Both Radcliffe Lights and Heavies Take Third at Nationals

The Radcliffe heavyweight crew turned in an impressive day of racing last Sunday at the NCAA Championship regatta in Sacramento, Calif., as the first varsity boat blazed to a third-place finish. It was the second-highest finish ever for the Black and White, while the team took sixth place in the overall standings. The University of California won both the first varsity race as well as the overall championship.

The Radcliffe second varsity claimed third in the petite finals—ninth overall—and the varsity four took sixth in the petite finals, good for 12th overall.

Entering the race with the third-fastest qualifying time, the first varsity found itself in the fourth position following the first 500 meters of the grand finals, with Princeton leading and Cal and Virginia close behind, separated from each other by two seats. Less than that distanced them from the Black and White. By the next 500-meter mark, the Cavaliers had fallen off pace and were passed by Radcliffe, which built a two-seat advantage.

The Black and White turned in the field’s best split in the third 500 meters, allowing it to move up on the Tigers and the Golden Bears.

In the sprint, Cal overtook Princeton, while Radcliffe fended off the charging Virginia boat. The Golden Bears won in a time of 6:20.74, the Tigers were second in 6:22.80, half a length back, but only two seats on Radcliffe, which was clocked in 6:23.86.

The Cavaliers, which managed to take second in the team standings due to victories in the second varsity and varsity four, claimed fourth in 6:24.22, while Eastern Sprints champion Yale (6:25.89) and Ohio State (6:26.96) rounded out the field.

The second varsity also found itself in fourth after the first 500, but thanks to a strong middle 1,000, the Black and White surpassed USC. Radcliffe could not manage to catch either Washington (6:38.24) or the Bulldogs (6:39.43) and had to fend off a forceful overture from the Lady Trojans (6:44.81), clocking in at (6:44.23). Princeton (6:45.61) took fifth (6:45.61), two seats ahead of Wisconsin (6:46.20).

Starting off the scoring for the Black and White, the varsity four held the fifth spot in the petite finals through the first 1,500 meters after passing the Tigers in the second 500. Princeton was able to move through Radcliffe in the final 500 and take fifth, as the Black and White timed in at 7:35.8, which was its best time of the weekend. Michigan (7:25.40) won the petite final, besting Michigan State (7:26.20) by two seats, while Yale took third (7:28.3) and the Buckeyes claimed fourth. (7:31.10).

The Radcliffe lightweights found similar results at the end of their day of national championships. Competing at the IRA Regatta this weekend, the lights qualified for the grand finals with the field’s third fastest time.

In the final, the Black and White trailed No. 1 Wisconsin and No. 2 Princeton early, but charged in the final sprint. But both crews were too strong, and Radcliffe lost to the Tigers by just over one second, who trailed the Badgers by three-fourths of a boat length.

Wisconsin finished in 6:40.47, Princeton in 6:44.0, and the Black and White in 6:45.65.

—Staff writer J. Patrick Coyne can be reached at