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Season Preview: Radcliffe Heavyweights Set Out for More Success in 2010

Radcliffe looks for a strong start from its first and second varsities this weekend (photo courtesy David Silverman).

San Diego Crew Classic | Crew Classic Schedule | Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing Poll

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—With a young team guided by strong senior leadership—and plenty of talent—the Radcliffe heavyweight crew begins its season Saturday at the San Diego Crew Classic, ready to again challenge for dual trophies, Eastern Sprints medals and a 13th NCAA Championships berth in 14 years.

Head coach Liz O’Leary’s Black and White varsity eight opens the season ranked 14th nationally. Last season’s senior-laden crew earned a silver medal at Sprints and posted an 11-4 dual record that included seven straight wins to close the dual season. Each of Radcliffe’s five varsity entries medaled at Sprints, while the novice eight dominated its petite final. 

While Radcliffe lost 11 seniors, including five from the varsity eight, most of the athletes responsible for that strong overall team performance are back. With a talented group of freshmen joining the mix, the Black and White has the tools to be competitive from the season’s outset despite a tough schedule.

Sophomore coxswain Jill Carlson is pacing the varsity eight for the second straight season. She is joined back in the top boat by senior captains Laura Huppert and Christine Baugh and junior standout Olivia Coffey. Each of the three oarswomen spent all of last spring in Radcliffe’s top boat, with Huppert earning All-America selection and Coffey garnering all-region honors.

Six of the nine athletes who helped the Black and White take the second-varsity bronze at last season’s Sprints are back in 2010: rowers Kate Morris, Jessica Flakne, Kirsten Van Fossen, Ariel Delgado and Carolyn Talley and coxswain Amanda Deutsch.

Radcliffe also welcomes back four of the five athletes from its varsity four, and a number of other accomplished rowers fill the team’s roster. The Black and White fielded as many as four different varsity fours, as well as a novice eight and novice four last season.

Those athletes will be joined by a strong group of newcomers to keep up fierce competition for seats and keep Radcliffe on track to complete its team goals this spring. The varsity fours are led by first-year coaching assistant Wendy Wilbur, while assistant coach Cory Bosworth directs the Radcliffe novices.

The Schedule
After opening its season in San Diego, the Radcliffe heavyweights will return to the Northeast for their usual challenging slate of dual races, starting with an April 3 visit to No. 5 Brown and concluding with the May 1 Beanpot against its Charles River neighbors. The Black and White will make its annual visit to Camden, N.J., for Eastern Sprints May 16 with hopes of wrapping up a bid to the NCAA Championships May 28-30 on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif.

This Weekend
Radcliffe begins its spring season at the 37th San Diego Crew Classic, America’s premier spring regatta. The varsity eight will be competing against other top collegiate crews for the Jessop-Whittier Cup, while the second varsity will race against a larger field for the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy. The two-day regatta will feature 92 total races across seven lanes.

The Jessop-Whittier field consists of No. 3 Virginia, No. 10 Southern California, No. 16 Washington State, Saint Joseph’s, UC Davis, UCLA, Villanova and Grand Valley State. The Black and White competed against UVa and USC last season, finishing third in a three-team, head-to-head regatta.

The varsity eight starts its season with a 9 a.m. Pacific heat Saturday against USC, Grand Valley and UCD, seeking a top-three finish to earn a spot in the grand final, to be held Sunday at 9:15 a.m. Radcliffe will race in the third Stitt Hungness heat at 10:20 Saturday, needing to finish first or second to advance to Sunday’s 9:40 grand final. Washington State, Tulsa, San Diego State and Loyola will be the Black and White’s competition in the second varsity heat.

Follow from Home
Live video of the regatta is available from the official site of the San Diego Crew Classic, and results will be updated via Twitter.

Lineups
Varsity Eight
Cox: Jill Carlson, 8: Chrlstine Baugh, 7: Olivia Coffey, 6: Laura Huppert, 5: Mary Maginnis, 4: Tara Larson, 3: Meg Kehan, 2: Jessica Flakne, 1: Kate Morris

Second Varsity Eight
Cox: Rachel Rauh, 8: Celia Kohl, 7: Michaela Pewarski, 6: Katie O'Hanlon, 5: Ariel Delgado, 4: Shelley Pearson, 3: Liz Soutter, 2: Molly Tarrant, 1: Rachel Knaster

 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—With a young team guided by strong senior leadership—and plenty of talent—the Radcliffe heavyweight crew begins its season Saturday at the San Diego Crew Classic, ready to again challenge for dual trophies, Eastern Sprints medals and a 13th NCAA Championships berth in 14 years.

Head coach Liz O’Leary’s Black and White varsity eight opens the season ranked 14th nationally. Last season’s senior-laden crew earned a silver medal at Sprints and posted an 11-4 dual record that included seven straight wins to close the dual season. Each of Radcliffe’s five varsity entries medaled at Sprints, while the novice eight dominated its petite final. 

While Radcliffe lost 11 seniors from last season, including five from the varsity eight, most of the athletes responsible for that strong overall team performance are back. With a talented group of freshmen joining the mix, the Black and White has the tools to be competitive from the season’s outset despite a tough stable.

Sophomore coxswain Jill Carlson is pacing the varsity eight for the second straight season. She is joined back in the top boat by senior captains Laura Huppert and Christine Baugh and junior standout Olivia Coffey. Each of the three oarswomen spent all of last spring in Radcliffe’s top boat, with Huppert earning All-America selection and Coffey garnering all-region honors.

