Sporting Life

Spring sports highlights: 2014

Coed sailing wins a second straight national title.

Alex Goldberger ’08 is a writer at NBC Sports.

Chad Lyons

Chad Lyons

Coed sailors Graham Landy ’15 and Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 at the New England dinghy championship. View full image

Coed sailing

The college sailing calendar, which covers both fall and spring, spans six months and involves dozens of races. For sailors, periodic time off is key, especially since the most important events come last.

So when coach Zack Leonard ’89 noticed this season that there were four weeks between the end of the regular season and the start of the national championships—instead of the usual three—he ordered his team to rest.

They were grateful. “You can only sail so much without despising the sport,” skipper Graham Landy ’15 says.

When the team finally returned to competition on the St. Mary’s River in Maryland at the end of May, Yale’s coed sailors swept both national events by wide margins: repeating their 2013 victory at the Team Race National Championship, then claiming the Dinghy Championship for the first time since 1975. “We knew we’d be competitive, but we didn’t realize we’d be so dominant,” Leonard says.

One of the keys to the team racing success was a short trip to England Landy made with five teammates in mid-May. After taking their coach-mandated time off, the men and women slated to sail at nationals competed at the British Open Team Racing Championship. They finished 12th at the regatta near Liverpool, but the extra racing proved a major advantage at St. Mary’s. “We were treating it more as practice for the nationals, and it showed us a lot that we needed to work on,” says Landy, who was named college sailor of the year following the season.

From that point on, the sailors made one final push to the end of the long campaign. “It’s a two-season sport and we compete quite a bit, so coaches have to balance more time practicing with burnout,” Leonard says. “This year we got the balance right.”


New York City isn’t known for producing professional golfers, but Sam Bernstein ’14 is hoping to break the mold.

After winning his second straight Ivy League Player of the Year award and helping Yale to a No. 71 national ranking—the best among northeast schools—Bernstein became the first golfer to win the William Neely Mallory Award as the top male athlete in the senior class.

That success has prompted Bernstein to take a shot at golf as a full-time job. In September, he plans to move to Europe in the hopes of qualifying for a pro tour. “The goal is to play golf really consistently for three to six months straight without any side distractions, which I’ve never really been able to do,” he says. “I want to see how far I can take it.”


After struggling to adjust to the depth of Ivy League lineups as a freshman last year, Chris Lanham ’16 emerged this spring as the ace of the Yale pitching staff, compiling a 7–2 record while lowering his ERA by more than two runs, to 3.77. That production helped the Bulldogs post a winning record in the Ivy League for just the second time since 2006.

But the high point of the season came on the opening weekend, during a three-game series against No. 1 LSU. After losing the first two games by a combined score of 22–0, Yale erased a 6–0 deficit in game three and eventually won, 8–7. Thanks to two and two-thirds scoreless innings in relief, Lanham was credited with the win.

The comment period has expired.