No. 4 Radcliffe Lightweight Crew Looks to Sprint to Medals Sunday
The fourth-ranked Radcliffe lightweight crew will seek a third straight varsity medal and strong team performance in the Eastern Sprints Sunday on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J. The event will be run in conjunction with the inaugural Ivy League Championship. Racing begins at 8 a.m., with the lightweight varsity eight grand final coming at 12:10 p.m.
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Records and Rankings
The Radcliffe lightweight varsity owns a 3-0 record and has been ranked fourth in USRowing Collegiate Poll throughout the season. In its dual and invitational competition, the Black and White has defeated the teams ranked fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and 11th in the latest national poll. Radcliffe was competitive in its invitational regatta against the top two boats in the nation.
The second varsity eight posted a 2-0 record in dual racing and also won its invitational race. The novice eight won both its races against fellow novices.
Cox: Maryana Vrubel, 8: Marissa Reichel, 7: Katherine Mallett, 6: Emma Lukasiewicz, 5: Elizabeth Hamilton, 4: Elizabeth Lenczowski, 3: Kelly McCarthy, 2: Adelaide Backer, 1: Elizabeth MacEachern
Dual Season Recap
The Radcliffe lightweight varsity began its spring in impressive fashion, defeating No. 5 Georgetown by 11.35 seconds to claim the Class of 2004 Cup from the Hoyas for the sixth time in eight years of competition. The second varsity started the morning with an even more lopsided victory, winning by more than 13 seconds, while the novice eight was less than four seconds back of the Hoyas second varsity.
An invitational regatta matched up four top-10 teams on the Charles River April 21. The Black and White varsity finished just two-fifths of a second behind No. 2 Wisconsin in its heat and hung with the Badgers and top-ranked Stanford for the first half of the final. Wisconsin went on to win, while Radcliffe placed third, ahead of No. 7 Buffalo. The second varsity eight came from behind to finish 4.3 seconds ahead of the field. The varsity and novice eights capped the weekend with a sweep of MIT in the Muri Cup regatta a day later.
Radcliffe closed its dual season by winning at Princeton for the first time. The Black and White topped the Tigers by 3.1 seconds to claim the Class of 1999 Cup for the first time since 2009, and the novices won by 1.2 seconds.
The Black and White overcame injury-forced, last-minute changes to all three of its lineups to medal in the top two races and place second as a team.
Radcliffe placed third in the varsity eight and second in the varsity eight. The results came despite an injury in the varsity eight that forced an athlete to move up from each of the other boats. Only Wisconsin finished ahead of Radcliffe in the team competition for the Ulbrich Trophy.
The varsity eight rowed a solid opening 1,000 meters, racing with leader Princeton and ahead of Wisconsin. The Tigers and Badgers got the better of the Black and White in the second half of the race, but Radcliffe finished in 6:41.59, more than six seconds ahead of fourth-place Bucknell and more than 10 ahead of Georgetown. Princeton won in 6:30.39.
Radcliffe 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 lightweight varsity eight is seeking its third straight Sprints medal following a three-year drought. The second varsity has earned silver the past three years.
The Team Competition
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 five years of its existence. Radcliffe tied for second in last year's team standings. The Black and White previously placed second in 2010, fourth in '09, second in '08 and third in '07.
Eyes on IRAs
The IRA National Championships will be on the Cooper River May 31‑June 2. Radcliffe has won five lightweight national titles: in 1991, '93, '95, '96 and '97. The varsity eight finished fourth each of the last three seasons and won medals every year from 2000 to '06.
The Varsity Eight
Five members of last year's bronze-winning varsity eight are set to race in Radcliffe's top lightweight boat at this year's Sprints. Coxswain Maryana Vrubel (Millbury, Mass.) will be facing the same first three faces in the stroke, seven and six seats: Marissa Reichel (Weston, Mass.), Katherine Mallett (Dover, Mass.) and Emma Lukasiewicz (Toronto, Ont.), while Kelly McCarthy (Los Gatos, Calif.) is once again in the three seat. It is the fourth year in the varsity for Reichel and the third for McCarthy and Lukasiewicz. Elizabeth Hamilton (Newton, Mass.) raced in the varsity eight in 2010.
Freshmen Elizabeth Lenczowski (Lafayette, Calif.), Adelaide Backer (Mill Bay, B.C.), and Elizabeth MacEachern (Concord, Mass.) also row in Radcliffe's top boat. The boat is made up of five Massachusetts natives, two Californians and two Canadians.