W. Lightweights Upset Princeton
Radcliffe heavyweights fall to Tigers on the Charles
The Black and White found success on the Cooper all weekend, as Radcliffe finished third, behind the No. 1 Badgers and then the No. 2 Tigers in the Villanova Invitational.
The Black and White were even with Princeton 400 meters in the race, but Princeton took a lead that would last, despite moves from Radcliffe in the final 1000 and in the sprint.
The Tigers finished about a length ahead of the Black and White, while Wisconsin took first.
“We didn’t seem to respond in the part of the race that we needed to,” said sophomore stroke Laura Spence.
Radcliffe found more success in Saturday’s Kencht Cup, where the Black and White found itself holding its own against the nation’s lightweight powerhouses.
In the first heat, Radcliffe found itself racing with the Badgers, and finished second to qualify for the final.
“We were really excited because we actually hung with Wisco for a while,” Spence said. “The final was even more exciting.”
In the final, the Black and White boat fell behind Princeton initially as the Tigers walked through Radcliffe in the second 500 of the race. As the Black and White began to make up distance, what could have been a race-ending disaster struck.
“At 1750, I caught a crab,” Spence said. “But act it turned out really well because we were really motivated. We started the sprint early and managed to walk through Princeton during the sprint.”
Radcliffe’s four finished fourth behind Princeton, Wisconsin and then behind the Badgers’ novice four by four-tenths of a second.
Though the Black and White is currently ranked only fifth in USRowing/CRCA polls, Radcliffe showed that it belongs in the trio of perennial lightweight powerhouses with Wisconsin and the Tigers.
“We were third in national championship last year, but we hadn’t really been seen this year,” Spence said.
Next Saturday, the Black and White race UMass on the Charles, starting at 10:24 a.m.
After a tough loss in horrid weather at No.2 Brown last weekend, No. 9 Radcliffe suffered a loss to No. 6 Princeton while picking up a nail-biter over Cornell. Saturday’s regatta was just one of two regattas that the Black and White hosts on the Charles River this year.
The first varsity competitors faced windy conditions that picked up about 15 minutes before the start, circumstances that didn’t help the Radcliffe boat struggling to find its rhythm.
After a solid start of 25 high strokes, the Black and White ran into trouble and lost its advantage when it failed to settle down into a cohesive rhythm.
“Our start is a series of 25 high strokes and then we settle into our base cadence which is where we try to find our rhythm,” said senior stroke Margaret Winterkorn-Meikle. “We had a good 25 strokes and then we didn’t settle into our cadence together and that’s where Princeton took off.”
Both Cornell and Princeton were leading Radcliffe until the last 30 strokes, when the Black and White pulled up three seats on the Big Red, and finished ahead of Cornell by one seat while the Tigers won the Class of ’75 Cup for the 13th straight season.
After facing two of its toughest foes this season and shifting around its line-up, Radcliffe has a good perspective of where it stands on the road to Eastern Sprints.
“[Brown and Princeton] will both improve between now and Eastern Sprints, but I think we actually have more room for improvement,” Winterkorn-Meikle said. “Everyone in our boat is in a new seat this week.”
Before the first varsity’s defeat, the second varsity bounced back from its loss to the Bears, beating Cornell by 4.2 seconds and defeated Princeton by 8.5.
“I’m thrilled for the 2V,” Winterkorn-Meikle said. “We’ve got some really strong girls on our team. I wish that I could be here for a couple more years so that I could row with them, too, because our program is only getting stronger.”
The Radcliffe second boat fell behind both the Big Red and the Tigers off of the start, but started pullinh up on Princeton in the second 500 meters.
“[Princeton’s start] was expected because they’re usually really fast off the line, but we were a little surprised by Cornell,” said sophomore stroke Leigh Pascavage.
But the Black and White fought back, walking through Princeton in the second 500 with the Big Red about three quarters of a length ahead.
Cornell remained in the lead until the final 40 strokes, when Radcliffe raced to the win in the final sprint.
“It was a really fantastic sprint and that made the race for us,” Pascavage said. “The best thing about it was that we held it together throughout the entire piece and moved through the whole 2000.”
While the first boat had rhythm on the brain after the loss to Brown, the second boat had a focus on intensity while preparing for Saturday’s regatta.
“I think that one of the most important changes was a different kind of intensity through the drive,” Pascavage said. “Getting the stroke rating up is really important in the sprint, but it’s more important to do that with powerful leg drive±—and swing. It was a little rushed and frantic. Being able to counteract that with a really powerful leg drive helped us to move the boat while still being a little messy on the slide.”
In the varsity four event, Cornell took first with a seven-second margin, while Radcliffe fell to fifth behind both boats from Princeton and the Big Red.
The Black and White novice eight took first by just 1.3 seconds over Princeton, while Cornell lagged by over 40 seconds. Radcliffe’s second novice boat settled for third, as Princeton took first and Cornell bested the Black and White by just 1.5 seconds.
Next Saturday, Radcliffe will try to make its regatta at Syracuse with Dartmouth and the No. 8 Orangewomen worth Friday’s long bus ride as the crews compete for the O’Leary Cup.
“I’m really excited,” Pascavage said. “We saw Syracuse on the river this weekend and they looked really strong. But I really feel like the way the boat is running now. We can only get faster as the season progresses. Every week we’ll just make little changes in the stroke that can only make the boat go faster.”
Radcliffe Heavyweight Crew
at Charles River
1st Varsity: Princeton 7:36.6; Radcliffe 7:45.6; Cornell 7:46.6
2nd Varsity: Radcliffe 7:33.7; Cornell 7:37.5; Princeton 7:42.2
Varsity 4: Cornell ‘A’ 9:14.0; Princeton ‘A’ 9:21.0; Princeton ‘B’ 9:31.4; Cornell ‘B’ 9:52.1; Radcliffe 10:11.2
1st Novice: Radcliffe 7:32.2; Princeton 7:33.5; Cornell 8:13.4
2nd Novice: Princeton 7:53.2; Cornell 8:02.0; Radcliffe 8:03.5
Radcliffe Lightweight Crew
at Cooper River
1st Varsity: Wisconsin 6:52.1; Radcliffe 6:59.8; Princeton 7:00.7; Delaware 7:10.1; Georgetown 7:20.3; Rhode Island 7:35.5
1st Varsity Four: Princeton 7:53.4; Wisconsin 8:00.4; Wisconsin Novice 8:26.8; Radcliffe 8:39.8; NY Maritime 8:37.1; NYU