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Women's rowing tops strong field in spring debut

WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Bates women's rowing team passed its spring season-opening test Sunday at Lake Quinsigamond, finishing first among six varsity eights and competing well across the board.

Bates has finished as the national runner-up for three straight years at the NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championship, and begins this spring campaign ranked second in the country. The Bobcat 1V8 met a tough field and finished 5.6 seconds ahead of runner-up Trinity, finishing the 2,000-meter course in 7:13.4 against a moderate head wind. Another perennial NCAA competitor, Wellesley, was third in 7:20.0, followed by Holy Cross (7:20.5), Rochester (7:37.8) and WPI (7:42.0).

Bates' 2V8 beat all but one boat, Holy Cross, in its race, finishing in 7:38.1 and still edging Trinity (7:39.9), Wellesley (7:44.8), WPI and Rochester.

Underscoring its status as the top crew on the lake on Sunday, Bates took first place out of five varsity four boats, topping runner-up Holy Cross 8:20.0 to 8:38.1, and first out of six novice eights, by a 14.4-second margin ahead of runner-up Wellesley.

Bates travels to Boston on Saturday, April 7 for a regatta hosted by Simmons College.