May 17, 2009
Camden, N.J. - The Brown women's crew wrapped up a solid day of competition at the EAWRC Sprints on Sunday, finishing second in the team standings behind only Yale. The day was highlighted by an impressive win from the second varsity eight, which crossed the line five seconds in front of the field. Bruno's first eight took fourth in an extremely tough final.
The Bears kicked off racing with a terrific morning, as five of Brown's six boats won their heats, and every entry qualified for the grand finals in the afternoon. After the lunch break, racing resumed with the alumni eight event, which the Bears took in exciting fashion, though it did not count towards the team standings. After finding themselves down nearly three quarters of a length to Radcliffe heading into the final 300 meters, the Bears brought it up for the sprint, and quickly moved back on the Crimson, going on to win by two seconds. Brown crossed the line in 7:05.9, while Radcliffe came in second at 7:07.9, and Dartmouth rounded out the top three at 7:17.0.
The action then turned to those still in college, beginning with the varsity four "C" squads, which was a finals-only event. Brown took the lead early, coming off the starting launches quickly and earning an advantage that it would not relinquish. Though Yale tried to make a late charge, the Bears held it off with relative ease, winning with a time of 7:43.4. The Bulldogs were second at 7:48.1, with Radcliffe third in 7:58.0.
That race was followed by the freshman four, which saw Brown finish fourth, despite a late effort to get back in the action. Georgetown won the event with a time of 7:54.9, with Princeton and Cornell rounding out the medalists at 7:59.1 and 8:08.8 respectively. The Bears crossed the line in 8:15.4. The fours continued to hold center stage, with the varsity four "B" boats next up for Brown. Yale took the early lead and continued to pull away from the field, as they went on to win the event in 7:26.6. Radcliffe was a clear second, finishing at 7:35.2, while Brown came in third at 7:42.5, well ahead of the remaining three boats.
Racing then turned to the eights, starting with the freshmen in what turned out to be one of the most exciting races of the day. The Bulldogs once again jumped out to an early lead, with Cornell going out alongside them. Coming into the final 500 meters, Brown found itself in third, trailing second place Cornell by half a length. However, the Bears kicked in with a tremendous sprint, taking seats back with each stroke, and managed to edge in front of the Big Red just before the line to take second. Yale won with a time of 6:42.6, while Brown and Cornell finished neck-and-neck at 6:47.1 and 6:47.6.
The final three varsity boats were up next, starting with the varsity four "A" boats. As was the trend for much of the day, Yale took the early lead, followed by Radcliffe and Brown. Once again the Bears found themselves trailing coming into the final quarter of the race, but they mounted another furious comeback to nip Radcliffe by an even slimmer margin than the freshman eight. Yale took first at 7:27.3, while Brown was second at 7:31.3, and Radcliffe rounded out the medalists at 7:31.7.
In the penultimate race of the afternoon, the second varsity eights squared off, with Brown trailing Yale by a single point in the team standings. The Bulldogs burst off the line to take a three seat lead over Brown, but the Bears came storming back with a big move around 750 meters into the race. Crossing the halfway point, Bruno held a slim advantage over Yale, but the Bears continued to open it up over the remainder of the race to increasingly loud cheers from the Brown supporters on shore. Brown eventually went on to win handily, as the boat of, from bow, Carly Traub, Corliss Gross, Libby Boghossian, Julia DiBonaventura, Nicole McDonald, Joanna Jacob, Kelly O'Brien, Corey Finnerty-Ludwig, and coxswain Rebecca Fein crossed the line in 6:34.2. Yale held off a late charge from Radcliffe to finish second at 6:39.7, while the Crimson took the bronze at 6:42.5. The Brown win set up an exciting conclusion to the day, as the Bears entered the final event tied for the lead with Yale, while Radcliffe lurked as a close third.
After a competitive petite final that saw three boats finish within two seconds of one another, the attention of the crowd turned to the main event: the grand final of the varsity eights. Brown, Princeton, and Yale all came off the line together, matching one another stroke for stroke in the battle for the early lead. The Bulldogs slowly began inching away from the field though, as the Bears found themselves down four seats at the quarter mark, and slipped into a tie for fourth 1,000 meters into the race. Despite their best efforts, Bruno was unable to push onto the medal dock, finishing fourth after a solid sprint to edge out Dartmouth. Yale won the race, and the team standings, finishing at 6:21.9. Radcliffe was second at 6:22.8, while Princeton took third at 6:23.5. Dartmouth and Northeastern rounded out the field at 6:27.5 and 6:40.8 respectively.
Pending their selection, the Bears may return to Camden in 12 days to compete at the NCAA Championship and close out the season. Selections for the NCAA's will be announced at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.