Sporting Life

Watershed moment

Alex Goldberger ’08 is an Olympics research assistant at NBC and part-time play-by-play announcer for Yale sports.

GTS Photos

GTS Photos

Marla Menninger ’10 and Jane Macky ’09 sail to a national title. View full image

In the fifth race out of 14 in the women's national sailing championship, skipper Jane Macky ’09 made a boat-handling error, and the vessel carrying her and crew Marla Menninger ’10 filled with water. The boat didn't go down. But, for a moment, their hearts sank.

Macky and Menninger came in 18th -- dead last. But they rallied quickly, winning the following race and four of the final seven. On May 27, on the choppy waters of San Francisco Bay, they secured the second ICSA Women's National Championship in Yale history.

"It was a big mistake on my part," says Macky, who was named Quantum Women's Sailor of the Year following the regatta. "In college sailing you're rewarded for being consistent and making the fewest mistakes. I knew we were good enough to win anyway, so if that was our one mistake, then other teams would have enough mistakes of their own that we'd be okay."

Seven days later, Yale sailing nearly captured a second national title, this one in the coed dinghy championship. But although St. Mary's College edged Yale by a 179-199 margin, the second-place finish was Yale's best in a coed championship since 1981.

Similar heartbreak befell women's crew, which had a narrow loss to Stanford (first) and Cal (second) for the overall national title in late May. Although Yale won the championship for second varsity, its varsity eight -- the reigning national champions, twice over -- placed fourth.

"Of course, that race feels like a letdown," says captain Christina Person ’09. "But our team finish was the best we've had since I've been at Yale." Person, winner of the Nellie Pratt Elliot Award as Yale's top female athlete, is preparing to join the Marines in September (but admits the loss has her entertaining a post-college rowing career).

Yale's track and field athletes had some standout performances of their own. Kate Grace ’11, a precocious distance runner who qualified for the NCAA Nationals as a freshman, won the 800-meter races at both the Heptagonal Championships and the ECAC Championships. She also placed third at that distance at the NCAA East Regional -- good for another trip to the nationals, where she finished in 17th place.

In the field events, Jeffrey Lachman ’09 was Yale's top performer, earning a fifth-place finish in the discus throw at the East Regional and qualifying for nationals for the second consecutive year. (He came in 19th.) But Lachman's finest moment of the season came against Harvard, when he threw for a new school record -- 191'3", ten feet better than the previous mark, set in 1970 by Tom Neville ’71 -- and helped propel the Bulldogs to a rout over the Crimson.

On the baseball diamond, Brandon Josselyn ’09 helped ease a disappointing 13-22 year when he was named Ivy League Pitcher of the Year. The right-hander went 3-1 with a 3.41 earned-run average in league play. He was rewarded once more when the Seattle Mariners selected him in the 25th round of the June draft. Says coach John Stuper, "Other than Craig Breslow" -- ’02, now a reliever for the Oakland Athletics -- "Brandon, all things considered, is the best pitching prospect I have coached at Yale." 

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