IRA National Championships Await Radcliffe Lightweight Crew
The Radcliffe lightweight crew closes its season with national medals on the line as it competes at the 110th Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships Friday and Saturday on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.
Cox: Maryana Vrubel, 8: Elizabeth Lenczowski, 7: Katherine Mallett, 6: Emma Lukasiewicz, 5: Elizabeth Hamilton, 4: Marissa Reichel, 3: Kelly McCarthy, 2: Adelaide Backer, 1: Elizabeth MacEachern
There is no women's crew action Thursday, the opening day of the IRA regatta. The women's lightweight varsity eight heats are Friday at 8:30 a.m., followed by the varsity four heats at 9. Radcliffe races in the first heat of each event.
The top two finishers in each heat advance to Saturday's grand finals, as do the top two in the Friday afternoon repechages. The varsity four grand final is at 8:10 a.m. Saturday, with the varsity eight grand final at 11.
Records and Rankings
The Radcliffe lightweight varsity eight is ranked fourth in the latest USRowing Collegiate Poll. The Black and White posted a 3-0 dual record, winning all three of its cup races this spring.
The Radcliffe lightweight varsity eight placed fourth at last year's IRA National Championships, while the varsity four took bronze for the Black and White's first IRA medal in five years.
The Wisconsin varsity eight held off Radcliffe for bronze by barely two seconds, while Stanford won the national championship and Princeton placed second. The Black and White finished eight seconds before fifth-place Bucknell for its third straight fourth-place finish.
The Radcliffe varsity four used a strong sprint to hold off Loyola (Md.) and take third in 7:40.838, crossing the finish line 3.5 seconds behind Wisconsin and 2.4 back of Stanford.
The Black and White has won five national championships, most recently in 1997, the last of three straight titles and the first determined at the IRA Regatta. Radcliffe won National Collegiate Rowing Championships crowns in 1991, '93, '95 and '96 in Cincinnati.
The varsity eight has medaled in eight of its 15 IRA appearances. In only one of those years (2000) did the Black and White miss the grand final. Radcliffe has placed fourth or better in four of the last five seasons, nine of the last 10 seasons and 13 of its 15 overall appearances.
The Varsity Eight
Four rowers and senior coxswain Maryana Vrubel (Millbury, Mass.) return from last year's IRA varsity eight. Marissa Reichel will row in the varsity eight for the fourth straight year, while classmate Kelly McCarthy (Los Gatos, Calif.) and junior Emma Lukasiewicz are making their third IRA varsity appearances. Katherine Mallett (Dover, Mass.) is in the seven seat for the second consecutive IRA regatta. Elizabeth Hamilton (Newton, Mass.) raced in the varsity eight in 2010 and was part of the bronze-winning varsity four last year.
Sophomore stroke Elizabeth Lenczowski (Lafayette, Calif.) and freshmen Adelaide Backer (Mill Bay, B.C.), and Elizabeth MacEachern (Concord, Mass.) also row in Radcliffe's top boat. The boat is made up of five Massachusetts natives, two Californians and two Canadians.
The Varsity Four
Stroke Devi Lockwood (Ridgefield, Conn.) is the lone Radcliffe athlete seeking a repeat medal in the varsity four. Jordan Taylor (Greenwich, Conn.) earned a spot in the boat, giving all four members of the Black and White's senior class an active role at the IRA regatta. Junior Veronique Irwin (Buffalo, N.Y.) and two sophomores, coxswain Erin Driscoll (Needham, Mass.) and Taylor Garden (Greenwich, Conn.), are new to the four.