A Grand Start to IRA Regatta for Radcliffe Lightweights

The fourth-ranked Radcliffe eight finished far ahead of No. 5 Georgetown.
The fourth-ranked Radcliffe eight finished far ahead of No. 5 Georgetown.

CAMDEN, N.J.—The Radcliffe lightweight varsity eight and varsity four clinched spots in the grand finals with second-place showings in their respective heats on the first day of women's competition at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships Friday morning on the Cooper River.

The varsity eight cruised into the grand final by more than nine seconds over Georgetown, while the four topped Princeton by 2.2 seconds. The four's grand final is scheduled for 8:09 a.m. Saturday, while the eight final is at 11 a.m.

"We were very excited for this race," senior five-seat Lizzy Bate said. "We really found our speed, and we're excited about what we're going to be able to do tomorrow."

Radcliffe's varsity eight got off to a strong start, taking a slim lead on Princeton in the opening strokes. The Tigers and Black and White quickly moved away from the Hoyas, leaving them behind in the second 500 meters. Radcliffe stayed with Princeton for the first half of the race, before the Tigers went on to a 5.4-second win. The Black and White rowed a solid, comfortable second 1,000 meters, finishing in 6:45.972. Stanford and Wisconsin advanced straight to the grand final from the second heat.

"It was great in terms of energy-saving," said sophomore six-seat Emma Lucasiewicz. "You don't want to row an extra 2k that you don't have to, and I think this just put us in a really good mindset for the final. We know what we're capable of, and we're ready for it."

In the varsity four heat, Radcliffe and Princeton were in a tight race early on, but the Black and White moved away late in the first 500. Radcliffe had an answer for every Tiger surge the rest of the way and posted a time of 7:47.968, while Wisconsin won the heat in 7:26.213. Stanford and Loyola (Md.) moved on to the grand final from Heat 2.

The boats that did not earn final berths will race again in Friday afternoon's repechage.

Varsity Eight
Heat 1
Princeton 6:40.568
Radcliffe 6:45.972
Georgetown 6:55.117

Heat 2
Stanford 6:37.933
Wisconsin 6:41.822
Bucknell 6:52.090
MIT 6:58.306

Varsity Four
Wisconsin 7:26.213
Radcliffe 7:47.968
Princeton 7:50.217

Heat 2
Stanford 7:52.514
Loyola (Md.) 7:56.998
Tulsa 8:15.444
MIT 8:18.095