Championship Season Starts with Sprints for Radcliffe Lightweight Crew
The fourth-ranked varsity eight is coming off a strong finish to the dual season (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
Radcliffe’s lightweight crew, ranked fourth nationally, competes against the region’s other top crews for league titles and medals Sunday at the Eastern Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges Championships on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J. Racing begins at 8 a.m., with the lightweight varsity eight grand final coming at 3:10 p.m.
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Cox: Jana Douglas, 8: Marissa Reichel, 7: Natalie Wong, 6: Lizzy Bates, 5: Kelly McCarthy, 4: Emma Lukasiewicz, 3: Elizabeth Hamilton, 2: Erika McCormick, 1: Amanda Pfabe
Second Varsity Eight
Cox: Maryana Vrubel, 8: Grace Hollowell, 7: Charlotte Lane, 6: Lauren Brown, 5: Veronique Irwin, 4: Wynne Evans, 3: Medha Khandelwal, 2: Erin Flynn, 1: Laurel Gabard-Durnam
Cox: Kyla Adler-McDonald, 4: Emily Boyd Walker, 3: Andrea Henricks, 2: Danielle Guillette, 1: Emiko Zumbro,
Cox: Jorie Sullivan, 8: Lillian Alexander, 7: Juliana Stone, 6: Corinne Wee, 5: Anna Mapes 4: Kathryn Stephens, 3: Julia Mason, 2: Kathleen Goodwin, 1: Rina Perrault
Last Season at Sprints
Radcliffe placed fourth in the team competition and varsity eight and second in the second varsity eight at the 2009 EAWRC Sprints. The Black and White varsity finished 25 seconds ahead of MIT and behind champion Wisconsin and two teams, Princeton and Georgetown, that Radcliffe defeated during the dual season. The Tigers topped Radcliffe by about three seconds, while the Hoyas finished about 1.3 seconds ahead of the Black and White. Radcliffe later rebounded to defeat both of those crews again at the IRA National Championships.
The Black and White second varsity finished second, trailing only Wisconsin and about 3.3 seconds ahead of third-place Georgetown. The Badgers also won the Ulbrich Trophy as team champion, followed by Georgetown, Princeton, Radcliffe and MIT.
Records and Rankings
The Radcliffe lightweight varsity eight owns a 4-3 dual record and has been ranked fourth in USRowing Collegiate Poll throughout the season. The Black and White’s four wins have come against crews ranked fifh, sixth, seventh and 10th in the nation, while its three losses have come against the teams ranked ahead of it.
The second varsity also boasts a 4-3 record, but two of its losses have come to varsity eights. The varsity four and novice eight each went 1-1 during the dual season.
Dual Season Recap
The Black and White varsity and second varsity eights opened the season by finishing ahead of the visiting Buffalo varsity. A week later, Radcliffe’s top two boats posted separate wins against Georgetown, with the varsity winning by 4.3 seconds and the second varsity beating the Hoyas by nearly 11 seconds.
Radcliffe suffered its first varsity loss at the hands of Stanford but bounced back with a stronger performance at week later at Princeton. The Black and White lost a back-and-forth battle with the Tigers by 2.3 seconds but finished 14 seconds ahead of Bucknell. Meanwhile, the second varsity eight posted a 7.5-second win against Stanford and the novice eight dominated Princeton by 34.3 seconds.
Radcliffe closed the season by defeating Cambridge neighbor MIT to take the Muri Cup for the second straight year, while visiting, top???ranked Wisconsin placed ahead of the Black and White and Engineers. The second varsity eight results mirrored those from the varsity race. In the varsity fours race, Radcliffe entries placed second and third, ahead of the Engineers and behind the Badgers.
Radlciffe Lightweight Sprints Titles
The Radcliffe lightweights have won the Eastern title at Sprints 12 times. Nine of those championships came in varsity eight races: 1977, ’80, ’82, ’84, ’85, ’87, ’97, 2004. On three other occasions (1993, ’94 and ’96), the Black and White won the Sprints title by virtue of its win in the varsity four when no varsity eight race was contested. Radcliffe also won the varsity four in 1995 and ’98 and won the novice eight in 2007.
The Medal Stand
The Black and White varsity eight is seeking its first Sprints medal since rowing to silver in 2006. Wisconsin, Princeton and Georgetown have placed first through third in each of the three years since. Radcliffe’s last second varsity medal was a silver last year, and it most recently won a varsity four silver in 2008 and a novice eight gold in 2007.
More Hardware at Stake
In 2007, the EAWRC lightweight coaches established the Konrad Ulbrich Trophy, awarded annually to the lightweight team with the best overall performance at Sprints. The trophy is presented in memory of Konrad Ulbrich, a dedicated father who never missed a race during the time that his daughters rowed for Radcliffe. Wisconsin has won the Ulbrich Trophy in all three years of its existence. Radcliffe placed fourth in last year’s team standings, second in 2008 and third in 2007.
The Trophy Case
The Black and White lights’ varsity win against Georgetown gave them a 4-2 lead Class of 2004 Cup series. Their Muri Cup win against MIT was their second in the two years of the trophy series. Princeton won back the Class of 1999 Cup from Radcliffe and owns a 9-2 cup series edge.
Eyes on IRAs
The IRA National Championships will be back on the Cooper River June 3-5. Radcliffe has won five national titles: in 1991, ’93, ’95, ’96 and ’97. The varsity eight finished fourth last season and won medals every year from 2000 to ’06.
Lightweight Coaching Staff
Head coach Heather Cartwright is in her second year guiding the Black and White lightweights, having led Radcliffe to fourth???place Sprints and IRA finishes last season. Before arriving at Radcliffe, she coached the Boston University heavyweight varsity four to a silver medal at the 2006 Sprints and two years earlier guided the Princeton second varsity eight to a bronze medal. She came to Radcliffe with 15 years of coaching experience, on the high-school, club, collegiate, provincial and national???team levels.
Former Radcliffe heavyweight captain Carrie Morelock ’07 is in her second season assisting Cartwright and coaching the lightweight novices.
Seniors Grace Hollowell (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Amanda Pfabe (Las Vegas, Nev.) are the captains of the Radcliffe lightweight crew. Pfabe occupies the bow seat in the varsity eight. She debuted in the Black and White’s top boat at the 2007 IRA National Championships and has remained there since. Hollowell jumped from the novice eight to the varsity four for the 2007 IRA regatta and has spent time in the varsity and second varsities since.
The Varsity Eight
Amanda Pfabe and juniors Lizzy Bates (Tenants Harbor, Maine) and Natalie Wong (Mill Valley, Calif.) are racing in the varsity eight for the third straight Sprints, while coxswain Jana Douglas (Belle Mead, N.J.) and fellow sophomore Marissa Reichel (Weston, Mass.) are in their second season in the varsity eight. That experienced group is joined by sophomore Kelly McCarthy (Los Gatos, Calif.) and rookies Elizabeth Hamilton (Newton, Mass.), Emma Lukasiewicz (Toronto, Ont.) and Erika McCormick (Lower Gwnedd, Pa.).