Shelley Pearson and her Ivy League-champion Harvard University Rowing Heavyweight crew capped an outstanding season with a ninth-place varsity finish and 12th-place team showing at the NCAA Championships, which wrapped up with a day of extremely close racing on the steamy Mercer Lake.
Pearson and her Harvard teammates finished third, just three hundredths of a second out of second place, in the Varsity Eight Petite Final. Harvard totaled 32 points in the team standings for its best showing since placing ninth in the team competition and seventh in varsity racing in 2008.
"I don't have any regrets about how any of our boats raced today," said head coach Liz O'Leary. "As a team, our first goal was to be competitive in the Ivy League, and we were proud to take that to a National level and compete the way we did here. Our team just raced so hard."
The Harvard Varsity Eight trailed early on, but moved back through the field in impressive fashion, trailing only UCLA at the midway point. Harvard continued to move on UCLA with Stanford in close pursuit as those three boats separated themselves from Ohio State, Cornell and Yale.
Stanford edged Harvard in the sprint, finishing in 6:29.86 to Radcliffe's 6:28.89. Harvard was just 1.4 seconds behind first-place UCLA and avenged a dual-season loss to Ohio State by 2.8 seconds. Ivy rivals Cornell and Yale rounded out the field.