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Bucking a recent trend, the Radcliffe heavyweight crew held on to an early lead and cruised to a 12 second victory over Boston University on Saturday.
Throughout the season, the Black and White has struggled to maintain a lead after consistently fast starts.
But that was not the case last weekend.
"We have had a hard time all season in the third 500 [meters]"" senior Jamie Flatt said. "But we have been focusing on that problem lately."
That focus paid off as Radcliffe burst out of the blocks to take a halfboat lead in the first 10 strokes. The Black and White then moved out to a full length lead by the 750 meter mark.
"We started well like we always do," Flatt said. "We could tell from the beginning we were really moving and it was just a matter of holding on."
Next came the portion of the race that had given Radcliffe fits all season long. However, the Black and White was not to be denied.
Rather than relinquish its lead, Radcliffe stormed farther ahead, leaving the Terriers to wallow in The Black and White's wake.
"By 1000 meters we were in open water, and we just kept going with a three-quarters length lead," Flatt said.
"We were far enough ahead that we started our sprint late and still managed to win by a lot."
The win clearly exemplified the adage "Practice makes perfect."
"We had really good practices all week, and we have been working on finishing strong," Flatt said.
Radcliffe had much cause for celebration as the win highlights what has been a tough season thus far.
"The win really felt great to us," Flatt said. "It was really good for us, mentally, to be on top and hold on to win."
Radcliffe's victory also topped off a season-long struggle for improvement.
"We've been going up all season long," Flatt said. "We have shown exponential improvement throughout."
Another encouraging development for Radcliffe was a pair of victories by its two novice boats. Both novice crews went undefeated on the season, a promising sign for the Black and White's future.
"We have a really great novice--a ton of recruits and tall people, which is important," Flatt said.
Radcliffe's upward trend of improvement should continue well into the future.
"Next year they are going to kick ass!," Flatt said.
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