At 7:30 a.m. (ET) on Thursday morning, nine Ivy League graduates representing three different countries and four different institutions will hit the waters of the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre looking for Olympic glory as the A Final of the women’s eights takes place. A crowd favorite race, the women’s eights field will include the USA, Canada, Australia, Romania, the Netherlands and the hosts from Great Britain.
The United States’ boat, which qualified for the A Final by finishing first in Heat 1 with a time of 6:14.68, includes Ivy League graduates Caryn Davies (Harvard ’05), Esther Lofgren (Harvard ’09), Susan Francia (Penn ’04), Caroline Lind (Princeton ’06) and Taylor Ritzel (Yale ’10). One of the top-ranked boats after heats, the Americans will be in lane three as they row for a second consecutive Olympic gold medal. Davies, Francia and Lind were all a part of that 2008 gold medal-winning boat in Beijing. Having also claimed silver with the USA women’s eights at the 2004 Athens Games, Davies will be looking for a third straight Summer Olympic medal.
The last Ivy alum to medal in three consecutive Summer Olympics you ask? It was Frederick Morgan Taylor (Dartmouth ’25). Morgan Taylor, a 400-meter hurdles specialist, captured gold in that event at the 1924 Paris Games and followed with a bronze in 1928 in Amsterdam and a silver at the 1932 Los Angeles Games. Davies would be the first Ivy female to accomplish the feat should the USA medal tomorrow morning.
The Canadian boat, which qualified for the A Final after winning heat two in 6:13.91, boasts three Ivy graduates including Andreanne Morin (Princeton ’06), Lauren Wilkinson (Princeton ’11) and Ashley Brzozowicz (Yale ’04). Another of the top-seeded boats after heats, Canada will be in lane four.
And finally, the Australian boat will include Tess Gerrand (Yale ’10), who will be in her customary seat five for the medal race. In Heat 1, the Aussies finished second in 6:20.89 to move to the repechage, where they placed third in 6:18.63 to claim a spot in the A Final. Australia will be in lane one.
For the Live streaming index to get to the rowing feed, follow this link. NBC will broadcast a tape delay of the rowing action from 2:20 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and then as part of its prime time broadcast from 8:00 p.m. – midnight.