Ready all, ROW!
The ice has melted and the women in black--the Harvard women's crew team--are back on the water, setting up for the 1991 season. After losing only two seniors to graduation from last year's first varsity boat that finished second at Nationals, the women's crew team is optimistic for another great spring.
The six members of last year's varsity boat who have returned to row this year are Amy Constable, Rosie Hyson, Susie Mahan, Kristi Stoddard, Aoibheann Sweeney and Cecile Ulbrich. But the team's depth may be the key to its success this year.
"There is no given in any seat," Heavyweight Coach Liz O'Leary said. "We've got a lot of strong sophomores coming out of last year's first novice, and also some powerful members of last year's JV boat."
Throughout the chilly winter months, the women kept warm running stadiums, lifting weights, and erging, in a workout regime that culminated in a triathlon in the middle of December.
O'Leary is encouraged with how her team has attacked the winter training, and especially by the squad's recent performance in the indoor rowing championships, the CRASH-B sprints.
Just before the first race of the season, which takes place on the last Saturday in March, the Radcliffe rowers will experience spring "break". The holiday from classes consists of a week of double practice days, during which time the boats will be organized.
Light With Might
Under new Coach Sarah Dewey, the lightweight squad, while not making their usual trek to California this year, is looking forward to as good a season as last year. The varsity lightweight four placed first in Nationals last June.
O'Leary has confidence that this year's squad will be nationally competitive. But it will be a tough season right from the start as Radcliffe will go head-to-head with Brown for the second race of the season.
Brown has always boasted a powerful team, and O'Leary counts them among the toughest competition in the league, next to Princeton, who won Nationals last year, and Boston University.
"It's been a great winter," O'Leary said. "It just depends on what we can do out on the water."
The novice crew, coming out of what Coach Holly Hatton termed the "toughest winter workout" she has ever run, will also have to face reality early with Brown in the schedule.
"It will be good to race Brown early because it will give us an immediate sense of where we stand in the league," Hatton said.
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