Radcliffe Crew Takes Down Brown

The No. 13 Radcliffe heavyweight crew’s racing results on Saturday proved to be as mixed as the day’s weather. Though the Black and White 1V was unable to take down the defending national champions No. 7 Brown, the Radcliffe heavyweight crew took three of four races for the day.

“It was a good start to the dual-meet season,” junior Celia Kohl said. “I think that there is a lot of build off of, but I think in general we had a strong performance.”

“Brown did win the NCAA Championship last year, so the way that we see it, since there are three qualifying NCAA boats and we won two out of those three races, this past weekend was a Radcliffe win over Brown,” junior coxswain Jorie Sullivan said. “Although we are all looking for more speed with our 1V boat, we are still pleased with our overall results.”

In the marquee varsity eight race, the Bears emerged victorious edging out the Black and White in a highly competitive race by 3.4 seconds. With Brown’s 1V victory, Radcliffe suffered its first varsity defeat of the season, dropping to 4-1 on the year, while the Bears tallied their first of the season, improving to 1-2.

Both boats were rather evenly matched for the first half of the race. But in the final 500 meters, Brown’s pace proved too much for the Black and White to keep up with, and the Bears began to pull away, leading by a length ahead in the final meters of the race.

Brown finished the varsity eight race in 6:16.0, 3.4 seconds ahead of Radcliffe, which crossed the line in 6:19.4.

Despite the close loss to the Bears in the varsity eight race, the Black and White blanked Brown in the three other matchups. In the second varsity eight, third and fourth varsity eight, and the varsity fours, Radcliffe finished with comfortable victories.

In the second varsity eight race, The Black and White began the race in the lead and stayed ahead the entire 2000 meters. In the final stretch, Brown was able to push back, but Radcliffe was too far ahead at that point to give the Bears a chance at victory. The Black and White 2V finished the course in 6:27.5, a 5.6 second victory over Brown.

In the 3&4V race, the third varsity eight finished first in 6:51.5, nearly three seconds ahead of Black and White 4V (6:54.4) and nearly five seconds before last place Brown (6:56.4)

The Radcliffe varsity four ended the afternoon dual meet with a victory over the Brown varsity four in  7:10.4, a 6.1 second victory over the Bears who finished in 7:16.5.

“I think that it is awesome to see the amount of depth that we have on this team this year,” Kohl said. “I think that it is something that is going to be a key factor of our performance for the rest of the season. It’s one thing to have a strong top-level boat, but when you have strong performers and strong racers all the way down to the 4V, that is what’s really going to drive us forward this spring.”

After taking on Brown this past weekend, the Black and White will line up against Ivy foes Columbia, Cornell, and Princeton in the Class of 1975 Cup.

“Princeton and Brown have already raced each other two weekends ago, and Princeton beat Brown by a boat length in the 1V,” Sullivan said. “When we race them, it should be an interesting matchup. I think that going up against Princeton will be our opportunity to re-prove ourselves and showcase our speed.”

—Staff writer Oluwatoni A. Campbell can be reached at

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:


An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that in the women's heavyweight crew race on March 31, Radcliffe held a slight lead over Brown halfway through the race and that the two teams entered the final stretch very close to one another. In fact, Brown and Radcliffe were neck-and-neck midway through the 2,000-meter race, but in the third 500, Brown opened a sizable lead to win by a length. In addition, the article incorrectly stated that a gun signaled the start of the race. In fact, rowing races do not use guns as signals.