When the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships take place in late May and early June, Bates figures to be there for a seventh consecutive year, while trying to win its first national championship on the heels of four straight national runner-up finishes.
How the Bobcats' second varsity eight (W2V8) fares at nationals will figure equally as the first varsity eight (WV8) in the formula that determines which team wins the coveted first-place trophy. So the Bates W2V8's performance on Saturday at the New England Rowing Championship was probably the most encouraging result in an impressive day for the Bobcats on Lake Quinsigamond.
The regatta was the first time Bates has rowed against five-time defending NCAA champion Williams this season, and Bates' W2V8 defeated the Ephs while finishing a close second to upstart Trinity in the W2V8 grand final. Trinity won in 6:59.980, with Bates a close second (7:01.067) and Williams a close third (7:02.519). As assistant coach Jesse Foglia described the race in The Bates Rower blog, "Trinity used an early lead to edge their bow out in front, with Bates charging through Williams in the final 50 strokes for a silver medal performance."
In recent years, Williams' W2V8 has been as fast, or faster, than most NCAA opponents' WV8s, a key to the Ephs' dominance at nationals. Saturday's race served notice that Bates -- the only team to place among the top two boats in both the WV8 and W2V8 grand finals, may put forth its best contention for the national title thus far when NCAAs roll around.
Bates' W2V8 lineup consists of coxswain Molly Huffaker ’14, Alison Simmons ’16, Hadley Dawson ’14, Sarah Murphy ’14, Margaux Joselow ’16, Taylor Kniffin ’14, Emma Taylor ’16, Rebecca O’Neill ’15 and captain Lauren Hadiaris ’13 (pictured).