Radcliffe Lightweights Start 2011 with Sweep of Tulsa, MIT

Radcliffe Lightweights Start 2011 with Sweep of Tulsa, MIT

The Black and White is off to a 2-0 start to 2011 (photo courtesy Jacquie Labatt).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Radcliffe lightweight crew won both races by wide margins against Tulsa and MIT in a season-opening regatta Saturday morning on the Charles River.

Radcliffe and MIT split their top boats into two varsity fours each to take on the lone four sent by Tulsa. The Black and White's A entry finished 18.7 seconds ahead of the field, and the second varsity eight later won by more than 40 seconds.

"We are very pleased," said Radcliffe assistant coach Carrie Morelock. "All of our boats raced very well, and we really got the season off to a great start."

The Black and White varsity four A took charge of the fours race right from the start and went on to win in 8:50.4. The varsity four B, meanwhile, battled neck-and-neck with the Golden Hurricane early on. Radcliffe B asserted itself through the middle 1,000 meters, building up a lead on Tulsa, but caught a boat-stopping crab as it hit the final 500. Tulsa passed and gained an open-water lead, but the Black and White battled back and finished 6.4 seconds behind the Hurricane and 10 ahead of MIT in 9:15.5.

"We met our goal of maintaining an internal focus," said Morelock, whose boats fought through unseasonably cold temperatures. "The competition and the weather didn't faze anybody on our team, and everyone rowed well."

The second varsity eight raced only MIT and led throughout. Radcliffe pulled away to win in 8:33.0. The Engineers reached the finish in 9:13.2.

First Varsity Four
Radcliffe A 8:50.4
Tulsa 9:09.1
Radcliffe B 9:15.5
MIT A 9:25.5
MIT B 9:48.8

Second Varsity Eight
Radcliffe 8:33.0
MIT 9:13.2