AUSTIN, Texas -- The Bates women’s rowing team held its own Wednesday morning against the 2011 Big 12 champion Longhorns of the University of Texas, in a scrimmage held at UT’s home on Lady Bird Lake.
Essentially a series of practices pieces, and not a standard 2000m sprint race, the session consisted of two each of the following: 5-minutes @ 24spm, 3-minutes @ 26spm and 2-minutes @ 30spm. The primary idea behind this style of competition is to provide each of the crews with a very intense process-based learning environment.
Bates’ first varsity eight (1V) was ahead of both the Texas 1V and 2V crews for the better part of the first 5-minute piece, but the Texas crews both increased their stroke ratings in order to gain an advantage and pull through the Bates crew. From the perspective of V8 sophomore coxswain Gabby Bilotta ’14 (Washington, D.C.), the second of the two 5-minute pieces best represented the varsity eight’s speed and skill. “I really felt that we performed at our best during the second piece,” she said. “We stuck to the prescribed stroke rating and finished only two seats behind a very powerful and experienced crew.”
The Bates 2V was matched-up against the Texas 3V and had a terrific day of “brushing” as well. According to the boat’s coxswain, sophomore Molly Huffaker (Ithaca, N.Y.), “The second 5-minute piece was our best piece as well. Once we got the anxiety and excitement out in the first piece, the crew really settled down and found some rhythm in the second. Texas (3V) jumped out in the first 30 seconds and then we held them for the next 3 minutes. So we know the speed is there.”
Head coach Peter Steenstra called the scrimmage “an outstanding day of racing.... even somewhat unexpected. We pushed them hard through the first part of the week and nearly everything we did was at a very low stroke rating. Our training plan for this trip is to gain mileage and prepare for racing in April. The fact that they performed so well more than a month in advance is quite impressive.”