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Women's rowing finishes second at NCAAs for 3rd straight year

The Bates women's rowing team is the national runner-up for the third straight year. (File photo courtesy of Mason D. Cox)

GOLD RIVER, Calif. -- The Bates College women's rowing team had its best showing ever at the NCAA Division III Rowing Championship on Saturday at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center, while claiming national runner-up status for the third straight year.

Bates' first varsity eight (1V8) was second to Williams in the Grand Final for the third straight year. The Bobcats stood in second place between Williams and third-place Wellesley after each 500-meter interval in the 2,000-meter race. The Ephs repeated as Grand Final winners in 6:54.43, followed by Bates in 7:01.31 and Wellesley a close third in 7:02.23. Rounding out the race were Ithaca (7:09.99), William Smith (7:14.04) and Williams' 2V8 in sixth at 7:16.56.

Bates' second varsity eight (2V8) fared its best of all five team appearances at NCAAs, taking second place in the Petite Final. Bates trailed the 1V8's of Puget Sound and Trinity, both by a fraction of a second, after the first 1,000 meters. The Bobcats pushed ahead of Puget Sound in the third quarter of the race and finished in 7:08.22, 1.97 seconds behind Trinity's 1V8 and 4.16 seconds ahead of third place Puget Sound. The Bates 2V8's best ever previous showing at NCAAs was getting third place in the petite final.

In terms of team points, Bates finished closer to Williams than ever before: the Ephs scored 19 points, while the Bobcats came up with 16.

Friday Recap

The Bates women's varsity eight (1V8) won its elimination heat on the first day of the NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championship for the third straight year, earning an automatic spot in Saturday's Grand Final. Bates' 2V8 finished the day by winning the Petite Qualifier on Friday afternoon.

The Bobcats led the race nearly wire-to-wire, but Wellesley's 1V8 went nearly stroke for stroke right along with Bates over the entire course, as the rivals have seen in multiple other races this season. Wellesley ate about two seats into Bates' lead down the stretch, but Bates held on to win by a 6:41.98 to 6:42.11 margin, or .13 seconds.

Bates' 1V8 will face Williams' 1V8, the winner of Heat 1, and four other boats (Wellesley, Ithaca, William Smith and Williams' 2V8) in Saturday's Grand Final, which starts at 11:20 a.m. Pacific time.

Bates' 2V8 took fifth place out of seven boats in the first race of the day, Heat 1, to qualify for the Petite Qualifier. Bates' 2V8 stood in fifth place at each 500-meter mark, finishing the 2,000-meter course in 6:56.64, comfortably ahead of sixth-place Wellesley's 2V8 and Trinity's 2V8 (7:06.51), as the top second varsity eight, behind the 1V8s of Williams, Ithaca, Wellesley and Puget Sound.

In the Petite Qualifier on Friday afternoon, Bates' 2V8 assumed a two-second lead over Wellesley's 2V8 after 500 meters, maintained it over the second quarter, then opened up a six-second lead over Wellesley in the third quarter of the race, and finished with a 5.58-second advantage over Wellesley, followed closely by the second varsity eights of Ithaca, Trinity and William Smith.

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Bates 1V8 lineup: senior coxswain Nora Collins (Kensington, Md.), junior stroke Allison DiSalvo (Lowell, Mass.), junior Elizabeth Sonshine (Short Hills, N.J.), senior Emma White (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), senior Phoebe Reed (Brooklyn, N.Y.), senior Rebecca Waldo (Dracut, Mass.), junior Kelsey Dion (Truckee, Calif.), junior Haley Sive (Glenville, N.Y.), and senior bow Ellen Patterson (St. Louis Park, Minn.).

Bates 2V8 lineup: first-year coxswain Gabby Bilotta (Washington, D.C.), first-year stroke Sarah Murphy (Wellesley, Mass.), senior Hannah Richardson (Concord, Mass.), first-year Hope King (Greenwich, Conn.), first-year Alexandra Hill (Wayland, Mass.), first-year Heather Monty (Bedford, N.H.), sophomore Catherine Tuttle (Pittsford, N.Y.), junior Amy Jacks (Baltimore, Md.), and first-year bow Aisling Ryan (Millis, Mass.).