In yet another triumph, the women’s crew team added the Nathaniel Case Cup to its already long list of awards for the spring season — and the freshman eight snagged an extra victory on the side.
The Bulldogs defeated No. 16 Radcliffe and No. 19 Michigan State in Boston over the weekend to take the Cup for the fourth year in a row, winning the varsity eight as well as the freshman eight. The Elis continue to hold the No. 4 ranking in the national poll; the slot has been theirs since the beginning of April.
The varsity eight race went smoothly for the as-yet-undefeated Bulldogs. The boat cruised to a 6:45.4 finish, beating out second-place Radcliffe by nearly six full seconds and coming in more than 19 seconds ahead of the struggling Spartans, whose time of 7:04.8 was actually slower than their second varsity eight time.
At long last, the Elis had the chance to row in warmer weather, allowing them to shed the extra layers of clothing that they have had to carry with them for months now, said Emily Cleveland ’07, coxswain for the varsity eight.
“Racing on the Charles yesterday was beautiful,” she said. “We had flat water, which is really unusual for Boston, a light headwind, and lots of sunshine. [The warmer weather] lets the rowers stretch out and have more freedom of motion, without all the extra layers of clothes.”
The freshman eight, reunited after last weekend’s split into boats of four, also triumphed decisively over both its foes. The boat clocked in at 7:19.8, almost five seconds ahead of Michigan’s 7:24.7 — and more than 46 seconds ahead of the Radcliffe boat, which succumbed to mechanical problems with 500 meters to go and finished at 8:06.3.
The freshman eight weren’t even satisfied with that victory. After the races were over, they went back to the course and scrimmaged against three different MIT boats. Despite a morning full of racing, they turned in a faster time than in their first race, clocking in at 7:19.49. The nearest MIT boat came in at 7:38.87, and Yale came in nearly a full minute ahead of MIT’s second novice eight.
The Bulldogs didn’t manage victories in their other three races, although the second varsity eight’s second-place finish of 6:55.2 was less than two seconds off Michigan’s winning time of 6:53.4. The varsity four turned in a creditable time of 7:57.2 that wasn’t quite enough to beat the first-place Black and White, who finished at 7:50.6, or the Spartans, who again pulled in less than two seconds ahead of the Elis. The varsity four ‘B’ boat finished at 8:24.3, the third of four boats in the race.
“I think everyone was pretty happy with the results [of the weekend],” said Christine Glandorf ’09, bow of the varsity eight boat. “Everyone came to Boston focused on taking our racing to the next level. Most of us achieved that goal, and those of us that didn’t learned some important lessons which will only make us faster as a team.”
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will host No. 10 Tennessee and No. 2 Brown in the second and last home regatta of the season. It should be “one of the most exciting races yet,” Jamie Redman ’08 said, not least because of the high caliber of the teams the Elis will be pitted against.
The Bulldogs said they will do all they can to be ready for what could be their toughest regatta so far.
“The east coast just has many fast crews this year,” head coach Will Porter said. “Maybe the weather has made everyone tough, or maybe we’re all just tired of hearing how fast everyone else is. We just have to keep working hard to find our top speed — that’s all we can do.”