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The No. 2 Radcliffe lightweight crew went up against the nation’s stiffest competition this past weekend at the Knecht Cup and did not disappoint, placing in the top three in two events, the varsity eight and varsity four grand final races.
“It was valuable to see who’s out there and what squads look like for this season,” co-captain Elizabeth Tisei said.
In the varsity eight final, Radcliffe (7:08.6) fell in a very tight race to No. 1 Princeton (7:06.2) by less than two and a half seconds, but topped four other teams ranked in the top 10 by USRowing. The Black and White beat No. 3 Wisconsin (7:08.9), No. 4 Georgetown (7:15.3), No. 10 Rhode Island (7:18.7) and No. 6 Stanford (7:22.6).
“While it was a big disappointment to come in second…the race showed us some clear areas in our racing that need improvement,” co-captain Ame Bothwell said. “We’re confident that making those improvements, particularly in our start, will bring us exactly where we want to be—first place.”
Radcliffe (8:09.7) registered a third place finish in the varsity four grand final, about a second and a half behind the Hoyas (8:08.3) and 6.5 ticks behind the Badgers (8:03.2). The Tigers (8:17.6), St. Joseph (8:20.7), and the Black and White “B” boat (8:26.7) rounded out the race.
“It was promising to be competitive with the top boats…which is something that has not been the case in the four event for a number of years,” Tisei said.
The Radcliffe novice eight came in sixth in its event, which was won by Princeton.
The Cup, hosted by Villanova and held in Camden, NJ, was run as a two-day tournament, with preliminary heats on Saturday and finals on Sunday.
“Everyone, at least on the varsity, had her best race on Saturday,” coach Cecile Tucker said. “Clearly we have some work to do, but we’re excited to do it.”
The Black and White return to the watery track of the Charles River this Sunday, taking on the rival Tigers as well as Georgetown.
The race will provide Radcliffe with another opportunity to bounce Princeton from its perennial place atop the polls.
“We’re fired up,” Tucker said.
—Staff writer J. Patrick Coyne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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