Bulldogs Bite Oarswomen at the Finish
Ever hear the old adage "every dog has its day"? Well, this could not have been more true than it was yesterday when the Yale Bulldogs defeated all the Radcliffe varsity heavyweight and novice crews.
The varsity eight dropped an especially close contest to Yale on the Elis' home waters of the Housatonic. The Black and White (8-2 overall, 6-1 Ivy) came up short by a three-seat length and a 1.4-second margin to fall out of first place in the Ivy League.
The University of Pennsylvania (6:50.7) also competed in the threeteam regatta. Radcliffe eclipsed Penn by 17 seconds.
Radcliffe had a good start, and in the first 500 meters took a seat's lead on the Bulldogs. In the next 500, the shells were relatively even, exchanging the lead every few strokes.
Yale made its move on Radcliffe, picking up five seats midway through the race. The heavies then moved on the Bulldogs (6:31.8) in the sprint and gained two seats on them, taking their stroke up to a 37-38 rating. But Radcliffe fell short at the finish line, crossing with a 6:33.6 time.
"The varsity had a very aggressive race and a great first 1000," Radcliffe head coach Liz O'Leary said, "but they let Yale slip away in the middle and get four or five seats. They came back in the sprint, but it wasn't enough to catch them. The race intensity was there, but some technical flaws in the middle hurt them."
"We've learned a lot over the last 10 days at Redwood Shores and in training, and as a result, we're faster now than before," stroke Juliet Thompson said. "Being one and a half seconds behind Yale is encouraging. The finals at Sprints are going to be a dogfight."
The lightweight varsity four fared much better than the heavies did yesterday, however, destroying the Quaker four (8:02.5) by a whopping 30.5-second margin with a 7:32 time.
"We had one of our best races ever," three-seat Sarah Allums said. "We really focused in the boat and were concentrating on our Sprints plan and not the race so much."