Equally dominant on the river Saturday was thelightweight crew. The lights blew a young Browncrew off the water by two lengths, posting a6:53.2 to the Bear's 7:11.8.
"Brown is a developing program, and we'd beatenthem before," senior Shana McCormick said. "Weused it as a way to get ready for sprints."
Eastern Sprints will be the last tune-up forthe lightweight crew before it heading to NewJersey for its unofficial national tournament.Radcliffe won the title in 1997 and placed secondlast year.
"We've been building all season, and we'relooking to take it back," McCormick said.
Saturday's races also marked the last homecompetition for the Radcliffe seniors, many ofwhom have rowed in the same boats together forfour years.
In addition to Tomford and McCormick, DianeMarks, Mame Donahue, Rebecca Marks, Sarah DeMersand Carlin Senter all made their final homeappearance.
"These seniors are the most intense, toughpeople I know," Browning said. "Their level ofintensity and determination cannot be replaced.I'll really miss racing with them."
The rowers also expressed strong emotions aboutthe recent merger of Radcliffe and Harvardcolleges. The crews were overwhelmingly in favorof keeping the Radcliffe name and colors.
"We're definitely not changing our name,"Tomford said. "All our competitors know us asRadcliffe."
"We are Radcliffe crew," Browning said. "Ican't conceive of myself as a Harvard rower."
"Radcliffe has a great tradition, and there'sno reason to change that," McCormick said."Especially for sports, it's important to honorthat tradition and the alumni. I love the blackand white."
Regardless of their institutional affiliation,the Radcliffe crews are peaking at the right time.Both teams are ready and confident for theirnational championship pursuits.
"Anything's possible for this team,' Hostettersaid. It just depends how hard we pull that day.