Radcliffe's first varsity is pictured during the Beanpot March 30 (photo Harvard Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Radcliffe lightweight crew will look for its first national title since 1997, and sixth overall, when the Black and White compete at the IRA National Championships this weekend in Lake Natamo, Calif. Radcliffe's varsity eight, which enters undefeated, EAWRC Sprints and Head of the Charles champions, will be joined in California by seven other women's lightweight crews. The IRA regatta also features a lightweight fours competiton.
The 111th IRA National Championships
Bow: Emma Framson; 2: Claire Harmange; 3:Taylor Garden; 4: Naomi Lang; 5: Katherine Mallett; 6: Emma Lukasiewicz; 7: Adelaide Backer; Stroke: Elizabeth Lenczowski; Coxswain:Erin Driscoll
Stroke: Andrea Linares; 3: Elizabeth MacEachern; 2: Elizabeth Hamilton; Bow: Gabrielle McNeill; Coxswain: Elissa Lin
Alternates: Ronit Malka, Olivia Henry
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Radcliffe has blazed through its 2012-13 schedule, highlighted by wins at the Head of the Charles, the Beanpot, the Charles River Lightweight Invite and EAWRC Sprints. If the Black and White win at the IRA regatta, it would be the first time in program history Radcliffe has gone undefeated in duals with wins at the national championship, Sprints and the Head of the Charles.
Last Time Out
The Black and White has not raced competitively since May 5, when Radcliffe raced at the EAWRC Sprints. The Black and White varsity eight won gold for the first time since 2004 and the second varsity and varsity four also won grand final races on the Cooper River. The first varsity and varsity four each won by more than nine seconds, while the second varsity pulled out a four-second win against the best boats in the east, to help Radcliffe to its first Konrad Ulbrich Points Trophy.
Related Link: Harvard-Radcliffe Lightweight Crew Cruises to Three Wins at Eastern Sprints
Last Year at IRAs
The Radcliffe lightweight varsity eight captured its first national medal since 2006 by taking bronze with its third-place finish in the grand final at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships Saturday on the Cooper River. The Black and White entered the regatta ranked fourth, the same spot in which it had finished in each of the previous three and four of the previous five IRA regattas. This time around, however, Radcliffe beat out top-ranked Wisconsin, winner of five of the last eight IRA titles, for the bronze. Stanford won the national title, while Bucknell placed second. Radcliffe placed fourth in the varsity four grand final.
Related Link: Black, White and Bronze: Radcliffe Lightweights Return to IRA Medal Dock
The Black and White has won five national championships, most recently in 1997, the last of three straight titles and the first determined at the IRA Regatta. Radcliffe won National Collegiate Rowing Championships crowns in 1991, '93, '95 and '96 in Cincinnati.
Related Link: Radcliffe Lightweight Crew National Results
The varsity eight has medaled in nine of its 16 IRA appearances. In only one of those years (2000) did the Black and White miss the grand final. Radcliffe has placed fourth or better in five of the last six seasons, 10 of the last 11 seasons and 14 of its 16 overall appearances.
Varsity Eight Experience
Radcliffe's varsity eight features a wide range of IRA experience. Emma Lukasiewicz is making her fourth appearance, while Katherine Mallett is in the first varsity for the third time. Adelaide Backer and Elizabeth Lenczowski are both rowing in the 1V at IRAs for the second time, while five others are making their varsity eigth debuts. Emma Framson, Claire Harmange and freshman Naomi Lang are going to IRAs for the first time, while Taylor Graden and Erin Driscoll are in the first varsity boat after competing in the varsity fours event last year.
Eight members of the Harvard-Radcliffe heavyweight crew and five Radcliffe lightweight crew student-athletes were named to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete list, the CRCA announced.
Related Link: Thirteen Harvard-Radcliffe Women's Rowers Named CRCA Scholar-Athletes
Corinne Wee, a senior on the Radcliffe lightweight crew, joined Beth Kohl of USRowing and Josh Farkes of Boathouse Sports to present the proceeds of the "Row for Boston" t-shirt sales to the Boston Children's Hospital Tuesday morning at Weld Boathouse. Tara Tonello of the Boston Children's Hospital Trust was on hand to accept the check worth $25,000 to go towards the Children's Hospital Marathon Fund.
Related Link: Radcliffe Lightweight Crew's Corinne Wee Presents $25,000 Check to Boston Children's Hospital