PENNSAUKEN, N.J. – No. 5 Brown University crew swept the NCAA events, claimed the team trophy, and captured an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship as part of its title-winning effort at the 2015 Ivy League Women's Rowing Championship at Cooper River Park on Sunday.
"It was great. It's been a great team this year – great attitude – and the talent level is exceptional," head coach John Murphy said. "They did it. It wasn't anything we did. It was them going out there and doing it."
The Bears earned their ninth Ivy League championship all-time and their first since 2008 while winning gold medals in the first varsity eight, second varsity eight, A varsity four, and B varsity four. Brown garnered the Sally P. Shoemaker Trophy for winning the first varsity eight race – which decides the league title. All of the members of the Bears' 1V8 gained First Team All-Ivy for the victory.
"In our league, it's tough competition. There are a lot of challenges each week," Murphy said. "It was a long, cold winter, but they just persevered. They seized the moment."
The crew – the top seed in the 1V8, 2V8, and 1V4 – won the team trophy for the second consecutive year while Brown's second varsity eight, A varsity four, and B varsity four each won its respective race for the third year in a row.
Brown will now prepare for the NCAA Championship held at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif., from May 29-31. The Bears are one of three programs to compete in all 18 previous NCAA Championships along with Princeton and Washington.
The Bears won the Ivy title with a convincing victory in the first varsity eight, defeating No. 10 Yale (6:18.900) by better than three seconds – about a boat length – with a time of 6:15.421. Brown also crossed the finish ahead of No. 9 Princeton (6:19.703), No. 15 Radcliffe (6:24.538), No. 18 Cornell (6:31.128), and Columbia (6:45.418).
Brown's second varsity eight captured the Bears' third gold in as many races with a time of 6:21.793 – a course record in the 2V8. The crew topped Radcliffe (6:27.138) by over five seconds – about a boat length – and also bested Yale (6:29.471), Princeton (6:35.888), Cornell (6:46.797), and Penn (6:50.640).
The A varsity four led off the NCAA events with a gold medal, charging past Yale at the finish of the grand final after both crews matched each other stroke for stroke over the length of the course. Brown finished in 7:08.818, clipping Yale (7:10.197) by 1.379 seconds. The Bears also beat Princeton (7:14.312), Penn (7:27.709), Radcliffe (7:31.360), and Dartmouth (7:37.220).
The Bears' second-seeded B varsity four picked up the club's first win of the afternoon in the grand finals, placing first with a time of 6:59.255, through a heavy rain. Brown gained eight points and edged Princeton (7:02.820) by three seconds, Radcliffe (7:06.601), top-seeded Yale (7:06.631), Penn (7:23.976), and Cornell (7:30.298).
In the third varsity eight, Brown came in second place in the grand final for seven points with a 6:33.737, trailing only Yale which won the race with a course-record time of 6:29.232 in the 3V8. The third-seeded Bears finished ahead of Princeton (6:36.366), Radcliffe (6:36.547), Cornell (6:52.545), Dartmouth (6:59.728), and Penn (7:20.621).
Brown's C varsity four came in sixth with a time of 8:00.673 in the grand final for three points, behind Princeton C (7:31.830), Radcliffe (7:41.420), Penn (7:42.182), Cornell (7:42.717), and Princeton D (7:48.147).
The Bears won the team title with a total of 87 points, finishing ahead of second-place Yale (72), third-place Princeton (69), Radcliffe (64), Cornell (41), Penn (36), Columbia (19), and Dartmouth (19).
Brown also won Ivy titles in 1988, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2008. The league has determined its champion through the Ivy Championship since its inception in 2012. The league chose its champion through the EAWRC Sprints from 1974-2011.
Brown took open-water victories in all four of its morning races to advance all four of its boats to the grand finals in the afternoon.
Brown's B varsity four opened the day with an open-water win in its heat over Princeton, Cornell, and Dartmouth. The Bears clocked in at 7:14.371, 10 seconds ahead of the Tigers (7:24.814), 25 seconds ahead of the Big Red (7:39.305), and 44 seconds ahead of the Big Green (7:58.326).
The A varsity four took a comfortable win in its heat, finishing with a time of 7:09.921, eight seconds ahead of Dartmouth (7:17.455). The crew also defeated Radcliffe (7:18.465) and Columbia (7:21.910).
The Bears second varsity eight followed with another convincing victory, claiming its heat behind a then-course-record time of 6:25.127 prior to the afternoon session. The crew outdistanced Radcliffe (6:32.069) by seven seconds as well as Penn (6:44.652) and Columbia (6:48.604).
The first varsity eight closed Brown's morning with the club's fourth open-water win in as many races, capturing its heat with a time of 6:15.450. The Bears outpaced Radcliffe (6:21.245) by six seconds, Cornell (6:29.802) by 14 seconds, and Dartmouth (6:39.396) by 24 seconds.
Morning Heats (12-0)
8:10 a.m. – B Varsity Four – Heat 2 – First Place (3-0) – 7:14.371
8:20 a.m. – A Varsity Four – Heat 1 – First Place (3-0) – 7:09.921
8:40 a.m. – Second Varsity Eight – Heat 1 – First Place (3-0) – 6:25.127
9:00 a.m. – First Varsity Eight – Heat 1 – First Place (3-0) – 6:15.450
Afternoon Finals (25-6)
12:45 p.m. – Third Varsity Eight – Grand Final – Second Place (5-1) – 6:33.737
1:00 p.m. – C Varsity Four – Grand Final – Sixth Place (0-5) – 8:00.673
1:30 p.m. – B Varsity Four – Grand Final – First Place (5-0) – 6:59.255
2:15 p.m. – A Varsity Four – Grand Final – First Place (5-0) – 7:08.818
2:45 p.m. – Second Varsity Eight – Grand Final – First Place (5-0) – 6:21.793 (course record)
3:15 p.m. – First Varsity Eight – Grand Final – First Place (5-0) – 6:15.421
Team Point Standings
1. Brown – 87
2. Yale – 72
3. Princeton – 69
4. Radcliffe – 64
5. Cornell – 41
6. Penn – 36
T7. Columbia – 19
T7. – Dartmouth – 19