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Harvard Holds on to Muri Cup

By Oluwatoni A. Campbell, Crimson Staff Writer

The No. 4 Radcliffe lightweights (6-2), much like their heavyweight counterparts, also saw success on the Charles last Saturday. In its final dual meet of the season, the Black and White left its local rival MIT black and blue after a day of dominating performances.

With EAWRC Sprints Championships looming just two weeks away, Radcliffe could have easily looked past No. 7 MIT on Saturday and stumbled. However, faced with glorious a spring morning and near perfect conditions on the water, the Black and White was able to showcase its mastery of not only its local rival but of the Charles itself.

“I thought we performed pretty well,” said sophomore rower Elizabeth Hamilton. “We’ve been working really hard all winter and spring. The team has really come together, and we’ve been really putting in the hours. I think that the biggest takeaway from this weekend is that hard work can really take us places.”

In its three races, the Black and White recorded three blowout open-water wins against the Engineers to record a sweep for the day and to hold on to the Muri Cup for the third consecutive year.

With this commanding performance on the Charles this past weekend, the Radcliffe lightweights not only notched an important victory against its Cambridge rival, but also reasserted the Black and White’s momentum, which it had lost against the Tigers last weekend.

“Last week against Princeton, we gave our best effort but we came up short,” said junior coxswain Maryana Vrubel. “This week, in response, has given us confidence. We learned a lot this past couple of races. We learned that we have improved a lot. We also learned that we have a good amount of speed to work with, so we just need to keep giving it our all.”

In the 1V race, Radcliffe quickly established a fast-paced rhythm and pulled away early from its local rival MIT. After capturing the lead in the first 500 meters of the race, the Black and White would never look back, as its furious pace throughout the race powered the varsity crew to victory. By the race’s end, the Radcliffe 1V had extended its lead over the Engineers by more than 25 seconds to finish with a time of 7:04.12, while MIT finished with a time of 7:29.31.

In the 2V and the Varsity Four races, the Black and White won by even larger margins. In its race, the Radcliffe 2V recorded a time of 7:27.34 to beat the Engineers 2V (7:59.06) by a little less than 32 seconds. In the Varsity Four, Radcliffe won by an even larger margin, crushing MIT (9:05.02) by 44 seconds to win in 8:21.09.

“This weekend, I think we just went out there and had a really solid race,” Vrubel said. “When we were racing, it wasn’t just about beating [MIT], it was about putting out our best performance and getting the best time. So I guess the results that we posted were just a product of that.”

This past Saturday’s regatta marked the end of what has been an impressive season for the Black and White lightweights. In its eight dual meets, the Radcliffe 1V dropped only two races—to No.1 Princeton and No.2 Stanford—throughout the season. Heading into its two-week break before the Eastern Sprint Championships in Camden, N.J., the team will now look for additional ways to maximize its speed.

“Overall, as a team, we’ve worked on coming closer together so far this season, Vrubel said. “Also, we’ve worked on making all our boats faster than they were last year. I think that we accomplished that during this dual meet season. In every race, we worked on making each boat faster.”

“Looking forward, we are looking to do our best in both Sprints and in Nationals in the coming weeks,” Vrubel added. “We are going to continue to stay focused and work on making little tweaks everyday to get that extra edge in races.”

—Staff writer Oluwatoni A. Campbell can be reached at oluwatoni.campbell@college.harvard.edu.

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