The Radcliffe heavyweight rowers thundered to their third consecutive triumph Saturday, plying past Boston University by ten seconds and Dartmouth by more than 23 seconds.
The Black and White oarswomen face a crucial duel with Yale next weekend and the Eastern Sprints championship May 10. If they prevail they will rest atop the national rankings.
Saturday's race, however, did not prove completely satisfying for the Radcliffe boat. Senior stroke Jenny Stone characterized the tri-race as "very rough," adding, "It didn't feel very good."
Although last season the Dartmouth crew edged the Black and White by a fraction of a second, the Big Green posed no more than a paltry threat to Radcliffe on Saturday, trailing from the start and drifting home in a weak 5:55.8.
By contrast, B.U. challenged the aggressive but erratic oarswomen, staying close for the duration before submitting by just under two lengths, posting a 5:42 flat to the Black and White's 5:32.0.
Senior co-captains Kelly Ronan and Karen Spencer again occupied the two slots at the bow of the boat, Ronan sitting in the bow and Spencer filling in the second position.
The Black and White took a power 20 at the halfway mark of the 1500-meter course, and a power ten after 900 meters. Stone said the surges "did make a noticeable difference--more so than they should."
The power tens and 20s should have a strong psychological effect, but should not disrupt the boat's rhythm, Syttone said, adding. "It's good that we got it out of our system before Yale."
Yale will present a formidable challenge despite having lost eight oarswomen to graduation. Peggy Stevens, Radcliffe's number four seat, said yesterday.
Even though the crew didn't row particularly well, Stevens expressed confidence about next week's showdown in Connecticut: "I think we'll get them."
Ronan sees an epic struggle ahead. "Yale is always a good race, and their boat has been improving lately. We weren't together as much as we wanted."
Conditions smiled on the race Saturday, and the Black and White's last sprint on the Charles this season carried all the traits of a crew panorama. Spectators lined the shores, crammed the MIT boathouse, and craned necks as the shells shot past. It was a nice day for a race, and a nice way for Radcliffe to race.
But The Race still looms.
Oarswomen Ply Past Cornell, PrincetonThe Radcliffe heavyweights plied their way to a convincing victory Saturday, leaving Princeton and Cornell in their wake at Ithaca,
Radcliffe Crews Annihilate Host BulldogsRadcliffe and Yale crew. The two top-ranked women's teams in the East. A race to earn regular-season bragging rights and
Radcliffe Lightweight Four Outlasts TigersWhat exactly is a lightweight? The members of the Radcliffe varsity women's lightweight four may have been confused Saturday when
No. 13 W. Heavies Topple No. 3 PrincetonThe last time the Radcliffe heavyweight crew beat Princeton in a head-to-head race, the Berlin Wall was still standing. The
Radcliffe on Short End of Another Close RaceAnother terrific race against one of the nation’s top teams, another heart-breaking loss for the No. 5 Radcliffe heavyweight crew.
Radcliffe Lights Top No. 1 TigersIt was worth the wait for the No. 2 Radcliffe lightweight crew. After failing to match No. 1 Princeton in