NEW PRESTON, Conn.--The Radcliffe varsity lightweight crew placed second to Boston University in the EARWC Sprints here yesterday. The Terriers posted a winning time of 5:16.5 over the 1500-meter Lake Waramaug course, while the 'Cliffe eight followed in 5:22.4.
Coach Peter Huntsman had reshuffled his lineup during the past week, and the new, improved varsity managed to cut down slightly on the 7.7 second margin posted by B.U. when the two squads raced on the Charles earlier this year.
"We had a very high-risk strategy," Huntsman said after the race. "We planned to take the cadence up whenever B.U. moved."
The lights started out quickly, rowing at 42 strokes per minute settled to a 38.5, and then let the cadence drift down gradually as planned. After 300 meters, the women in black were hanging on to a slim two-seat lead.
Each team took a power ten at the 500 meter mark, but the Terriers pulled out to a three-seat lead, building gradually on the margin. Radcliffe followed Huntsman's strategy, taking tens and driving the cadence up through the middle 500.
"It's very difficult to row the body of a race when you're down," senior coxwain Susie Peterson explained later. "The race went exactly as planned--we were just a little too far down at the 1000."
B.U. continued to move through the last 500 to wrap up the open-water victory. The women in black faced a late challenge from Williams, which came on very suddenly in the last 250 meters, but the 'Cliffe eight managed to hang on to beat the third-place Ephwomen by about four seats. The Radcliffe J.V. finished fourth in the race.
"I was fairly pleased," Huntsman said.
"B.U. was a little stronger and a lot more experienced than we were."
Sophomore seven seat Janice Nevin agreed. "We have four sophomores and two juniors in the boat--we're still very young. I thought we rowed a good race."
Not so good--at least for the lightweights--however, were the scales used for weigh-in. One rower stepped on the scale only to find to her horror that she weighed 132 (all rowers must weigh 130 or less). The problem was quickly rectified--she stepped off the scale and then on again, for a weight loss of five pounds.