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Women's varsity eight nips Trinity for second place at New Englands










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WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Bates oarswomen accumulated 72 points -- enough to tie for second in the women’s points standings -- on Saturday at the New England Rowing Championships on Lake Quinsigamond. 

The women’s varsity eight set a record and the second varsity eight tied the record for highest finishes in program history.  Between the men’s and women’s teams, a school-record five crews participated in grand finals.

In what is likely to be a preview of the NCAA Championships later this month, the top three crews in the country (No. 1 Williams, No. 2 Bates, No. 3 Trinity in the CRCA/USRowing polls) all met together for the first time this season.  Each crew won their respective heats to set up a guaranteed tight race in the afternoon finals and they did not disappoint.

Williams and Bates were level after the start with Trinity barely third.  In the body of the race, Williams was able to pull ahead of Bates and the Bobcats soon found themselves in a fight for second.  The battle for second between Bates and Trinity only caused both crews to go faster and, coming into the final 200 meters, it appeared that they were gaining ground on Williams.

Luckily for Williams, the race course is only 2,000 meters, because both Bates and Trinity ran out of real estate for their pursuit.  They crossed the finish line with Bates and Trinity apparently level and immediately behind.  A photo finish showed that the Bobcat oarswomen finished half-a-second ahead of Trinity for the silver medal. 

By earning the silver medal, the varsity eight raised the bar for future Bates crews by setting a new record.  They also continued a trend of improving on the previous year's result, which was started two years ago. In 2007 they finished fourth and last year they finished third.

The second varsity eight tied a school record set in 2007 by winning the bronze medal.  Williams dominated the final while Bates, Trinity, and Holy Cross contested the silver medal.  It was Holy Cross who eventually edged out the Bates oarswomen in the final 500 meters for second place. 

Despite an impressive performance in their heat, the women’s novice eight finished fourth in the grand final. It is only the third time in program history that the novice eight has made the grand final. 

All three crews will get another chance against their competition next weekend at the ECAC National Invitational Championships in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

First Varsity Eight (Stroke: Emily Chandler.  7: Nicole Ritchie.  6: Haley Sive.  5: Rebecca Waldo.  4: Emma White.  3: Laura Hubbell.  2: Caitlin Murphy.  Bow: Danica Doroski.  Cox: Nora Collins)

Heat #2

1. Bates 6:48.348

2. Smith 6:52.322

3. Wellesley 6:53.748

4. UVM 7:01.006

5. Colby 7:10.150

Grand Final

1. Williams 6:55.884

2. Bates 6:58.086

3. Trinity 6:58.521

4. UNH 7:07.236

5. Holy Cross 7:15.069

6. Smith 7:22.265

Second Varsity Eight (Stroke: Kirsten Laaspere.  7: Ellen Patterson.  6: Josie Cutts.  5: Elizabeth Sonshine.  4:  Allison DiSalvo.  3:  Phoebe Reed.  2: Alison Frye.  Bow: Davina Dukuly Cox: Tracy Glazier)

Heat #1

1. Williams 6:55.727

2. Bates 7:04.970

3. Tufts 7:12.403

4. UNH 7:17.167

5. Mt. Holyoke 7:24.884

Grand Final

1. Williams 7:04.882

2. Holy Cross 7:15.424

3. Bates 7:17.702

4. Trinity  7:21.698

5. Tufts 7:27.943

6. Wellesley 7:32.181

Novice Eight (Stroke: Keller Wilson.  7: Nora Murray.  6: Amy Jacks.  5: Kelsey Dion.  4: Julia Winder.  3: Liliane Bentley.  2: Hallie Herz.  Bow: Carolyn Kussmaul.  Cox: Brigit Anderson)

Heat #3

1. Bates 7:20.852

2. Coast Guard 7:21.603

3. Smith 7:31.154

4. Tufts 7:42.224

Grand Final

1. UVM 7:21.482

2. Coast Guard 7:29.813

3. WPI 7:31.620

4. Bates 7:34.290

5. Simmons 7:34.543

6. Mt. Holyoke 7:36.878