Six of the nine athletes who helped the Black and White take the second-varsity bronze at last season’s Sprints are back in 2010: rowers Kate Morris, Jessica Flakne, Kirsten Van Fossen, Ariel Delgado and Carolyn Talley and coxswain Amanda Deutsch.

Radcliffe also welcomes back four of the five athletes from its varsity four, and a number of other accomplished oarswomen fill the team’s roster. The Black and White fielded as many as four different varsity fours, as well as a novice eight and novice four last season.

Those athletes will be joined by a strong group of newcomers to keep up fierce competition for seats and keep Radcliffe on track to complete its team goals this spring. The varsity fours are led by first-year coaching assistant Wendy Wilbur, while assistant coach Cory Bosworth directs the Radcliffe novices.

The Schedule
After opening its season in San Diego, the Radcliffe heavyweights will return to the Northeast for their usual challenging slate of dual races, starting with an April 3 visit to No. 5 Brown and concluding with the May 1 Beanpot against its Charles River neighbors. The Black and White will make its annual visit to Camden, N.J., for Eastern Sprints May 16 with hopes of wrapping up a bid to the NCAA Championships May 28-30 on Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif.

This Weekend
Radcliffe begins its spring season at the 37th San Diego Crew Classic, America’s premier spring regatta. The varsity eight will be competing against other top collegiate crews for the Jessop-Whittier Cup, while the second varsity will race against a larger field for the Jackie Ann Stitt Hungness Trophy. The two-day regatta will feature 92 total races across seven lanes.

The Jessop-Whittier field consists of No. 3 Virginia, No. 10 Southern California, No. 16 Washington State, Saint Joseph’s, UC Davis, UCLA, Villanova and Grand Valley State. The Black and White competed against UVa and USC last season, finishing third in a three-team, head-to-head regatta.

The varsity eight starts its season with a 9 a.m. Pacific heat Saturday against USC, Grand Valley and UCD, seeking a top-three finish to earn a spot in the grand final, to be held Sunday at 9:15 a.m. Radcliffe will race in the third Stitt Hungness heat at 10:20 Saturday, needing to finish first or second to advance to Sunday’s 9:40 grand final. Washington State, Tulsa, San Diego State and Loyola will be the Black and White’s competition in the second varsity heat.

Follow from Home
Live video of the regatta is available from the official site of the San Diego Crew Classic, and results will be updated via Twitter.

Lineups
Varsity Eight
Cox: Jill Carlson, 8: Chrlstine Baugh, 7: Olivia Coffey, 6: Laura Huppert, 5: Mary Maginnis, 4: Tara Larson, 3: Meg Kehan, 2: Jessica Flakne, 1: Kate Morris

Second Varsity Eight
Cox: Rachel Rauh, 8: Celia Kohl, 7: Michaela Pewarski, 6: Katie O'Hanlon, 5: Ariel Delgado, 4: Shelley Pearson, 3: Liz Soutter, 2: Molly Tarrant, 1: Rachel Knaster

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Radcliffe lightweight crew will look to continue the momentum from last season’s fourth-place finish at the IRA National Championships when it kicks off the 2010 spring season Saturday morning against Buffalo.

Radcliffe made great strides in 2009 under first-year head coach Heather Cartwright. The Black and White registered a 5-1 dual record and capped the year with an impressive IRA showing. The team will look to pick up where it left off as it seeks even more success in 2010.

Eight of nine competitors from Radcliffe’s IRA entry are back this season, led by senior captains Amanda Pfabe and Grace Hollowell. Four of those athletes—Pfabe and juniors Lizzy Bates, Wynne Evans and Natalie Wong—have rowed in the varsity eight in each of their years at Harvard. Three—Hollowell, Pfabe and Laurel Gabard-Durnam—are seniors. Also returning from the 2009 varsity are coxswain Jana Douglas and fellow sophomore Marissa Reichel.

Last season’s second varsity eight also lost just one senior to graduation, and Cartwright welcomes a large, talented group of freshmen as well.  Among those back from the second varsity eight, which placed second at Eastern Sprints, are seniors Lauren Brown and Medha Khandelwal.

These athletes will be sprinkled throughout the top two Radcliffe boats as the season begins and will battle other strong returnees and rookies for seats throughout the spring. Cartwright notes that the increased competition has actually aided team chemistry, and the Black and White is united as it seeks to land on the Sprints and IRA medal stands at season’s end.

The size of the freshman class also aids the Radcliffe novice program, coached by Carrie Morelock, setting up the Black and White for a bright future.

The Schedule
The Black and White is racing at home in four of its five dual regattas, traveling only to defend the Class of 2009 Cup against rival Princeton April 24. Radcliffe will host races against three of the other four IRA grand finalists: champion Wisconsin, Stanford and Georgetown.

This Weekend
Radcliffe and Buffalo will compete in one 2,000-meter race Saturday at 8:30 a.m. on the Charles River. The Black and White will enter two varsity eights, while the Bulls will enter one. The racing course on the Charles begins in the Charles River basin, about 100 meters upstream from the Longfellow Bridge, and ends just downstream of the Hyatt Regency hotel.

Lineups
Varsity Eight
Cox: Jana Douglas, 8: Erika McCormick, 7: Natalie Wong, 6: Lizzy Bates, 5: Kelly McCarthy, 4: Marissa Reichel, 3: Amanda Pfabe, 2: Grace Hollowell, 1: Liz Hamilton

Second Varsity Eight
Cox: Maryana Vrubel, 8: Emma Lucasiewicz, 7: Charlotte Lane, 6: Lauren Brown, 5: Veronique Irwin, 4: Wynne Evans, 3: Medha Khandelwal, 2: Emily Boyd Walker, 1: Laurel Garbard-Durnam