Radcliffe College may face an uncertain future, but Radcliffe crew knows exactly what lies ahead.
This weekend the varsity and lightweight crews travel to Lake Waramaug, Conn., for Eastern Sprints, taking on the region's best teams in a thrilling finale to the spring season.
For both teams, Sprints are the culmination of months of hard work, as well as a crucial step in the quest for national championships.
"Easterns is even a bigger prize than nationals," varsity captain Kate Tomford said. "Our region is incredibly strong, and it's always competitive to get to the finals."
Radcliffe varsity crew is currently ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Northeast Regional Rankings. A solid result at Sprints is necessary to maintain that position and qualify the team for the national championships, scheduled for May 28-30 in Sacramento, Calif.
The lightweight crew, while not affiliated with the NCAA, is also in the running for a national title. Champions in 1997, Radcliffe took second last year and hopes to reclaim the crown at this year's Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships, to be held May 27-29 in Mt. Laurel, N.J.
"We'll be going to IRA's no matter what," lightweight captain Rebecca Marks said, "but Sprints will definitely affect our ranking."
Varsity Faces Tough Field
Sixteen teams--including squads from the Northeast and the Central regions--compete at Sprints, making it one of the most competitive events of the year. Radcliffe's main opponent in the morning heat will be No. 3 University of Virginia (UVA), a team they have not faced this season.
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