Radcliffe Heavyweights Place Eighth at NCAAs

After a tough journey to an NCAA berth, the Radcliffe heavyweight team placed eighth out of 10 teams that qualified to race on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Ga. on May 24-26.

The varsity eight boat placed 12th out of 19 competitors.

“We were faster than we went on the last day,” said senior Holly Fling. “It’s a really exhausting regatta and we’re the only team taking exams. But we handled it better this year than we did last year.”

The boat’s toils began on Thursday when it took fifth place in its morning heat, sending the Black and White to the repechage.

In the repechage Thursday afternoon, California, Ohio, and Virginia took early leads, leaving Radcliffe to battle back for the course of the race. The Black and White closed in on Virginia and pulled through the final sprint to earn third place and a spot in the semifinals.

During day two of the regatta, Radcliffe was faced with a semifinal race against the two highest-ranked teams in the nation: Michigan and Brown. But University of Southern California, then tied for fifth in Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association polls, pulled out to an early lead to steal the show and earn a spot in the Grand Final with a time of 6:43.3 ahead of Michigan’s 6:45.9.

Brown won the last spot in the Grand Final with third-place time of 6:52.2. Radcliffe was sent to the Petite Final with fourth and a time of 6:57.1, just nipping river rival B.U.’s time of 6:57.3.

“In the [semifinal], we raced a really smart race,” said senior coxswain Mary Piscitello. “We hung back a bit at the start so we had a lot in reserve for a really amazing sprint.”