Heavyweight W. Crew Wraps Up Bid at Eastern Sprints

The road from Cambridge to Camden, N.J. goes through Connecticut, so it only seemed appropriate that the Radcliffe heavyweight women's crew team clinched a trip to Camden while in the Constitution State.

The Black-and-White entered this past weekend ranked No. 3 in the nation and hoping to secure a trip to the NCAA Championships, to be held in Camden's Cooper River in two weeks. An impressive showing at the Sprints Championships of the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges would have assured the team a trip to the Garden State.

Radcliffe got the job done. The momentum from last week's record-setting performance at the DeWolfe Cup on the Charles carried into Easterns, and the varsity eight-boat came in a respectable second to top-ranked Brown. Radcliffe finished with a time of 6:44.90 on the Lake Waramaug course, while Brown finished in 6:38.50.


The Bears also defeated Radcliffe by five seconds April 9 at Providence.

Although Brown still reigns as the premier program in the region, the Radcliffe finish was very impressive. The Black-and-White narrowly beat second-ranked Princeton

(6:47.50) to avenge a loss in the regular season. No. 5 Virginia finished fourth with a 6:49.60 time, and No. 6 Boston University came in fifth at 6:50.00.

Fourth-ranked Yale was a distant sixth in the championship heat at


The Black-and-White's NCAA destiny should be confirmed sometime this week.

Radcliffe rowers appeared in the Grand Finals of each of the six events in which they were entered last weekend. The Radcliffe second varsity boat, ranked 4th in its division, turned in a fifth-place finish, almost a full twenty seconds behind victorious Brown at 6:54.00. Princeton, Virginia and Wisconsin placed second through fourth.

Radcliffe's novices finished second, 4.7 seconds behind Brown's entry.

The open varsity four-boat entered competition ranked fifth in the nation, but ended up twelve seconds better than fourth-seeded Princeton.

In lightweight racing, the Crimson took a backseat to Princeton. The varsity eight finished third and the four-entry took fourth in races that were both won by the Tigers.

But the Black-and-White varsity heavyweights defeated Princeton in the featured match, and assured itself a berth in the NCAA Championships. Radcliffe hopes to cap off its best season in recent memory by improving on last year's NCAA finish. In 1999, Radcliffe's varsity finished sixth at Nationals, and the team placed seventh overall.

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