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Women's rowing settles for petite final at NCAA Championships

The 2008 Bates Women's Rowing Team
Front Row, L to R: Rachel Tofel, Nora Collins and Kara Constantine.
Middle Row: Becca Waldo, Brianna Belanger, Davina Dukuly, Ellen Patterson, Alison Frye, Kirsten Laaspere, Molly Newton, Caitlin Murphy.
Back Row: Head Coach Andrew Carter, Emily Chandler, Nicole Ritchie, Elizabeth Martin, Laura Hubbell, Emma White, Annie Connell, Emily Howieson, Assistant Coach Peter Steenstra.
Missing: Tracy Glazier, Lindsay Swan, Danica Doroski.

Go to www.natoma08.com
for live video and results

GOLD RIVER, Calif. -- The Bates College women's rowing team came up 1.42 seconds short of third place and a berth in Saturday's grand final on Friday, the first day of the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships, hosted by the University of California at Berkeley.

In an extremely tight race in the grand final qualifier, the last day of the race on Friday, Bates, jockeying for first place with Puget Sound and Ithaca, held second place over the first 1,000 yards, before dropping just slightly into third place near the halfway mark. Coast Guard caught Bates over the final 500 yards for the all-important third spot, 7:07.80 to 7:08.22. Puget Sound won the race in 7:06.53, followed by Ithaca at 7:07.08.

Bates' first varsity eight will compete in the petite final, which determines 7th through 12th place overall, on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. Eastern time. Bates' second varsity boat will compete in the third final, which precedes the petite final by 15 minutes. The two boats' performances will combine to give Bates its final team finish at the championships.

Bates' second varsity eight acquitted itself well in the second preliminary heat, finishing fourth out of six while beating out the other two second varsity boats entered, Puget Sound and St. Lawrence. The Bobcats timed in at 7:19.03. They moved on to the petite qualifier, where they finished fourth out of seven boats, one spot (and less than seven seconds) away from third-place Washington College's first boat and a berth in Saturday's petite final.

Bates' first varsity eight, meanwhile, took third pace in the third elimination heat in a time of 7:06.16, behind Williams' second boat (6:49.54) and Puget Sound (6:50.95).

Links to live video and results for the races are available at www.natoma08.com. Please check there for releases and heat sheets from each day’s racing.

Bates is powered in part by junior Nicole Ritchie (East Dummerston, Vt.), a two-time First Team All-America rower. Also rowing for Bates' first eight are first-year Rebecca Waldo '11 (Dracut, Mass.), Alison Frye '10 (Duxbury, Mass.), Ellen Patterson '11 (St. Louis Park, Minn.), Emma White '11 (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), Caitlin Murphy '09 (Duxbury, Mass.), Laura Hubbell '09 (Yarmouth, Maine), Emily Chandler '09 (North Yarmouth, Maine) and coxswain Nora Collins '11 (Kensington, Md.). Chandler replaces the injured Liz Martin '10 (Williamstown, Mass.) on the first boat.

Bates' second varsity boat lines up as: Kara Constantine '08 (Beverly, Mass.), Brianna Belanger '09 (Millbridge, Maine), Emily Howieson '08 (Holliston, Mass.), Molly Newton '11 (Easthampton, Mass.), Danica Doroski '10 (Wayne, Pa.), Kirsten Laaspere '11 (Londonderry, N.H.), Lindsay Swan '11 (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Annie Connell '11 (Newburyport, Mass.) and coxswain Rachel Tofel '10 (Bronx, N.Y.). Davina Dukuly '11 (Lowell, Mass.) and Tracy Glazier '11 (Fairfield, Conn.) will also travel as spares.

Leading the Bobcats are head coach Andrew Carter and assistants Peter Steenstra, Ryan Sparks '05 and Delphine Clavreul.