No. 4 Radcliffe Lights' First Cup Race is Top-Five Showdown Saturday

The Radcliffe lightweight crew competes for its first trophy of 2010 as it looks to defend the Class of 2004 Cup against Georgetown Saturday morning on the Charles River.

Racing Schedule
7:24 a.m. – Second Varsity Eight
8 a.m. – Varsity Eight

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

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

In the National Rankings
This season’s first USRowing Collegiate Poll was released Wednesday, with Radcliffe standing fourth and Georgetown fifth. Wisconsin, the defending national champion, is the nation’s top-ranked women’s lightweight crew. Princeton and Stanford are tied for second.

Last Time Out
Radcliffe got its spring dual season off to a winning start, with the varsity eight and second varsity defeating Buffalo last weekend. The Black and White varsity eight built a boat-length lead on the other two crews by 500 meters in and finished in 7:03.93, about nine seconds ahead of the second varsity. The Bulls crossed the line another four seconds back.

The teams battled a tailwind throughout, with the toughest conditions coming in the third 500 meters. Both Radcliffe boats led Buffalo for the entire race, with the second varsity’s lead reaching a full length with 500 meters remaining.

History Lesson
Then-No. 5 Radcliffe overcame extreme racing conditions and fourth-ranked Georgetown to reclaim the Class of 2004 Cup on the Potomac River last season. The Black and White took both races, varsity and second varsity, from the Hoyas. The 6.4-second varsity win returned the Class of 2004 Cup to Cambridge for the first time since 2006.

Radcliffe has now won the cup in three of the five years it has been contested. The Class of 2004 Cup was donated by both schools’ 2004 seniors. The Black and White defeated Georgetown to take the cup in 2005 and 2006 before the Hoyas won it in consecutive years.

Georgetown turned the tables at last season’s EAWRC Sprints, edging Radclffe for the bronze medal, but the Black and White finished fourth, one spot ahead of the Hoyas, at the IRA National Championships.

On the Horizon
The Black and White takes a weekend off from competition before welcoming No. 2 Stanford to the Charles River April 17.