Photo courtesy of The Ivy League
PENNSAUKEN, N.J. – Victories in the second varsity eight and both varsity four finals lifted the No. 1 Brown women's crew to the Team Trophy at the 2014 Ivy League Women's Rowing Championships on the Cooper River on Sunday. The Bears earned silver with a second place finish in the varsity eight race, narrowly missing the Ivy League title, but secured 81 points for first in the team standings.
"This is as tough as the competition gets and I'm very pleased with their efforts," said Head Coach John Murphy. "Everybody gave 100 percent and you can't ask for more."
Princeton prevailed in the varsity eight, setting an Ivy League Championships record (6:15.412) and collecting its second straight Ivy League Championship for an automatic bid to the NCAA Rowing Championships. As the second place team in the varsity eight, Brown also posted a time that snapped the previous Ivy League Championships record. The following Bears were named Second Team All-Ivy: (from the bow) sophomore Logan Harris (Stinson Beach, Calif.), sophomore Sasha Tilles (Redmond, Va.), junior Rachel Gottlieb (Bow, N.H.), sophomore Ellie Place (Bellevue, Wash.), freshman Monika Sobieszek (Stoneham, Mass.), sophomore Muriel Solberg (Rockford, Ill.), freshman Alia Shafi (Lafayette, Calif.), senior Louise Breen (North Hampton, N.H.) and junior coxswain Molly Sandza (Washington, D.C.).
The Bears showed extraordinary depth, winning the varsity four 'A', four 'B' and second varsity eight in succession after placing second in the third varsity eight.
"I think that it's a great thing for the future," said senior co-captain Camilla Polakoff (Berkeley, Calif.), noting the large underclassmen contingent in each winning boat. "We have such a young team and with even more practice we'll be able to be even faster. There's so much camaraderie and uniformity that people will be able to build off of for the future."
Brown began the afternoon with a fourth-place finish in the varsity four 'C' and followed with a second-place showing in the third varsity eight. The Bears then secured their first victory of the afternoon, turning in a 7:20.593 to outlast Princeton in the varsity four 'B'.
The varsity four 'A' made it two in a row with a five-second victory (7:05.157) over second-place Yale, and the trifecta was completed with the second varsity eight's 6:30.892 for first place honors. The Bears opened the second varsity eight race with a minimal lead over Princeton but picked up the pace to outrun the Bulldogs, who seized second place in the final 500 meters.
The varsity eight finale lived up to the hype with a vicious battle between Princeton and Brown from start to finish. The Tigers jumped off the line with extraordinary speed, building a boat's length lead over the first 500 meters. Radcliffe challenged the Bears for the second position as each team looked to overtake Princeton if the Tigers failed to maintain their intensity. The leaders widened the gap at the 1,000-meter mark but Brown picked up the stroke rate and charged ahead of Radcliffe, securing second place and trailing Princeton by 4.443 seconds across the finish.
"This team is all grit," said Polakoff after the Bears closed the gap aggressively in the varsity eight final. "It's a testament to how hard we race and practice."
The Bears will now await a potential at-large bid to the NCAA Rowing Championships, which will be held from May 30 to June 1 in Indianapolis, Ind.
1. Brown 81
2. Princeton 73
3. Radcliffe 60
4. Yale 53
5. Dartmouth 40
6. Penn 34
7. Cornell 31
8. Columbia 9
Varsity Four 'C'
Radcliffe C 7:55.134
Radcliffe D 8:10.640
Third Varsity Eight
Varsity Four 'B'
Varsity Four 'A'
Second Varsity Eight