The No. 13 Radcliffe heavyweights (11-4) wrapped up the dual meet season last Saturday, as the heavyweights competed against other Boston schools—Boston College, MIT, Boston University and Northeastern—in the fifth annual Beanpot Regatta.
With near-perfect weather and ideal rowing conditions on the Charles, all four Black and White heavyweight crews fared well against the local competition, ending the regular season with added momentum before entering the postseason.
“We’ve definitely been building speed, confidence, and momentum throughout the course of the season,” said senior co-captain Rachel Rauh. “But everyone is still so excited about finding even more speed and those last few seconds that we need to really be competitive with Princeton at Sprints. But we feel really confident that we’ve been pushing in that direction.”
With a first-place finish in the Varsity Eight, Radcliffe laid claim to its fourth Beanpot title in its five years. And the additional victories of the Black and White 2V and Varsity Four A, in addition to the second-place finish of the 3V, Radcliffe showcased its the depth of its team and mastery of the Charles.
For the rowers, the Beanpot Regatta provided further evidence that the Black and White’s efforts so far this season has made them well-positioned to produce winning results at the EAWRC Sprints later in May.
“I think that we are really proud of our performance,” said junior 1V rower Liz Soutter. “Obviously, it’s always a good feeling to win a race. Our next race is at the Eastern Sprints, so this weekend was a great rehearsal for that.”
The Black and White and the Huskies both started out strong against the field in the Varsity Eight race, with Radcliffe holding a slight lead for the first 500 meters. From that point on, it was a two-boat race, as Northeastern surged ahead to stay in contention for a first-place finish. But during the final 1000 meters, Radcliffe began to widen its lead as it opened a boat-length gap against the Huskies.
In the end, Radcliffe’s vigorous pace proved too much for its local rivals, as the Black and White crossed the finish line first with a time of 6:43.9, while the Huskies completed the course 8.1 seconds behind with a time of 6:52.0. In the battle for third place, the Terriers was able to hold off the Engineers, as Boston University finished 2.7 ahead of MIT with a time of 6:59.7, while the Engineers finished in 7:02.4. The Eagles were fifth, finishing 17.2 seconds behind fourth-place MIT with a time of 7:19.6.
With its first-place finish, the Radcliffe Heavyweight crew not only captured the Beanpot title, but also added two additional trophies to its cabinets. For its victory over BU, the Black and White held on the Allen-DeWolfe Trophy, and for its defeat of Northeastern, Radcliffe reclaimed the Rowlands Trophy back from the Huskies.
During the Second Varsity Eight race, the Black and White established its rhythm early on and never looked back, as it rowed away to an open-water victory. In this dominant performance, Radcliffe recorded a time of 7:07.0, finishing more than 12 seconds ahead of second-place Northeastern (7:19.8). BU placed third with a time of 7:26.3, with MIT in fourth in 7:38.0 and BC fifth (7:43.5).
In the third race of the day, the Black and White Varsity Four A recorded an open-water victory as it pulled away from the field to win by 9.3 seconds (7:43.5). Radcliffe was followed by the Huskies (7:52.8), Terriers (7:58.5) and Eagles (8:15.4).
The final race of the day for the Black and White Heavyweights was the 3V race. In this race, both of the Radcliffe 3V and 4V crews started together on the line against crews from Northeastern, BU, and BC.
The Huskies crew got off the line very quickly and led throughout the first half of the race. But by the second 1000 meters, the Black and White 3V fought back and closed down Northeastern’s lead. At the conclusion of the race, the Huskies were able to hold on, crossing the finish line in 7:15.0, while the Radcliffe 3V finished 1.9 seconds behind with a time of 7:16.9. BU finished third with a time of 7:29.2, while BC came in fourth (7:39.6). The Radcliffe 4V finished fifth with a time of 8:04.1.
After two weeks of strong performances and victories—against Yale to win the Case Cup and in the Beanpot Regatta—Radcliffe just might have found the momentum builder it needs as it looks ahead to the EAWRC Sprints, set to take place in two weeks’ time.
“I think that the 1V boat has been pretty confident throughout this season, but I think that the other boats having wins this weekend was definitely a confidence booster,” Soutter said. “The great thing about Sprints is that the results of each boat is equally as important. It’s really important that every boat is making a difference towards the team’s result. So I think that a lot of people are feeling pretty confident heading towards Sprints.”
—Staff writer Oluwatoni A. Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.