File away last week's impressive win over Princeton. The unexpected results that struck the Radcliffe heavies this weekend in Hanover, N.H., have put a damper on the ascent to ecstasy begun last Saturday with the victory over the Tigers.
A young and inexperienced Dartmouth eight edged out the women in black to take a brittle half-seat margin of victory to the line and leave Radcliffe with its first loss of the year.
After leaving Cambridge at 5 a.m., the bleary-eyed Radcliffe squads arrived at Dartmouth without the sleep and mental preparation they need for a tough race. Both the varsity and J.V. boats spent last week on strength work that they hope will pay off next weekend against Yale. No one anticipated a need to get set for Dartmouth.
Dartmouth jumped out in front at the start and quickly pulled five seats ahead of the surprised heavies. The Radcliffe squad recovered quickly and settled back into a 32-33 cadence rate before pulling even with a power 20 at the 500 meter mark.
Despite rowing on an abnormally long 2000-meter course, the 'Cliffe eight managed to stay even with the Dartmouth boat for the next 1000 meters, even pulling half-seat ahead at some points.
The boats were neck and neck at the 300 meter mark, and the heavies expected to nab the Big Green with their sprint. But the Dartmouth eight pulled a surprise, beginning its sprint early--with 300 meters to go--edging just in front of the 'Cliffe boat, which had grabbed the lead at 1500 meters.
Beginning its spring moments later, at the 200 meter mark, the Radcliffe crew seemed to regain a dead even position; but the Dartmouth squad had outmatched the women by a half-seat. The interval between the two boats was so small that the official did not even have time to click the stop watch twice.
"It was a fantastic, competitive race," varsity cox Lizellen LaFollette said yesterday. "The race was exciting for the entire 2000 meters and shows how evenly distributed the competition in women's crew has become."
"They came on a lot stronger than we had anticipated," freshman Tory Laughlin (five seat) said. "If we had expected them to row so strongly, we could have been better prepared," Laughlin added.
The Radcliffe J.V. eight lost to a very strong Dartmouth squad. Dartmouth's J.V. boat jumped out in front with a fast start; and the Radcliffe team, suffering from a short stroke, never got the power it needed to challenge.
Radcliffe Heavyweights vs. Dartmouth on the Connecticut; Hanover, N.H.
Varsity 1. Dartmouth 6:05.0 2. Radcliffe 6:05.2
Junior Varsity 1. Dartmouth 6:30 2. Radcliffe 6:39
Novice 1. Radcliffe 6:37 2. Dartmouth 6:44.8