Amidst moving boxes and final exams, the Radcliffe heavyweight crew will be getting ready for a big dance.
With a strong fourth-place showing at the highly competitive Eastern Sprints last weekend, Radcliffe has qualified as a crew for the upcoming 10-team national championships. The team will travel to Sacramento, Calif., from May 28-30.
This is the second year in a row Radcliffe has qualified its entire varsity crew, with last year's squad coming in seventh. Radcliffe hopes to improve on that finish this year.
"All year our goal has been to make the national finals and to be competitive there," coxswain Diane Marks said.
Radcliffe finished the year No. 2 in the Northeast Region, and is ranked No. 6 in the nation by USRowing. Last weekend's victory over Boston University was crucial for maintaining the team's ranking.
"We rowed a really good race at Sprints," Marks said. "It was an unbelievably fast field, and B.U. is always tough for us."
Three separate Radcliffe boats contributed to the team's success this year. The first varsity boat finished 8-2 in dual meets, and set a new school record in the season's last race against B.U. The second varsity boat, equally important for team qualification, also compiled an 8-2 record. Finally, the varsity four contributed a strong 7-2 mark to propel the Radcliffe team to nationals.
"Nationals and a No. 6 seeding is really exciting," Marks said. "It's where we've seen ourselves all year and we're all really looking forward to it."
At the national tournament Radcliffe will face regional powerhouses Brown, Princeton, and University of Virginia, as well as teams from Michigan, University of Washington and University of California-Berkeley.
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