Radcliffe Crews Soar
They were miles apart from each other, but the Radcliffe crew teams both coasted to impressive victories this weekend.
The Radcliffe lightweight crew team easily defeated Columbia and MIT Saturday by more than eight seconds on the Charles River to commence its Ivy League season.
The Black-and-White (2-0 Ivy) was second off the starting line behind MIT, but quickly took control of the race and gained over a length of water on both boats by the 500-meter mark.
"The high point of the race was moving on Columbia in the first 500 meters," coxswain Katia Rorer said. "We were taking almost a seat a stroke on them."
In the second 500 meters, the lights gained open water on the other crews. The Engineers then tried to move on Radcliffe, but the lights held their position and won the race by a comfortable length-and-a-half margin with a time of 6:54:17.
The Lions (7:02.26) and the Engineers (7:02.10) had a tight race for second, and MIT squeaked ahead by only two-tenths of a second.
The lightweight four did not fare as well as the eight, losing to Columbia (8:20.26) by eight seconds with a time of 8:28.40.
The four was first off the start and held even with Columbia through the first 250 meters, but the Lions gained a length on Radcliffe at the 500-meter mark.
The Radcliffe heavyweight crew demolished Princeton and Cornell by respective 10- and 19-second margins Saturday in the Tigers' home waters of Lake Carnegie.
Although the results suggest differently, the Black-and-White (4-0 overall) was anxious about its performance in the regatta.
"My boat was very nervous about this race," coxswain and Captain Leigh Weiss said. "We expected a very intense race and to be side by side with Cornell all the way down the course."
Within the first 20 strokes of the contest, Radcliffe was a length up on Cornell and three-fourths of a length up on Princeton.
"We handled the conditions [there were headwinds and choppy water] better than the other crews, and we just kept moving," Weiss said.
The Black-and-White rowed with a consistent 32-stroke rating, and by the 500-meter mark was a length up on the Tigers as the Big Red faded back even further into the blue.
Radcliffe continued to move out on both crews until the end, and crossed the finish line with a time of 7:46, way ahead of Princeton's 7:56 and Cornell's 8:05.
"It was a key race for us, and we're very pleased," Weiss said. "Our coach [Liz O'Leary] saw it as a crucial, crucial race, and to win by such big margins was great."