The Bates women's rowing team's varsity eight has a youthful composition, including four sophomores. Yet the lead boat for the No. 3 nationally ranked Bobcats mixed it up quite well indeed in competition with Division I crews at last weekend's San Diego Crew Classic, widely considered to be the unofficial opening of the sprint racing season in North America.
In Bates' previous trip to San Diego, in 2011, the Bobcats WV8 impressively won the petite final in the Women's Collegiate Varsity Division. This time around, the boat fared even better, by qualifying for the grand final, where the boat finished fifth out of six boats.
Bates' WV8 reached the grand final with its impressive third-place performance in its Saturday heat, where the Bobcats were outpaced by the University of San Diego (6:42.30) and Loyola Marymount (6:47.51), but at 6:52.80 were ahead of Kansas State (6:57.93), St. Joseph's (6:58.03) and Southern Methodist (7:04.31).
The WV8's time of 6:59.91 in the grand final trailed Miami (6:43.30), the University of San Diego, (6:47.09), British Columbia (6:52.58) and Loyola Marymount (6:56.51) but outpaced St. Mary’s (7:02.71).
The boat's lineup from stern to bow, comprised junior coxswain Gabby Bilotta (Washington, D.C.), sophomore Eliza Barkan (Seattle, Wash.), sophomore Elizabeth Sangree (Ashford, Conn.), junior Heather Monty (Bedford, N.H.), junior Alex Hill (Wayland, Mass.), junior Hope King (Greenwich, Conn.), sophomore Mallory Ward (Pittsford, N.Y.), sophomore Jenna Armstrong (Florham Park, N.J.) and junior Aisling Ryan (Millis, Mass.).