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Bates eight races to huge win in NCAA elimination heats

The Bates first eight posted a huge win in its elimination heat, enabling the boat to rest until Saturday afternoon's Grand Final. (File photo by Lindsay Thomson '10)

GOLDEN RIVER, Calif. -- The Bates women's rowing team's first varsity eight fought off runner-up Williams' 2V8 as well as rival Trinity's 1V8 in the third and final elimination heat on Friday morning, as the NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championships got under way at Lake Natoma.

Bates' 2V8 finished off the day by taking first place in the Petite Qualifier.

Bates 1V8 led Williams 2V8 by a slim margin at each 500-meter juncture of the 2,000-meter race, and both boats overtook Trinity in the second 500 meters. Bates timed in at 6:41.10, with Williams 2V8 at 6:42.02, Trinity 1V8 at 6:47.98, Wellesley 2V8 at 7:04.53, Mary Washington 1V8 at 7:12.88 and Puget Sound 2V8 sixth at 7:21.47. Three of the top four times in the preliminary heats were registered in the third heat.

Entering today's race, Bates' 1V8 ranked fourth in Division III by the College Rowing Coaches Association/US Rowing, with Trinity at No. 3.

As the heat winner, Bates advanced automatically to the Grand Final, scheduled for Saturday at 3:15 p.m. Pacific time. The other two heat winners who will meet Bates in the Grand Final were Williams 1V8 and Ithaca 1V8.

Bates' 2V8 also fared well, taking fourth place out of five boats in Elimination Heat 2 in a time of 7:05.47, trailing only three high-quality 1V8's in Ithaca (6:48.63), St. Lawrence (6:55.19) and Wellesley (6:55.34) and well ahead of St. Lawrence 2V8 (7:13.67). Bates 2V8 moved on to the Petite Qualifier at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon. Bates was in control throughout the race: neck-and-neck with Ithaca's 2V8 after 500 meters, the 2V8 pulled slightly ahead at the halfway mark and extended the lead over the final 1,000 meters, finishing in 7:11.06. Ithaca 2 was second in 7:14.72, followed by Trinity 2 (7:16.64), which edged Wesleyan 2 (7:18.31) for the third and final automatic berth in Saturday's Petite Final, which takes place at 11:15 a.m. Pacific, 15 minutes before the Grand Final.

Bates is headed by captains Danica Doroski '10 (Wayne, Pa.), Alison Frye '10 (Duxbury, Mass.) and Ellen Patterson '11 (St. Louis Park, Minn.). Other team members expected to make the trip include sophomore Haley Sive (Glenville, N.Y.), junior and 2009 Pocock All-American Rebecca Waldo (Dracut, Mass.), sophomore Elizabeth Sonshine (Short Hills, N.J.), sophomore Amy Jacks (Baltimore, Md.), junior Phoebe Reed (Brooklyn, N.Y.), senior Lindsay Thomson (West Hartford, Conn.), sophomore Allison DiSalvo (Lowell, Mass.), junior Davina Dukuly (Lowell, Mass.), first-year Amanda Goss (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), sophomore Kelsey Dion (Truckee, Calif.), junior Emma White (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), junior Hannah Richardson (Concord, Mass.), first-year Catherine Tuttle (Pittsford, N.Y.). sophomore Caroline Webb (Tiburon, Calif.), junior Nora Collins (Kensington, Md.), first-year Elizabeth Bowling (Greenwood Village, Colo.), first-year Carrie Dillaway (Woodbridge, Conn.) and first-year Victoria Zapack (Charlotte, N.C.).

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The 2010 CBS Sports Presents Championships of the NCAA (spring seasonal show), featuring highlights from the women's rowing championships, will air at 4 p.m. Eastern time, Saturday, June 19, on CBS.