Sailor Thomas Barrows, an All-American who sailed in the 2008 Olympics and captained Yale to the Fowle Trophy as the best team in college sailing, is the recipient of Yale’s William Neely Mallory Award for 2010. The award, the most prestigious honor given to a senior male student-athlete at Yale, was announced at Class Day ceremonies on May 23 as part of the university’s commencement weekend. A native of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Barrows is the first sailor to win the award.
Barrows, a two-time team captain, has been one the Bulldogs’ best sailors since his arrival at Yale in 2006. He is expected to earn his fourth All-American honor later this spring. In addition to helping the team to four Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Co-Ed Dinghy National Championship appearances and three ICSA Team Race National Championship appearances, he also was the National Singlehanded Champion in the fall of 2007. Beyond his Yale sailing accomplishments, he also competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing for the U.S. Virgin Islands. This past fall, he combined with five other Yale sailors (three alums and two undergraduates) to win the U.S. Team Racing Championship.
Barrows made an instant contribution to Yale’s success as a freshman. In the spring, he led the team to a second-place finish at the ICSA Team Race National Championship and a third-place finish at the ICSA Coed Dinghy National Championship, where he won B Division. He was named an ICSA All-American skipper, also earning All-New England honors.
After his freshman year he continued competing on the international stage. Representing the U.S.V.I., he placed eighth at the Pan Am Games in the Laser class in Rio de Janeiro in July of 2007.
His success continued in his sophomore season. He became the first male athlete in Yale history to win the ICSA Singlehanded Championship, held in Lasers in the fall season. The Bulldogs were ranked in the top 15 all of the fall season, achieving a top ranking of second nationally. Upon his election as the team captain in January 2008, Barrows was able to make contributions both on and off the water. He won A Division at the Owen and Mosbacher-Knapp Trophies, leading the team to an Ivy Championship. Perhaps his biggest win of the season was at the ICSA Coed Dinghy National Championship Semifinals, where he won B Division and helped the Bulldogs qualify for the ICSA Coed Dinghy National Championship. The Bulldogs placed eighth at the championship, with Barrows fifth in B Division. In addition to earning All-New England honors, he was also named an ICSA All-American skipper for the second time.
One of Barrows’ greatest accomplishments came on the world stage following his sophomore year. After being an avid competitor in the Laser class on the college, national and international stage for years, a huge dream came true for him in the summer of 2008 when he was selected as the U.S. Virgin Islands representative in the Laser class for the 2008 Olympic Games. He competed strongly against the world’s best sailors, finishing 21st in a fleet of 43 competitors. He is the only Yale sailor ever to compete in the Laser class at the Olympic Games.
After the Olympics, he returned to Yale and continued his success with a fifth-place finish at the ICSA Singlehanded National Championship in the fall of 2008. Entering the spring of his junior year, he was again elected captain by his teammates. He joined Matthew Barry ’07 as the only male Bulldogs to have the distinction of being elected for two consecutive terms since sailing became a varsity sport in 2002. He led Yale to an Ivy Championship with a win in A Division at the Mosbacher Trophy competition. The Bulldogs finished fourth at the ICSA Team Race National Championships and second at the ICSA Coed Dinghy National Championships, their best finish in 28 years. Barrows, who won A Division at the Coed Dinghy National Championships, was one of three finalists for the Everett B. Morris Trophy as the College Sailor of the Year and also received his third All-American selection. He was also first team All-New England. Additionally, Yale’s coed and women’s teams earned the Fowle Trophy as the best team in the nation based on performance during the season and at the ICSA’s six national championships.
Even with all of those accomplishments, Barrows and the Bulldogs are still not done. So far this season he has already added a third-place finish at the ICSA Singlehanded National Championship, and the Bulldogs won the Ivy Championship for the third year in a row by claiming the Mosbacher Trophy. Barrows was named New England Sailor of the Year and also won the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s Senior Trophy, which is voted on by seniors and “recognizes that senior who best exemplifies sailing achievement and sportsmanship.” Next week Barrows and the Bulldogs head to Wisconsin for the Coed Dinghy National Championship and the Team Race National Championship.
All-American selections will be announced after the National Championship, and Barrows should earn his fourth. He is also a contender for the Morris Trophy. After the conclusion of the Yale season, he will continue sailing as he trains for a shot at the 2012 Olympics.
A sociology major at Davenport College, Barrows came to Yale as one of the most highly touted recruits in college sailing. As a junior sailor, he was the 2005 U.S. Sailing Youth Singlehanded Champion in the Laser class. As well, he led the Antilles School to championship titles at the 2006 ICSA Fleet and Team Race Championships. The 2006 graduate was a multi-sport athlete at Antilles, leading the soccer team in scoring while also playing basketball and volleyball.
The Mallory Award is named in honor of William Neely Mallory ‘24, a College Football Hall of Famer, who died in World War II. It was presented in conjunction with the Nellie Pratt Elliot Award for the top senior female student-athlete at Yale. That award went to swimmer Susan Kim. (yalebulldogs.com