Bobcats of the week of May 3, 2010

Men's Rowing '10
The Bates men's rowing team found the groove it has been searching for throughout the spring season at last weekend's New England Rowing Championships in Worcester, Mass., producing its best day of the year to date.As assistant coach Tom Guncik wrote on the team blog, The Bates Rower, "It's been no secret that the MV8 has had a tough time following up on last year's historic results throughout the spring. The current senior class has had to mesh with a new crop of oarsmen and finding the speed has taken a lot of time and patience. The three weeks of racing that led up to New Englands put the men in a perilous position: low on confidence, seeded 9th, and needing to finish in the top three of their heat to make grand finals and erase any doubt over whether they would be invited to the ECAC National Invitational Regatta [slated for this coming weekend]."

In its preliminary heat, Bates' MV8 outraced three boats seeded ahead of them -- the University of Rhode Island, Wesleyan and UMass-Amherst -- and finished second, only 2.341 seconds behind Trinity, thereby accomplishing their goal going in of making the Grand Final. There a fatigued group finished fifth out of six boats.

Bates' M2V8 boat, by contrast, had a great deal of confidence going into New Englands, following a thrilling and rare victory over the Williams M2V8 the previous weekend in Pittsfield, Mass. Top-ranked Trinity and Williams got out to too big of a lead on the Bobcats to make up, but Bates still submitted a more than respectable result, finishing third out of six boats in its lone race, the M2V8 Final, in a time of 6:34.267, less than 10 seconds behind Trinity, just 2.47 seconds behind Williams, and a whopping 10.465 seconds ahead of fourth-place Coast Guard.

Women's Rowing '10
The Bates women's rowing team had three boats entered in the New England Rowing Championships last weekend in Worcester, Mass., all of whom qualified for their respective Grand Finals, and two of which earned medals.Bates' first varsity eight, ranked No. 3 in Division III, recorded the fastest time of any boat in the preliminary heats, being pushed by a motivated crew from the University of New Hampshire. The boat's time of 6:54.797 was a fraction of a second better than No. 1-ranked Williams', putting Bates in the first lane for the Grand Final. There, the Bobcats led for the first 500 meters before the defending national champion Ephs surged to the front and went on to win. Bates earned the silver medal, finishing 6.4 seconds behind Williams.

The women's second varsity eight also made its Grand Final with a preliminary heat time of 7:25.120, second out of four boats (behind the University of New Hampshire and ahead of both Tufts and Wesleyan). The W2V8 finished sixth in the Grand Final, less than half a second behind Trinity, in a time of 7:38.841.

Bates also fielded a women's novice four boat at New Englands for the first time. Wrote Bates assistant coach Tom Guncik in the team blog,The Bates Rower, "The WN4+ earn the outstanding performance of the week. The very young crew faced off with crews from schools where winning in the fours is the primary goal and finished second to Amherst -- ahead of Coast Guard, who they were beaten by [in Pittsfield, Mass.] the previous week.... They have set the bar high for future crews in this event."