The No. 8 Radcliffe heavyweight crew was the bright spot on an otherwise uneventful weekend for the Harvard and Radcliffe crews.
With the heavyweight men narrowly losing all of their races against Princeton and the lightweight men off for the weekend, the Radcliffe heavyweights grabbed exciting victories Saturday against Dartmouth and Syracuse in Hanover on the Connecticut River.
In the first varsity race, Radcliffe battled a slight head wind and a speedy Syracuse squad to win with a time of 6:38.3. Syracuse followed in 6:41.1 and Dartmouth trailed with a time of 6:47.8.
"We were leading the whole way," senior Kate Tomford said. "We ended up finishing a length up on Syracuse and two lengths up on Dartmouth."
According to Tomford, Dartmouth was the expected challenger.
"We were surprised Syracuse kept up with us," said Tomford, the sixth seat. "We were definitely fast off the start, but there wasn't any particular point in the race where we really moved. We just moved throughout."
The second varsity boat had a tougher time, defeating Syracuse by just .7 seconds with a time of 6:47.1. Dartmouth was far behind at 7:04.0.
In that race, Radcliffe led for the length of the race but was challenged by Syracuse toward the end before pulling out the win in the sprint, Tomford said.
The first varsity fours rowed to easy victory with the help of a tail current for a 7.8-second victory over Syracuse and an 18.2-second triumph over Dartmouth with a time of 7:39.8.
The second varsity fours had a tougher time against just Dartmouth. The black-and-white lost 8:13.0 to 8:36.5.
In the first varsity novice race, Radcliffe's time of 7:07.1 beat Dartmouth's 7:11.3 and Syracuse's 7:29.6.
The second novice boat didn't have as much success. Radcliffe finished 9.2 seconds behind Dartmouth with a time of 7:30.7 in a two-boat race.
The Radcliffe heavyweights row at Yale next Saturday in a meet with the Bulldogs and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Facing strong, gusty crosswinds on Lake Monticello, near Charlottesville, Va., the No. 5 Radcliffe lightweight crew narrowly lost to No. 3 Virginia Saturday.
In the first varsity race, the Virginia rowed the course in 6:46.4, edging out Radcliffe's 6:47.0 finish.
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