Radcliffe Heavyweights Seek Return to Medal Stand at EAWRC Sprints
The varsity eight leads Radcliffe into the championship portion of its season (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
The Radcliffe heavyweight crew seeks another strong team performance as it competes for league titles Sunday at the Eastern Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges Championships on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J. Racing begins at 8 a.m. and continues through the heavyweight varsity eight grand final at 4:55 p.m.
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Cox: Jill Carlson, 8: Christine Baugh, 7: Shelley Pearson, 6: Laura Huppert, 5: Olivia Coffey, 4: Rachel Knaster, 3: Jennie Peterson, 2: Liz Soutter, 1: Mary Maginnis
Second Varsity Eight
Cox: Amanda Deutsch, 8: Tara Larson, 7: Meg Kehan, 6: Michaela Pewarski, 5: Celia Kohl, 4: Jess Mealia, 3: Molly Tarrant, 2: Jessica Flakne, 1: Kirsten Van Fossen
Varsity Four A
Cox: Rachel Rauh, 4: Ariel Delgado, 3: Marisa D'Orsogna, 2: Scout Moran, 1: Katie O'Hanlon,
Varsity Four B
Cox: Andrea Rickey, 4: Eleanor Conover, 3: Laura Savarese, 2: Margot Leger, 1: Lucy Chen
Third Varsity Eight
Cox: Jos Lai, 8: Mary Jackson, 7: Rebekah Meyer, 6: Alex Kuschner, 5: Sophie Bearman, 4: Mary Miller, 3: Christina McClintock, 2: Alex Bradbury, 1: Meg Johnson
Last Season at Sprints
The 2009 EAWRC Sprints saw six of Radcliffe’s eight entries, including all five heavyweight varsity boats, take home medals. The heavyweight varsity eight and varsity four B and lightweight second varsity eight led the way with silver medals. Of the Black and White’s two non-medaling entries, one placed fourth and the other won its petite final.
The Black and White varsity eight entered Sprints seeded fourth but placed second, less than a second behind champion Yale. Radcliffe finished in 6:22.861, knocking off the favored Brown crew and a Princeton squad that had defeated the Black and White in the dual season and in the Sprints morning heat.
The varsity four B avenged a heat loss to Brown to beat the Bears by seven seconds for second place in the grand final, while the second varsity eight, varsity four A and varsity four C all earned bronze medals. The novice eight won its petite final, as each Radcliffe boat finished better than it was seeded.
Records and Rankings
This season’s Radcliffe varsity eight comes into Sprints with a 4-7 record against one of the nation’s most difficult schedules and is seeded ninth in the EAWRC. The Black and White is the first team on the receiving-votes list of the latest national poll (May 4).
The second varsity (6-4) is ranked fifth in the EAWRC, while both the varsity four A (6-4) and four B (2-3) are seeded fifth. The third varsity eight (3-6) is the league’s 10th seed.
Dual Season Recap
After opening the season with a fifth-place finish behind four of the top 12 teams in th current national poll at the San Diego Crew Classic, the Radcliffe heavyweight varsity eight took on each of the top seven seeds in the EAWRC in its four dual regattas.
Radcliffe opened its head-to-head schedule with a loss at Brown, with the varsity four A claiming the lone Black and White win of the day. The Class of 1975 Cup against host Cornell and Princeton followed, and the Radcliffe varsity placed third as the Tigers came out on top. The Black and White second and third varsity eights finished second in three???boat fields.
The varsity eight defeated Syracuse by nearly six seconds but fell to Dartmouth in the O’Leary Cup regatta, Radcliffe’s first home racing of the spring. The Black and White got first-place finishes from its second varsity and varsity four A. Host Yale took five races from the Black and White the following weekend.
Radcliffe closed the dual season by claiming its fourth team-points banner in the four-year history of the Beanpot regatta. The varsity eight placed third, behind guest Columbia and Northeastern and ahead of Boston University, Boston College and MIT. Radcliffe’s second varsity and varsity four A both placed second, while the varsity four B won its race.
