Black and White Claims First Beanpot

Alexandra C. Bell

The Radcliffe heavyweight crew asserted its dominance this weekend on the Charles River, surpassing local foes Boston University, Boston College, MIT, and Northeastern to win the first-ever Beanpot.

For the Radcliffe heavyweights, the first time was the charm.

In the first-ever racing of the women’s heavyweight Beanpot on the Charles River Saturday, the Black and White dominated the regatta to win the coveted cup, taking Boston bragging rights with it.

Radcliffe bested local rivals Boston University, Boston College, MIT, and Northeastern to attain the trophy.

The squad also added to its hardware by maintaining the Rowlands Cup against Northeastern and winning back the Allen-DeWolfe Trophy from Boston University with the victory.

In contrast, the lightweights could not overcome No. 2 Princeton, losing to the Tigers varsity eight boat by 10 seconds.

However, the lightweight novice eight continued its unprecedented and undefeated spring season, pushing its record to 5-0 this year.


The Black and White dominated on the Charles River Saturday, taking four of six races to capture the first edition of the women’s rowing Beanpot.

Led by the outstanding performance of the varsity eight, which posted a blazing time of 6:35.7, the team beat out Northeastern, Boston University, Boston College, and MIT.

In that varsity eight heat, Radcliffe came off the line fast and proceeded to pull away from the rest of the crews on the river. The squad never looked back, notching a 9.6-second win over the second-place Huskies.

“The Beanpot is a lot of hometown pride—it was definitely an uplifting thing for the team,” junior Esther Lofgren said. “And we were overall a consistently strong team throughout all the boats.”

Coming off a victory over No. 19 Michigan State last weekend, the continued success bodes well for the Black and White as Eastern Sprints, crew’s end-of-year championships, loom in the near future.

The heavyweight’s success is driven by the continued team achievements. Consistently throughout the year, the varsity four, second varsity eight, and other Radcliffe boats have notched win after win.

Things did not change on Saturday, as the second varsity eight, varsity four, and novice eight were all victorious.

Come Eastern Sprints, this depth will be crucial. In heavyweight crew, wins depend not only on the varsity eight’s victories, but on the whole team’s victories as well.

“We’ve known this whole year that we’ve had a deep team, [and Saturday] showed it,” Lofgren said. “When we go to Eastern Sprits, going into it, we’re confident that we can put together this team effort.”


Coming off a big victory against MIT last weekend, the Black and White looked to build on its momentum as Eastern Sprints approaches.

But the varsity eight could not notch a second consecutive victory Saturday, as the boat suffered an 11-second defeat at the hands of the Tigers, posting a time of 7:03.1 to Princeton’s 7:14.0.

With the loss, the Black and White lost the Class of 1999 Cup for the third year in a row.

But for Radcliffe, the defeat does not hurt its confidence, as it is a step in the training toward the team’s final goal: success in two weeks at Eastern Sprints.

“We’ve spent the entire spring focusing on [Eastern Sprints],” captain Lesley Burkett said. “We’ve been taking it one weekend at a time until May 13.”

And with two weeks off before this championship, the team will be able to train harder this week to find the speed it needs to overcome losses such as these.

But for one squad on the river, the improvement is not as necessary. The novice eight continued its stunning season this past weekend, notching an astonishing 28-second victory in its heat.

The team improved to 5-0 while posting a time of 7:02.9, fastest on the team on the day.

“It’s really impressive for them,” Burkett said. “They have had a very strong recruiting class that has had time together. It has been a first for them to stay together.”

—Staff writer Walter E. Howell can be reached at