Sports

Women’s crew surpasses Princeton, outrows Harvard-Radcliffe

Women’s crew team dominates season-openers, climbs national rankings to No. 5 spot

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, April 7, 2014

The women’s crew team has launched its spring campaign in auspicious fashion, handily defeating two Ivy rivals and one non-conference foe over the past two weeks. Bruno is ranked No. 5 in the NCAA, according to the most recent Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association poll.

This strong opening to the season comes amid a winning tradition for the team, which has forged a reputation as one of the nation’s premier rowing programs — winning four NCAA National Championship titles since 2004 — under the direction of long-time Head Coach John Murphy.

The Bears roared out of hibernation March 29 against then-No. 5 Princeton and unranked Michigan State University at the Class of 1987 Trophy regatta in Princeton, N.J. Familiar waters did not buoy the Tigers to victory — Bruno finished first in three of five races to secure the title. Michigan State’s rowers offered the Bears little challenge, consistently finishing behind both Ivy teams.

Bruno triumphed in the two marquee events of the meets: the Varsity Eight and Varsity Four races. In the former, Brown crossed the line three seconds ahead of second-place Princeton, while the Bears’ fearsome foursome outdistanced the Tigers by a margin of over 11 seconds in the latter. These coups redeemed Brown’s loss to Princeton in last year’s edition of the regatta.

Bruno built upon its success on Lake Carnegie Saturday with a similarly strong showing on the Seekonk River, the team’s home course. There, Brown crossed oars with the No. 13 Harvard-Radcliffe crew in the two squads’ annual dual meet. The Bears won all four races of the contest and were awarded the Varsity Eight Trophy for their efforts.

Brown’s Varsity Eight finished five seconds in front of Harvard’s, while the Bears’ Varsity Four outstripped the Crimson’s quartet by no fewer than 15 ticks. These results were better than last season’s, when Bruno won the team title, but claimed only three out of the four races.

Brown’s rowers appear poised to outperform their record from the 2013 spring season. Last year, the Bears finished third in the Ivy League and seventh in the team category at NCAA Nationals. Based on these results, the CRCA ranked the squad ninth in its 2014 preseason poll.

Since that time, the Bears’ performances have earned them greater recognition. In the most recent edition of the poll, released April 2, Brown climbed four spots up to No. 5 in the rankings. By contrast, Princeton — the preseason No. 5 — dropped to No. 7 overall.

Leading the team this spring will be co-captains Louise Breen ’14 and Camilla Polakoff ’14. Breen, who was a member of the Varsity Eight boat that finished second at NCAA Nationals in 2011, continues to row in Brown’s Varsity Eight this season. For her part, Polakoff has led the team’s B Four lineup this spring.

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