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All five Radcliffe heavyweight and lightweight crews rowed back to "the other boathouse" Saturday, hot and happy after five victories in their season's maiden voyages.
In the varsity heavyweight race--if you could call it that--Radcliffe set itself as The Crew To Beat for the fourth straight year. The 'Cliffe stole a length from the UMass varsity in the first ten strokes, another in the next ten, and so on down the next 1500-meter course.
The winning margin was 15 lengths, as UMass found the finish line nearly a minute after the 'Cliffe.
"We would've rather had a race that pushed us," Radcliffe captain and six-person Katie Moss explained Sunday. "Then we would have had a sense of how we were going. But the boat felt smooth and together, and I know we'll get faster."
The heavyweight J.V. managed a somewhat closer win over two lower-rank B.U. boats and the UMass J.V. Radcliffe and one B.U. eight jockeyed for the lead throughout the race, with Radcliffe pulling ahead by seven seats for the win.
The heavies' third four, composed of freshman, was also victorious Saturday, vanquishing horrible water conditions as well as a fighting four from B.U..
"I was particularly pleased with the way our J.V. and third four performed," Radcliffe coach Peter Raymond said Sunday. "As for the varsity, it was hard to tell what was going on in their boat." (The coaches' launch must follow the last place boat.)
Radcliffe's lightweights were challenged by two strong crews from Andover. The varsity, stroked by veteran Roxanne Malenbaum, pulled ahead of Andover at the start and increased its lead through the body of the race, winning by open water.
Radcliffe's light J.V.'s, temporarily inconvenienced by a broken seat, recovered after a second start to shellack Andover's second eight.
"The varsity felt really strong," said varsity lightweight captain Dottie Kent. "And, of course, the J.V. was looking great."
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