Crimson Crews Cruise on Charles
Radcliffe Bombs B.U.
The Radcliffe varsity heavyweight crew asserted its dominance of the Charles River Saturday when it blew river rival Boston University out of its native waters by a humiliating 12-second margin.
The Black and White improved its league record to 6-0, and retained its number-one ranking in the Eastern League, handing BU its first loss of the season.
"They were pretty cocky," stroke Alison Townley said. "They were quoted in the Globe as saying they were the only undefeated crew in the country and they were confident they could upset us, so we killed them."
Terrier Coach Stewart MacDonald agreed with the latter part of Townley's statement.
"We got killed," he said. "That's a very impressive Radcliffe crew. I thought we'd be close to them. We rowed really hard and gave it our best and came up short. They're a bigger crew and much stronger. I thought they rowed well."
Radcliffe and BU were even off the start and for the first 20 strokes before the Black and White pulled ahead by a half a length at 500 meters.
"Then they just began to do what they do so well--take one stroke at a time and move through the other crew in the middle 1000," Radcliffe Coach Liz O'Leary said.
The heavies were ahead of BU by a length at the 1000-meter mark, and then took off to increase their lead by three lengths in the last half of the race, crossing the finish line in 7:26.4.
"I'm so proud," O'Leary said. "That was thematch of the river rivals. We've been building upfor it all season. I thought it would be closer,but I should have known better."
"Through the whole race, we were just wildwomen," Townley said. "We were determined to win.I've never felt people pull so hard before. But westill have a lot of work to do. We have tofine-tune everything [before the Eastern Sprintson May 17]."
The heavies will travel to Dartmouth sometimebefore the Sprints to make up the race they missedwhen they went to the Redwood Shores Regatta inApril.
The JV had an equally handy time whipping theTerriers, winning its race by a seven-secondmargin.
Starting their race in the same fashion as thevarsity, the JV heavies came off the line evenwith BU and edged ahead of the Terriers by only acouple of seats at the 500-meter mark.
The Black and White turned on the power in thesecond 500, upping its lead to three-quarters of alength at 1000 meters.
"We took every stroke as if it were the strokethat would make us win, and we rowed throughthem," seven seat Tina Holt said.
Radcliffe continued to widen the gap in thesecond half of the race, and finished almost twoboat lengths ahead of BU.
"They look like a good, tough crew," O'Learysaid. "They are eight strong people who rowtogether, and it's really exciting to see thathappen. That's what a good crew should be."
The novice crews also faced BU Saturday, andthe first novice boat dropped a tough contest tothe Terriers, losing by a little less that fiveseconds.
The second novice boat unseated BU's top-rankedsecond boat from its number-one position in theEast, winning by a little under six seconds. TheRadcliffe third boat bested Rutgers by almost fourseconds, and its own fourth boat by five.
THE NOTEBOOK: Sue Porter stroked the JVas heavyweight Captain Debbie Porterfield movedback into the varsity shell after being out forthe majority of the season with a backinjury...The lightweights scrimmaged against theBoston Rowing Club this past Saturday inpreparation for the Sprints. The lightweight eightstayed even with an, eight that included thevarsity light four and four national team rowers