The Radcliffe varsity eight and varsity four following a strong team performance on the final day of IRA competition.
CAMDEN, N.J. —The Radcliffe lightweight varsity eight and varsity four posted fourth-place finishes in their respective grand finals at the 108th Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships Saturday morning on the Charles River.
The varsity eight held fifth place throughout the first 1,000 meters and pulled a length ahead of sixth-place Georgetown shortly after the race’s midway point. The Black and White then turned its attention to fourth-place Bucknell. Radcliffe moved through the Bison and held them off by 1.2 seconds in a time of 6:43.715. The Black and White also avenged its heat loss to Georgetown by 5.6 seconds.
Stanford, meanwhile, won the national championship by upsetting top-ranked, two-time defending champion Wisconsin. The Cardinal beat the Badgers by 3.8 seconds, setting a new event record of 6:28.209 in the process. Only Wisconsin and Stanford had better team performances than Radcliffe, as the Badgers captured two silver medals and the Cardinal had one first-place and one fifth-place finish.
“We held our ranking of fourth, and I think that was quite an accomplishment after going through the repechage,” said Radcliffe head coach Heather Cartwright. “Our heat was tough yesterday morning, and having to row twice yesterday was a challenge, but they came back and put a lot of heart into the race and competed hard. It was a great learning experience. We have a young crew, and they’re hungry for next year.”
The varsity four worked its way into fourth place as its grand final wore on. Radcliffe was in sixth place early but passed and pulled away from Georgetown in the second 500 meters and gained on Stanford in the third. In the final 500, the Black and White caught the Cardinal, edging Stanford at the line by less than three-tenths of a second in 7:44.569.
“I thought the four was very strong today,” Cartwright said. “Coming into the weekend they hadn’t rowed as a four, so we didn’t really know their true speed. I was pleased with their effort and the way they battled back all the way to the end of the race.”