After mixed results at the Class of 1975 Cup at Princeton, N.J., on April 7, the No. 12 Radcliffe heavyweights returned to their winning ways against Ancient Eight rival Dartmouth and Syracuse this Saturday.
For the day, the Black and White (7-3) completed a sweep against the weekend challengers with wins in all five of its race on the Charles River.
In addition to four victories over the Big Green and the Orange, the Crimson third varsity eight, split into two groups of fours—varsity fours C and D—topped Northeastern.
In its marquee matchup, the 1V race, Radcliffe (5-1) held off the Big Green to recapture the O’Leary Cup after a two-year drought and return it into the hands of the trophy’s namesake—Radcliffe coach Liz O’Leary.
“This weekend, we feel like we really got to show the Ivy league what we are made out of,” senior Liz Soutter said. “We’ve definitely had a couple of bad races in the past couple of weeks. We’ve had a couple of challenging races with challenging conditions, but today we all executed really well across the board.”
In the 1V race, the heavyweights’ first of the day, all three crews launched off well from the starting line, with the Black and White 1V holding a small one-seat lead.
As the race approached the 500-meter mark and the crews settled down to their base rate strokes, Radcliffe had extended its advantage to a half length while the Big Green and the Orange (5-7) remained locked in a fierce battle for second.
In the final 500 meters of the race, Dartmouth had firmly established a lead over Syracuse and looked to threaten the Black and White for the lead.
But as the race wound down to the final 250 meters of the race and all crews began their sprint to the finish line, Radcliffe was able to counter the Big Green’s strong final sprint to finish first with a time of 6:56.8.
Dartmouth came in 1.6 seconds behind the Black and White with a time of 6:58.2, while the Orange finished in 7.01.1.
“I think the race, at least for the 1V, was an ideal race for us,” Soutter said. “Every part of the race went according to plan.”
“With every race, even one like this one, you will still have a bad stroke here and there,” Soutter continued. “But the most important thing about bad strokes is how you recover from them, and I think that we were able to blend well with one another and respond to every call that our coxswain made.”
Radcliffe’s 1.6-second margin of victory over the Big Green and Syracuse was ultimately its smallest of the day.
In its four later races, Black and White crews dominated right off the starting line and cruised to the finish line with resounding victories. In the second varsity race, the Radcliffe 2V started the race with a lead and never looked back, finishing the course with a time of 7.12.3, nearly 16 seconds ahead of second place finishers Dartmouth.
The varsity four A also bested its competition with a 13.4-second win, finishing in 7.57.9, while the varsity four B came in 7.1 seconds ahead of its Dartmouth counterparts in 8.15.5.