Unable to rebound from a shaky start, the Radcliffe varsity heavyweight crew finished third Saturday behind Rutgers and Yale in New Haven Brightening the Black and White's weekend, the varsity lightweights and the first novice eight won their races by considerable margins.
With also perfect weather conditions on the Housatonic River and a slight last current the varsity heavies began their race clumsily, catching crabs, shaking the "net" of the boat and veering off course. But after the first 100 meters, the Black and White fought back and gained on Rugers and Yale.
"We rowed a gond race the last 700 meters," Coach Came Graves said yesterday. "It's just too bad we had such a rough start."
"They didn't beat us because they were stronger, we just messed up at the start," explained Rosemary Pugh, the stroke of the varsity eight.
Still Ranked Fifth
Despite the poor showing, the Black and White remains ranked fifth for the Eastern Sprints two weeks from now, with powerful princeton ranked first. Harvard defeated the Tigers in a disputed race earlier this season
While Graves said that her rowers will have to "calm down a little before the sprints." Pugh sees the Easterns as a "chance to prove how well we can do if we get off to a good start--in other words . . . expect some upsets."
In other races this weekend, the J.V heavies began to show signs of putting things together, finishing a strong third behind Yale and Rutgers. The J.V. is currently ranked fifth of the 18 crews for the Eastern Sprints, and chances are Radcliffe will improve during the next two weeks of intensive practice.
The varsity lightweights continued their undefeated streak at they handily defeated two Rutgers boats by approximately 15 seconds. The race was never chose, as the Black and White jumped to an early lead and finished the race over two-and-one-half boat lengths ahead of Rutgers.
In what Coach Dan Copeland called the novices "first victory over Yale in the last five years and perhaps in history," the top rookie bost routed second-place Rutgers and third-place Yale. After a bad start, the novice eight fought back in the second half of the race to outrow its opponents by approximately eight seconds.
"I didn't think they'd win by that margin," Copeland said, "but they had a determined effort in the last stretch of the race, and that's what did it." Copeland predicted that if the first novice eight has a good race at the Eastern, it could finish at least third.
The second novice Black and White boat finished nine-tenths of a second behind Yale and beat Rutgers by half-boat length in the second novice race of the day.