NORFOLK, Va. – The Connecticut College women's sailing team advanced to the championship race at the ICSA National Championships by finishing ninth among 18 schools in the eastern semifinal round of the four-day event.
Trailing by more than 40 points with just six races left for the ninth and final qualifying spot, the Camels chipped away at the deficit and climbed out of a 12th-place hole with a massive comeback. In their last set of the regatta, senior Charlotte List (Fair Haven, N.J.) and sophomore Gwynie Dunlevy (San Francisco, Calif.) scored two fifth-place finishes in the A Division to slash the gap by more than half and set the stage for senior Allie Maurillo (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and sophomore Paige Dunlevy (San Francisco, Calif.) to provide the late heroics.
With their teammates and other Camel supporters sitting on the edge of their seats onshore, Maurillo and Paige Dunlevy were able to make up the remaining five points and complete an improbable comeback for the final qualifying position in the fleet by winning their second and final race of the day. The unrelenting and resilient Camels ended up punching their ticket to the championship round by finishing four points ahead of St. Mary's.
"It was a total team effort today and we never gave up," said head coach Jeff Bresnahan. "Going into the last race, everyone came together to support Allie and Paige which ultimately put us over the top to advance. We are excited and ready to compete in the finals!"
Racing through hot and humid temperatures, List and Gwynie Dunlevy finished eighth overall in the A Division for the resurgent squad. Seniors Emilia Clementi (Venice Beach, Calif.) and Maurillo as well as sophomores Katie Rodger (Marblehead, Mass.) and Paige Dunlevy all raced in the B Division to strongly contribute to the team's success over the first two days of competition.
Connecticut College, which is competing at the prestigious event for the first time since 2013, will continue racing in the championship round of ICSA Nationals against 17 other institutions on Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25.