CAMDEN, N.J.—The Radcliffe lightweight crew advanced both of its boats to their respective grand finals on the opening day of women's competition at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships Friday on the Cooper River.
Rowing into a fierce headwind, both boats placed second in their morning heats. The runner-up finish advanced the varsity eight directly to the grand final. Only the winner of each varsity four heat moved straight to the final, but the Black and White placed second in the repechage to move on.
"It was just about qualifying," said head coach Michiel Bartman. "The eight was able to get back in the second 1,000 to get in a position to qualify. The four conserved energy once it was clear they would have to race in the rep."
The Black and White varsity eight posted a heat time of 7:39.797 to finish comfortably ahead of third-place Georgetown, defeating the Hoyas by 6.7 seconds. Wisconsin won the heat in 7:33.951. Radcliffe's time was nearly three seconds faster than anyone in the second heat, which was won by Stanford in 7:42.575, with Bucknell also advancing. Georgetown and Princeton later advanced to the grand final from the repechage.
The four battled the strong headwind down the course and finished in 9:24.838, behind Stanford and more than 15 seconds ahead of rival Princeton.
The Radcliffe four needed only a top-four finish in the five-boat repechage but left nothing to chance, placing second in 9:31.689, topping third-place Georgetown by 9.5 seconds. Buffalo led throughout the race, but the Black and White did not need long to separate itself from the final three boats and maintained that second-place standing.