The Trophy Case
So far this season, Radcliffe has won the Beanpot team banner (against BC, BU, MIT, Northeastern) and Allen-DeWolfe Trophy (against BU).
The Black and White has won three of the four Beanpot varsity titles and all four team banners and holds a series lead of 22-5 in the Rowlands Cup against Northeastern. Radcliffe owns an 11-2 Allen-DeWolfe series edge and has won seven of the 11 O’Leary Cups (Dartmouth 3, Syracuse 1), honoring Black and White head coach Liz O’Leary. Yale holds a 17???14 edge in competition for the Case Cup. The standings for the Class of 1975 Cup are Princeton 22, Radcliffe 11, Cornell 1.
Radcliffe Heavyweight Sprints Titles
The Black and White won the 2003 EAWRC Sprints team title on the way to the NCAA national championship. The heavyweight varsity eight has won five Sprints titles in program history: 1974 (recognized as the first Ivy League title event for women), ’75, ’87, ’89 and 2003. The second varsity eight won titles in 1975, ’76 and ’92, while the varsity four won in 1994. The novice eight won in 1989 and ’97, and the second novices won in 1993, ’94, ’97 and 2009.
The Willing Trophy is presented to the team that has the best results in the three NCAA-level events and thus scores the most points. The Radcliffe heavyweights captured the title for the first time in 2003. The winner of the varsity eight race is presented with the Nathaniel Case Trophy.
The top Ivy League finisher will win the Ivy championship and the accompanying Sally P. Shoemaker Trophy. Radcliffe has won five Ivy League titles, the same five years it won the Sprints varsity title. Ivy teams have won the varsity eight race in all but five years since 1974.
The Radcliffe heavyweights are seeking a trip to Sacramento, Calif., for their 13th appearance in the 14-year history of the NCAA Championships. The NCAA will invite 16 full teams (with no at-large varsity eights) to the regatta, which will be held May 28-30 on Lake Natoma. EAWRC crews earned five NCAA bids last season. Radcliffe placed 14th in the team competition and 13th in the varsity eight.
Heavyweight Coaching Staff
Liz O’Leary, the 2009 New England Regional Coach of the Year, is in her 24th season leading the Radcliffe heavyweight crew. The 1976 New Hampshire graduate has directed the Black and White’s varsity eight to three Eastern Sprints titles (1987, 1989 and 2003), one second varsity crown (1992) and the 1994 varsity four title. She guided the Black and White to the 2003 NCAA championship, and her 1989 varsity crew won the Women’s Henley Regatta title. She has a 163-80 dual race record.
Assistant coach Cory Bosworth (California ’99) directs the varsity fours and is in her eighth year with the Black and White. Coaching assistant Wendy Wilbur (Massachusetts ’95) leads the third varsity eight.
Christine Baugh (Lone Jack, Mo.) and Laura Huppert (Piedmont, Calif.) are the Radcliffe heavyweight captains. Huppert was a second???team All-America pick in 2009 and is in her third season in the Radcliffe varsity eight. Baugh is the Black and White varsity stroke and is in her second year in the top boat despite arriving at Harvard with no previous rowing experience.
The athletes in Radcliffe’s heavyweight varsity eight each hail from a different state or country. Coxswain Jill Carlson (Weston, Mass.) is the only one attending college in her home state, while Olivia Coffey (Watkins Glen, N.Y.) and Mary Maginnis (Maple Glen, Pa.) are the only other natives of the United States’ East Coast.
Christine Baugh, Jennie Peterson (Sandy, Utah) and Laura Huppert give Radcliffe varsity oarswomen from each of the other three continental U.S. time zones. Michelle Pearson (Pembroke, Bermuda), Rachel Knaster (London, England) and Liz Soutter (Toronto, Ont.) hail from outside the States.
The Radcliffe heavyweight varsity eight features as many freshmen (three) as seniors. The rest of the boat is made up of two sophomores (one rower, one coxswain) and one junior. Freshmen are playing a larger role than in any of Liz O’Leary’s previous 23 seasons, with three rookies in the varsity eight and two each in the second varsity eight and varsity four.