Harvard-Radcliffe Heavyweight Crew Aims to Retain Ivy Title

The Radcliffe 2V is ranked No. 2 in the Ivy League entering this weekend's championship regatta (photo Harvard Athletic Communications).

The Harvard-Radcliffe heavyweight crew travels to Pennsauken, N.J., and the Cooper River Park for the second annual Ivy League Women's Rowing Championship Sunday. The Ivy League champion will be determined in the first varsity eight grand final, which will also give the winning boat's team an entry to the NCAA Championships.

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Radcliffe is seeded in the top three of each of the five races at the event. The Black and White come in at No. 2 in the second varsity eight, third varsity eight, varsity four 'A' and varsity four 'B' and are No. 3 in the first varsity eight. For a complete list of seedings, view the Ivy League preview.

Year Two
The Ivy League is conducting its second women's rowing championship event after a 37-year history of determining its champion at the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges Sprints.

Last Year's Ivy Regatta
Nearly four decades after winning the first Ivy League title event for women, the Radcliffe heavyweight varsity eight started the newest Ancient Eight event—the inaugural Ivy League Championship May 13, 2012 on the Cooper River—with another victory. The Black and White varsity four A also won gold, giving Radcliffe wins in two of the three NCAA-level events. Radcliffe raced in all six of the day's grand finals and finished second to Princeton in the team competition that took into account the first, second and third varsity eight and varsity four A and B events.
Related Link: A Familiar Beginning: Radcliffe Heavyweight Crew Wins Inaugural Ivy Regatta

Dual Season Recap
Radcliffe has had an up-and-down dual season and enters the Ivy regatta with a 10-3 mark in first varsity eights racing. The highlight of the season thus far has been a sweep of No. 16 Cornell and No. 5 Princeton for the Class of 1975 Cup April 13. The Black and White proved it can compete with the best crews in the nation during the race in Ithaca, N.Y. Racliffe's top boat won by 2.2 seconds, while rowing with a building tailwind and a slight tail current. Radcliffe also swept five races at the Beanpot regatta April 28 and easily topped Syracuse and Dartmouth April 21. The 1V's three losses have come to No. 12 Brown, No. 9 Yale and No. 3 Ohio State.

Heavyweight Hardware
The top varsity finisher wins the Ivy title and accompanying Sally P. Shoemaker Trophy. Radcliffe has won eight Ivy League titles: 1974, '75, '82 (shared with Princeton), '86, '87, '89, 2003 and '12.

Radcliffe Heavyweight Sprints Titles
The Black and White won the 2003 EAWRC Sprints team title on the way to the NCAA national championship. The heavyweight varsity eight has won five Sprints titles in program history: 1974 (recognized as the first Ivy League title event for women), '75, '87, '89 and 2003. The second varsity eight won titles in 1975, '76 and '92, while the varsity four won in 1994. The novice eight won in 1989 and '97, and the second novices won in 1993, '94, '97 and 2009.

In the Rankings
Harvard-Radcliffe's first varsity is at No. 8 in the most recent CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll presented by Pocock Racing Shells. The Black and White is three spots behind No. 5 Princeton, the highest placing Ivy League crew.
Related Link: CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll presented by Pocock Racing Shells

National Aspirations
The Radcliffe heavyweights are seeking a trip back to the NCAA regatta, for what would be their 15th appearance in the 17-year history of the championship event. The NCAA will invite 16 full teams to the regatta, which will be held May 31-June 2 in Indianapolis, Ind. The Black and White capped an outstanding 2012 season at last year's NCAA Championships with a ninth-place varsity finish and 12th-place team showing.