NEW HAVEN, Conn.- The Dartmouth men's crew team dropped three races to Ivy League and EARC foe, Yale, on Saturday (April 7) afternoon in the battle for the Olympic Axe.

"We were up against outstanding opponents today, and they showed why they're a top-ranked crew," said head coach Topher Bordeau. "Our guys rowed aggressively and raced hard, and there's a lot we can take away from this weekend to improve. We'll need to, as we face more quality crews next weekend and beyond."

Dartmouth, who opened its first weekend of the 2012 season last week, gave the Bulldogs close races with the varsity eight being the marque race. The Bulldogs, who won the race with a time of 5:30.7, finished just six seconds ahead of the Big Green who crossed the finish line with a time of 5:36.9. The winner of the varsity eight races determines who wins the Olympic Axe.

The varsity crew jumped off the line with aggression,but Yale gained seats quickly in the race's opening strokes. Yale took more than a length heading into the turn, and moved through the turn as well, but the Dartmouth crew was able to keep the margin from extending in the second thousand, but was unable to close the gap that Yale earned in the race's opening half.

In the second varsity eight race, Yale also came out on top, besting the Big Green's second boat by 10 seconds. Yale took top honors with a time of 5:38.5 with Dartmouth finishing with a time of 5:48.7.

The second varsity eight got off the line very aggressively and competed fiercely with Yale until the turn on the Yale course. Dartmouth had the outside of the turn and couldn't hold Yale off as they moved going into the turn and through the turn, and then further afterwards.

In the freshman eight race, Yale took first with a time of 5:45.2 with the Big Green crossing the line with a time of 5:54.3.

In the freshmen race, Dartmouth and Yale were battling level for nearly 1200 meters. Yale got off to an early lead, which Dartmouth countered and then eliminated with a push that gained them a two seat advantage in the second 500 of the course. Yale fought back, drew level, and was perhaps three seats ahead when a member of the Dartmouth crew caught a crab, which took several strokes to recovery. When the crew finally got back up to speed, Yale was well over a length ahead.

The Olympic Axe has been awarded to the winner of the Dartmouth-Yale race since 2004.

The Big Green will return to the Connecticut River for the first of its two home race this season. Dartmouth welcomes Boston University and Rutgers to Hanover, N.H., on April 14. The teams will be battling for the Bill Cup.

First Varsity Eight
1. Yale - 5:30.7
2. Dartmouth - 5:36.9

Second Varsity Eight
1. Yale - 5:38.5
2. Dartmouth - 5:48.7

Freshman Eight
1. Yale - 5:45.2
2. Dartmouth - 5:54.3

Dartmouth Lineups
First Varsity 8 +:
Cox: Reilly Bertasi, Stroke: Matthew Gallira, 7-Quinn Harper, 6-Jesse Reisner, 5-Hunter Dray, 4-Joseph Polwrek, 3-EJ Miller, 2-Nate Kania, 1-Brendan Stoner

Second Varsity 8+: Cox: Kristine Abo, Stroke: John Strizich, 7-Jack Heise, 6-Tyler Maloney, 5-Graeme Calloway, 4-Ryan Ganong, 3-Tim Brown, 2-Michael Odokara-Okigbo, 1-David Mulrey

Freshman 8+: Cox: Alexander Steele, Stroke: Andrew Kenealy, 7-Robert Truesdale, 6- Stuart Maeder, 5- Richard Newsome-White, 4-Henry Franco, 3-Bryan Rogers, 2- Maximilian Kinne, 1- Paul Champeau