Continuing what appears to be a season poised for success across all three Yale crews, each team did its part and emerged victorious this past weekend.
At home on the Housatonic River, the No. 5 women’s and No. 1 heavyweight crews alternated races, with the former earning lopsided victories over Dartmouth and Boston University and the latter cementing its place as the top team in the country with wins over No. 11 Dartmouth. Two hours north in Cambridge, the No. 3 lightweight team rowed to four straightforward victories against MIT and Georgetown.
Near SWEEP FOR WOMEN
The women’s team raced Dartmouth and Boston University on home waters for the Yale Class of 1985 Cup. The Bulldogs swept all races, save for the second varsity four, which was disqualified due to a lane violation.
“I think our races on Saturday really showed how the team can work together as a single unit, even in separate boats,” captain Colleen Maher ’16 said. “We get a lot of energy from watching our teammates race down the course … [and] we are getting better at not being nervous, at enjoying what we do.”
After winning by an average of 15.2 seconds last weekend, Yale’s remaining four boats rowed to even bigger victories against the Big Green and Terriers, posting times that averaged 22.6 seconds better than their nearest competitors. All of the four races finished with the same standings, with Yale in first, Dartmouth in second and Boston University in third.
The varsity eight easily earned Yale the Class of 1985 Cup for the fourth year in a row, pulling away early and ultimately amassing an 18.7-second win over Dartmouth. Yale’s varsity four continued its unbeaten streak with a 17.3-second win.
The Eli women will next travel to Princeton to race the Tigers and USC for the Eisenberg Cup.
TOP DOGS BITE BIG GREEN
Against Dartmouth, the heavyweight Bulldogs defended their top national ranking for the second week in a row. All four varsity boats triumphed against the Big Green.
“The 1V had a really good start again and executed our race plan, and we ended up winning by like 10 seconds,” captain Hubert Trzybinski ’16 said. “We still have a lot to work on, but there weren’t any changes in the first and second boats, which stayed the same.”
The first varsity boat easily retained the Olympic Axe, finishing approximately two lengths in front of Dartmouth. The second varsity boat rebounded from a second-place finish last weekend in San Diego and returned to winning ways with a time of 5:49.2, 5.1 seconds better than the Big Green.
After taking last weekend off while the first two boats raced in California, the third and fourth varsity boats competed again, although this time with different lineups. There were several seat changes and a few boat changes from the last competition, which Trzybinski said would likely continue as head coach Steve Gladstone continues to search for the right combinations in each boat. It appeared that these changes were largely successful, as the third and fourth boats posted times 3.95 and 6.98 seconds better than Dartmouth, respectively.
“The goal over the next few weeks is to become smoother and work on smaller details since we worked very hard over the winter to improve our endurance and strength,” Trzybinski said. “For now, we want to improve the technical components and our rowing technique.”
The heavyweight team races Columbia and Penn next weekend for the Blackwell Cup in Philadelphia.
Road SWEEP FOR 37th STRAIGHT JOY CUP
The sole team to compete away from New Haven this weekend, the No. 3 lightweights handily defeated MIT and Georgetown in Massachusetts to earn the Joy Cup for the 37th year in a row.
“This weekend gave us another chance to test ourselves down the course,” captain Austin Velte ’16 said. “I’m proud of the depth we showed in Boston.”
Similar to the women’s team, the lightweight team also posted huge margins of victory, winning its races by an average margin of 24.5 seconds. The fourth varsity eight opened racing early in the morning with a 37-second victory over Georgetown, a race in which MIT did not field a boat. This was the boat’s first victory of the spring season, as it lost last week to Navy.
The third and second varsity eights continued the trend of large victories, winning by 22 and 20 seconds, respectively. Racing finished at 9 a.m. with the first varsity eight, which posted a time of 6:11, 19 seconds faster than Georgetown and 24 seconds ahead of than MIT.
Despite the commanding victories, head coach Andy Card said there is always some area in which the crew can improve.
“Every time down the course you learn a little bit more about each crew,” Card said. “The guys set goals for each race, and then afterwards review the video and see what they can check off and what they need to keep working on.”
The lightweight crew will join the heavyweights in Philadelphia next weekend to race No. 1 Columbia and No. 6 Penn.