GOLD RIVER, Calif.—The Radcliffe heavyweight varsity eight finished fourth in their respective NCAA Championships repechages to narrowly miss out on semifinal berths Friday afternoon on Lake Natoma.
The varsity eight missed a spot in the semifinals by 1.36 seconds, and the four missed out by 0.71 seconds despite an incredible sprint to the finish. The Black and White second varsity eight finished sixth in its repechage. All three boats will race in third-level finals Sunday.
"I'm proud of this team today," said head coach Liz O'Leary. "That was a mighty effort from all three boats, and they should have no regrets about what they put out there today."
The top three finishers in each morning heat and afternoon repechage advanced to Saturday's semifinals. The Radcliffe varsity came out strong in its bid for one of the final three spots, leading through 500 meters of its repechage despite racing in the least-favored seventh lane. The field was tightly packed, however, with about two seconds separating five boats through the first half of the race.
The Black and White stood in third place, about a half-second ahead of Washington, with 500 meters to go, but the Huskies turned it on in the final quarter of the race, moving into second behind Wisconsin. Michigan, meanwhile, outlasted Radcliffe for the final semifinal spot, finishing in 6:56.07 to Radcliffe's 6:57.43.
"The first varsity rowed a really aggressive, brave race," O'Leary said. "The second varsity made some big changes in their race plan and had a much more effective row in another hard-fought race. I thought the four raced an unbelievable second 1,000."
The four was sixth after 500 meters and moved to fifth after the second 500 and fourth after the third. The Black and White took off from there, posting a final-500 split of 1:58.02, more than three seconds faster than the other six boats. Yale, however, edged Radcliffe to the line in 8:00.64. The Black and White finished in 8:01.35. First-place Brown and Michigan advanced along with the Bulldogs.
The second varsity eight finished in 7:12.36, ahead of Clemson and 2.36 seconds back of Dartmouth. Michigan won a tight race with fellow semifinal qualifiers California and Washington State. The Black and White and Big Green battled all the way down the course in neighboring lanes. Radcliffe led Dartmouth after 500 meters, but the Big Green inched ahead in the second 500 and held off the Black and White the rest of the way.
Radcliffe's varsity eight and second varsity eight placed sixth in their respective morning heats. The varsity four placed fifth.
Michigan State 6:26.87
Southern California 6:28.86
Washington State 6:33.68
Ohio State 6:36.42
Ohio State 6:58.76
Second Varsity Eight
Ohio State 6:39.27
Southern California 6:40.62
Michigan State 6:45.70
Washington State 6:47.39
California 6:37.04 (relegated)
Washington State 6:59.70
Ohio State 7:26.96
Michigan State 7:44.48
Washington State 7:30.00
Southern California 7:26.68
Michigan State 8:08.74