Facing difficult rowing conditions in Ithaca, New York, the Yale women’s crew team swept Cornell and Iowa this past weekend, building momentum as it looks toward key races in the final weeks of its regular season.
The Eli women dominated their opponents in five races at Cornell’s home course, as the three varsity eight boats and two varsity fours each won their events by significant margins. In the varsity eight race — the only Yale race to register times on Saturday after conditions postponed the remainder of Friday’s competition — the Bulldogs posted a time of 5:55.6, more than seven seconds ahead of the Big Red crew.
The win over Cornell gave Yale its third straight claim to the Cayuga Cup, which marks the winner of the annual Yale-Cornell varsity eight race.
“I’m proud of the way our team raced this weekend in the challenging conditions,” second varsity rower Amina Edwards ’15 said. “We’ve had some logistical challenges with weather and travel this season and I think our team has handled them well.”
Though Yale’s five races against Cornell and Iowa were initially scheduled for this past Friday, the varsity eight race launched a day late because the course was too dark on Friday after the previous races had finished.
The other four races began on schedule, and Yale showed similar domination over its two opponents, with three Bulldog boats besting the second-place finisher by more than 10 seconds. The second varsity eight race was the closest, as Yale finished in 6:13.9 with Iowa’s boat posting a time of 6:16.4.
Yale then had races scheduled against Northeastern and Buffalo for Saturday on the same course, but heavy winds and waves rendered the water unfit for competition and caused officials to cancel most of the events at the 2,000-meter Cayuga Inlet course. Yale’s second varsity eight boat completed its race and posted a first-place finish, but officials were not able to record times for the race.
“The conditions this past weekend were tough,” captain Nina Demmerie ’15 said. “It is easy to get distracted by these [logistical] changes, but the team did a great job of focusing inward and not letting distractions affect the way we raced.”
With another regular season race now behind them, the Elis look towards another away race next weekend, this time in Boston. Yale will battle Dartmouth and Boston University on Saturday for the Class of 1985 Cup, which the Bulldogs have won for the past two years.
With more than a month remaining until the Ivy League and NCAA Championships in May, Demmerle said, the rowers are still focusing on improving each week.
“As we transition back to practice this week, we want to focus back on doing the fundamentals really well in an attempt to gain some speed before lining up against Dartmouth and BU this Saturday,” Demmerle said. “We had a good weekend at Cornell and would like to use it to take one step forward as a team to find some more speed.”