April 3, 2004
Providence, RI - The Brown women's varsity eight came away with its first victory of the season, defeating defending national champion Radcliffe on the choppy Seekonk River in Providence on Saturday. The Bears timed in at 6:10.67, just under a second ahead of Radcliffe, which crossed the finish line in 6:11.51. Brown's finish was the second-fastest women's time ever posted on the Seekonk River course.
The rest of the races were rowed in the Pawtucket channel where the water was more protected. Each race went six and a half minutes long as Brown swept all of the races.
Conditions had been so rough earlier in the afternoon that Brown Head Coach John Murphy and Radcliffe Head Coach Liz O'Leary elected to line their crews up in Pawtucket where the river narrows. By the time the varsity race got underway at 6:15 p.m., the coaches decided the Seekonk River course was rowable and sent the two varsities off in what turned out to be a corking good race.
There was little to choose between the two crews over the first 1,000 meters, but in the third 500 meters, the Brown crew, stroked by sophomore Meg Anderson, pushed out to a solid half-length lead and seemed to be in control of the race.
As the two shells approached the Narragansett Boat Club 250 meters from the finish, Radcliffe began cutting into the Brown lead and the Bears needed every ounce of their remaining strength to hold the Crimson off.
It was the same story in the second varsity race, except that Radcliffe made it tighter and closed the gap in the last few strokes. Brown edged out the Crimson in the end though, winning by one seat.
Murphy was happy with the way his top two crews responded to the pressure. The Bears handily won their other three six and a half minute races for the first and second novice eights and varsity fours.
In the second varsity eight, the Bears won by one seat. In both the first and second novice eight races, Brown won by two lengths.
Brown will race Rutgers and UMass next Saturday on the Seekonk River.