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Bates crews flex muscles at NICR/ECAC Championships

WORCESTER, Mass. -- An exciting weekend of racing at the 2010 National Invitational Collegiate Regatta/ECAC Rowing Championships, which concluded on Sunday, again revealed the strength of both the Bates women's and men's rowing teams.

Both of the Bates women's rowing team's eights had strong regattas. The Bates first varsity eight (WV8) won its preliminary heat in a time of 7:06.783, automatically advancing to the Grand Final. There the Bobcats were edged by rival Trinity for third place (behind Williams and Ithaca) by a mere .164 of a second, in a time of 6:48.084, at the same time barely beating out the University of New Hampshire for fourth place by only .63 of a second.

The women's second varsity eight also had an outstanding outing. Bates' W2V8 placed second in its heat behind Ithaca in 6:59.660, then finished second in the W2V8 Grand Final, behind only Williams in a nearly identical time of 6:59.959. Bates beat out such rivals as Ithaca, Trinity, Holy Cross and St. Lawrence in the race.

The men's varsity eight finished third out of six boats in its preliminary heat in 6:10.252, less than seven seconds behind the leader, the University of Michigan, and a mere 2.107 seconds behind runner-up Hobart. The Bobcats advanced to the Petite Final, where they placed sixth in 6:12.186.

The Bates men once again showed outstanding depth, as demonstrated by the success of the men's second varsity boat. The M2V8 finished third in its preliminary heat in 6:16.630, behind Michigan and Coast Guard. Moving on to the Petite Final, the Bates M2V8 moved on to the Petite Final and won that race in 6:23.988, 2.329 seconds ahead of runner-up Rhode Island, and also ahead of Ithaca, Bucknell, Marist and Wesleyan.

The regatta marks the end of the season for the Bates men's rowing team, while the women's team hopes to receive a fourth straight bid to the NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championships, scheduled for May 28-30 in Sacramento, Calif. (the NCAA does not sponsor a men's championship).

Get the inside scoop on Bates rowing on the team blog, The Bates Rower.