W. Heavies Outpace B.U., MIT

The Radcliffe varsity and lightweight crews dominated their competition Saturday, building important momentum for Eastern Sprints in two weeks.

With the win, the varsity crew is in excellent position to qualify as a team for nationals in Sacramento, Calif., in three weeks. While not an NCAA sport, lightweight crew has its own national tournament. Both teams have high hopes B.U.  6:31.6 RADCLIFFE (Hvy)  6:30.5 BROWN  7:11.8 RADCLIFFE (Lgt)  6:53.2 for nationals.

The first varsity eight (7-2) set a new schoolrecord of 6:30.5, edging out B.U. (2-4) at 6:31.6.

"B.U. was very persistent, I give them creditfor that," junior Anne Browning said. "This was avery emotional race for them. For us it was timeto get down to business and get it done."

Based on results versus common opponents,Radcliffe was the favored boat. However, resultsare only part of the story in this rivalry.

"We knew they'd be gunning for us," captainKate Tomford said. "It's always a close race."


"This is our Harvard-Yale," Browning said."It's their chance to prove themselves and get agood seeding."

B.U. began its final sprint at approximately750 meters, earlier than usual, and gained groundon Radcliffe in the final stretch.

"They were fast off the line and took someseats from us in the last sprint," Tomford said."But we responded and caught back up."

In the quest to qualify as a team, however, thesecond Radcliffe varsity boat was also crucial tothe day's result. The JV boats count as much asthe varsity.

B.U.'s second boat had posted an impressiveresult against the first Wisconsin boat earlierthis season, but Radcliffe dominated the day,winning by a length and a half.

"The second varsity was a huge win for us,"Tomford said. "It will definitely contribute toour ranking."

"We were expecting it to be closer," said MaymeHostetter, the No. 6 seat on the second varsity."We moved out on them at the 1000, and it feltreally good. Our goal was to put together a fastrace."

With this win, Radcliffe solidifies its No. 2ranking in the New England Regional Rankings,which should be good enough to qualify as a teamfor nationals. Last year, Radcliffe qualified as ateam for the first time in program history.

"Nothing is set in stone," Tomford said."Sprints are a big factor."

Eastern Sprints will pit the top 16 teams fromthe Northeast as well as powerhouses likeVirginia.

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