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Steenstra, five Bates women earn NESCAC rowing honors






HADLEY, Mass. -- The Bates women's rowing team's best performance ever at last weekend's National Invitational Rowing Championships, which double as the NESCAC Rowing Championships, resulted in a host of awards for the Bobcats on Thursday, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its 2012 All-Conference Rowing Teams.

Fourth-year head coach Peter Steenstra was named NESCAC Coach of the Year in both men's and women's rowing, a year after claiming Women's Rowing Co-Coach of the Year. Steenstra headed program-best efforts at the NIRC on both the men's and women's sides. All six of Bates' boats at the regatta made their respective grand finals, and five of them won silver medals.

Bates senior Haley Sive (Glenville, N.Y.) was named to the First Team for the third year in a row, heading a list of five All-NESCAC honorees from Bates women's rowing. Joining Sive on the First Team for a second straight year is senior Allison DiSalvo (Lowell, Mass.), while senior Elizabeth Sonshine (Short Hills, N.J.) moved up from Second Team to First Team honors this season.

Named Second Team All-NESCAC from the Bobcats were a pair of sophomores in coxswain Gabriella Bilotta (Washington, D.C.) and Heather Monty (Bedford, N.H.).

The Bates women's rowing team's three boats at NIRC -- the first, second and third varsity eights -- all finished second in their grand finals to Williams.

Bates is one of three teams from the NESCAC, along with Williams and Trinity, who will compete at the NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championships, May 25-27 at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, N.J. Bates is making its sixth consecutive trip to nationals, and has been the national runner-up team for three straight years.

2012 NESCAC All-Conference Rowing Teams