The No. 3 Radcliffe heavyweight crew successfully defended the O’Leary Cup, defeating No. 17 Syracuse and Dartmouth Saturday morning on the Connecticut river in a time of 6:11.1. The school record for the Black and White is 6:07.0, set in 1992 when Radcliffe defeated Yale on the Potomac River. The Black and White (5-0) swept the competition, winning all five official contests.
Radcliffe overcame a mysterious injury to Marvel, who was on crutches all day, except of course during the race. Marvel had an immobilized ankle, but the injury cannot be attributed to any specific incident. The injury made it painful to walk, but Marvel mustered up enough strength to aid Radcliffe in victory.
“Although Sarah was on crutches, her ankle didn’t affect her during her race,” senior Sarah White said. “The adrenaline was able to kick in for her.”
The team was very successful with favorable weather conditions, including a strong tail-current that lead to quick times.
Just past the 1000-meter mark, the Black and White used a strong sprint to break open water between Radcliffe and the Orangewomen. The Black and White won by over four seconds, with Syracuse and Dartmouth turning in times of 6:15.8 and 6:26.3, respectively.
The team was elated with its performances. The second varsity was victorious in 6:20.4, with Dartmouth’s and Syracuse’s second varsity boats following in 6:25.8 and 6:31.8, respectively. In the varsity four ‘A’ boat, Radcliffe won in 7:09.8. Dartmouth followed in 7:18.5 and Syracuse lagged behind in 7:31.5. The Black and White overtook Dartmouth in the varsity four ‘B’ race as well, winning 7:23.1 to 7:45.6.
The Radcliffe first novice boat placed first in 6:29.7 to Syracuse’s 6:32.4 and Dartmouth’s 6:39.0. In an unofficial second novice contest, the Black and White was overtaken by Syracuse, 6:51.1 to 6:56.6. Dartmouth followed in 7:08.0.
Members of the Radcliffe team were excited with the results. A small attrition rate in last year’s freshman class and a small graduating class a year ago have left an abundance of talent on the team.
“We’re really excited about the weekend,” senior Allie Moravec said. “We weren’t worried about the other boats. We showed that we’re fast and strong.”
The Black and White will have a chance to prove its strength once again as it takes on No. 9 Yale and No. 12 Virginia next Saturday at 7 a.m. on the Charles River, vying for the Case Cup. Radcliffe will also host No. 8 Brown on Sunday, making up the race cancelled due to poor weather conditions.