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Radcliffe Heavies' Future Bright

By Eric F. Brown

It's tough for an average sports fan to see the whole Radcliffe crew story. The eight that got most ink-- the No. 1 heavyweight boat-- did not have the greatest of seasons, finishing 1-5 in dual meets and not making the cut of for the finals at the Eastern Sprints.

But for the other Black and White crews, a lack of press did not mean that they couldn't win some races. The lightweights went undefeated in dual meets (4-0) and finished fourth at the Eastern Sprints. The second varsity, first novice and second novice heavy boats, on the other hand, all were in the top four at Sprints, with the second novices winning.

The season began with the San Diego Classic, and all competing crews did about the same. The No. 1 and No. 2 heavies finished fourth and third, respectively, while the lights crossed the line in second place, six second in back of Villanova.

But after that, the crews' paths began to diverge. The novices swept Northeastern and MIT on April 1, beginning a combined 12-0 dual met winning streak for the two boats. The lights, meanwhile, started their own four-meet unbeaten streak with a destruction of B.C. and Amherst--beating the latter by a minute.

For the No. 1 heavyweights, the run was of a different sort. Brown topped Radcliffe sort. Brown topped Radcliffe by almost 20 seconds on April 8, and the crew would them lose to Princeton and Cornell, Dartmouth and Yale before beating B.U. The No. 2 heavies won all these races except for the Cornell-Princeton, in which the Black and White came in third.

After the heavy's B.U. meet came a dual meet against Northeastern, which was a bitter disappointment for the No. 1 eight. The Huskies, who Radcliffe had topped back on April 1, edged the Black and White by three-tenths of a second. The second varsity boat got revenge, winning in three seconds, but that was not the way Radcliffe wanted to go into Sprints.

There, the No. 1 'Cliffe heavies found themselves facing Northeastern again, this time in the opening heat. The Black and White wanted revenge, but that would not happen, as the Huskies won by an even greater margin. Radcliffe finished third in that heat (also behind Princeton), sending it to the consolation final, in which the crew came in second behind Wisconsin for eighth place overall.

All the other boats, however, made the finals. The No. 2 varsity crossed the line in fourth, losing to two crews (Yale and Brown) that it beat before. Both novice boats finished in the top two spots, with the second team winning it all, and the lights came in the fourth.

"All I could think about the throughout my exams was, 'At least we won Sprints,'" freshman Colleen Curry of the second varsity said.

On June 3, there was a bit of reshuffling as the top tow novice boats joined forces to become a new No. 2 varsity boat and finished third. For the heavies, four rowers have switched to become a new lightweight crew, set to race on June 10.

Confused? Probably. But no mater what, the Black and White's future--the second varsity and novice boats--all had more than adequate years, so the future is in good hands.

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