The Radcliffe varsity eight races in its opening IRA heat.
CAMDEN, N.J. — The Radcliffe lightweight varsity eight won the repechage and the four placed second in its heat to qualify for Saturday's grand finals Friday at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships on the Cooper River.
The Black and White opened the morning with a third-place finish in its heat, crossing the line in 6:44.575 and trailing second-place Georgetown by 4.7 seconds. Four hours later, Radcliffe took to the water again and rallied to a repechage win. Bucknell took the lead early, with the Black and White leading third-place MIT by a half-length after 500 meters. After another 500, Radcliffe had pulled away from the Engineers and Tulsa and was gaining on Bucknell.
Radcliffe pulled level with the Bison with 400 meters to go and went on to pass them and win by 2.9 seconds in 6:53.204. Both the Black and White and Bison will race in the national championship grand final Saturday at 11:15 a.m. Also competing will be heat winners Wisconsin and Stanford and runners-up Georgetown and Princeton.
The varsity four came from behind in its four-team heat to advance directly to the semifinal. Radcliffe was in fourth place through 700 meters but soon passed Stanford and entered the second 1,000 meters three-quarters of a length back of second-place Georgetown. By the final 500, the Black and White had passed the Hoyas and was moving on leader Bucknell. The Bison hung on by about three seconds, and Radcliffe finished 3.5 seconds ahead of Georgetown in 7:50.808.
The grand final for the varsity four will be at 8:24 a.m. and will put Radcliffe against Stanford, Bucknell, Wisconsin, Loyola (Md.) and Georgetown.