The Radcliffe second varsity eight (far lane) slows down after crossing the finish ahead of Ohio State (middle) and Dartmouth.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The No. 16 Radcliffe heavyweight varsity eight picked up its biggest race win of the season so far, defeating No. 10 Ohio State, Dartmouth and Northeastern Sunday morning in Flight A of the Charles River Challenge on the Charles River Basin.
The Black and White (6-4) finished 2.4 seconds ahead of the field in a top-flight matchup that was set up by the results from Saturday's racing. Radcliffe's second varsity posted its second runner-up finish of the weekend, defeating both Dartmouth and Northeastern by double-digit margins.
"I thought they raced a really smart race, handled the conditions well and had a very impressive row," head coach Liz O'Leary said of her varsity. "We had a great win today and hope to carry the momentum forward. We're only in the middle of the season, and we have a big race against Yale next weekend, so we want to charge ahead."
On a windy weekend that created challenging racing conditions, the best racing weather came when the winds calmed briefly in the middle of the morning, just in time for the second varsity and varsity races. It was the OSU and Dartmouth varsities getting off the line fastest. In the middle 1,000 meters, the Black and White chipped away at the Big Green and then at the Buckeyes.
Radcliffe past both boats ahead of it and led by about a boat length heading into the final 500 meters, but Dartmouth (5-3) and Ohio State (7-5) gained ground as they tried to outduel each other for second place. The Buckeyes that won that battle by seven-tenths of a second, but the Black and White won the race in 7:09.1. Northeastern (6-6) placed fourth in 7:23.7. The victory avenged Dartmouth's defeat of Radcliffe in Saturday's tough conditions.
The Radcliffe second varsity eight also made up ground as the race went on. The Black and White rowed a patient first kilometer, moving through Dartmouth and keeping Ohio State from pulling away. Radcliffe then moved on the Buckeyes, but OSU responded, a pattern that continued through the second half of the race. A final sprint left Radcliffe 4.9 seconds back in 7:38.6. The Black and White defeated Dartmouth for a second straight day, this time by 10.6 seconds, and was 22.1 seconds ahead of Northeastern.
The rowing was tougher when Saturday's tailwind was still around during the varsity four race to open Sunday and when a strong headwind had arrived for the final race of the competition, the third varsity eight. Radcliffe placed fourth in the four with a time of 9:20.1. The Dartmouth and OSU third varsities could not race due to broken rudders, and Radcliffe finished second to Northeastern in 8:46.1.
Ohio State 7:11.5
Second Varsity Eight
Ohio State 7:33.7
Ohio State 8:44.5
*Northeastern caught an over-the-head, boat-stopping crab
Third Varsity Eight