” according to Jamie Redman ’08, despite lacking opponents against whom to compete. This weekend, they got the chance to face off against both Dartmouth and BU — and they proved themselves in grand style, pulling off an impressive one-two finish.
The varsity four B boat came in at 8:13.5, followed by the varsity four C, which pulled in at 8:31.4. The Big Green came in more than 10 seconds later at 8:41.6, trailed by the Terriers at 8:49.5, a full 36 seconds after Yale’s first boat finished.
The novice eight snagged a second-place finish behind the Big Green, coming in at 7:09.7 to Dartmouth’s 7:03.9. The second novice four, too, fell to Dartmouth with a time of 9:00.7, just over 13 seconds behind.
Still, the regatta was a success overall for the Bulldogs — one that they will look to carry through to next weekend, when they face off against No. 9 Tennessee and No. 6 Princeton on Lake Carnegie in New Jersey. Both schools will pose a challenge, although it is the Tigers who may prove toughest to beat, Porter said.
“Boy, [Princeton] is good this year,” he said. “They are undefeated, and really unpushed — they’ve won all their races by open water. All we can do is go down there, go as fast as we can and hope we can hang with them.”