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Radcliffe Heavyweight Crews Row into Petite Finals and C Finals at NCAA Championships

The second varsity (pictured) and the varsity eight are into the Petite Finals on Sunday, while the four is in the C Finals. (Harvard Athletic Communications)

INDIANAPOLIS – After a strong showing across the board on Day 1 of the 2014 NCAA Rowing Championships at Eagle Creek Park, the Harvard-Radcliffe women's heavyweight crew had another sound day on the water on Saturday. The varsity eight and second varsity rowed themselves to the B final set for tomorrow, while the varsity four improved to earn a C final spot.

The 1V, which took second in its repechage on Friday afternoon, was stacked against some tested opponents in its A/B semifinals in the morning. The Black and White was a part of one of the more thrilling races in the regatta to this point, as the first four boats to finish in the heat were separated by less than half a second. Ivy League counterparts Princeton and Brown each battled and led for much of the race, while Radcliffe stayed strongly in the thick of things. But as the first 1000 meters came and went, the top four boats of Princeton, Brown, Stanford and Michigan took to open water. With a last-second push, stopped the clock first (6:30.061), followed by Brown (6:30.108), Michigan (6:30.312) and Princeton (6:30.544). Radcliffe took sixth in the semis in 6:43.648, just behind Notre Dame (6:42.132).

In the 2V's semifinals, the Black and White was matched with more racing powers in Princeton and Brown, along with Ohio State, UCLA and Washington. Radcliffe stayed every bit in the pack through the first 500 meters, but a slow second 500 dropped the 2V back a ways. Their pace picked up by more than three seconds into the 1500 meter mark, but OSU and Princeton had pulled away by then. The Buckeyes (6:34.986) and Tigers (6:38.577) finished one-two, followed by Brown in third (6:40.322), UCLA (6:42.390), Washington (6:47.484) and Washington State (6:48.324). Radcliffe brought up the rear in the grueling race, stopping the clock in seventh at 6:51.039.

The Radcliffe four, in the first C/D semifinal of the morning, enjoyed a quick race to place itself into the C final on Sunday. Washington State's boat roared out of the gates, leading wire to wire, but the Black and White was right there the whole time. Radcliffe dug deep to fend off the likes of Oklahoma (7:59.385), Northeastern (8:17.089) and Jacksonville (9:06.393) to take second place in the five-boat race. The V4 finished with a stellar time of  7:58.251 to cap off Radcliffe's day on the water.

All three boats are back in action on the final day of the NCAA Championships, first with the V4 in the C Final at 9 a.m., followed by the 2V in the Petite Final at 10:20 a.m. and the 1V in the Petite Final at 10:40 a.m.