WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- For the fourth straight year, the Bates College women's rowing team has finished as the national runner-up, second only to Williams, with a brilliant performance in two Grand Finals on Saturday morning at the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championships at Lake Mercer.
Bates' first varsity eight was edged by Williams for first place and held off William Smith to win the silver medal in the race for the fourth straight year. Williams finished in 6:31.98, followed by Bates in 6:34.14, William Smith in 6:35.94, Wellesley in 6:41.02, Marietta in 6:44.40 and Trinity sixth in 6:53.28.
Bates' second eight (W2V8) beat out Wellesley for second place, rowing the distance in 6:58.34, with Wellesley third in 7:01.85. Williams again proved to have the superior second eight, claiming the gold medal in 6:49.74. Trinity came in fourth in 7:04.24.
The final team scoring has Williams winning its seventh straight national championship with 42 points -- 30 for the V8 win and 12 for the 2V8 win. Bates scored 37 points (27 for the V8, 10 for the 2V8), followed by Wellesley with 29, William Smith with 28, Trinity with 21 and Marietta with 20.
Bates’ WV8 is headed by senior captains Allison DiSalvo (Lowell, Mass.) and Haley Sive (Glenville, N.Y.), as well as senior varsity eight crew members Kelsey Dion (Truckee, Calif.) and Elizabeth Sonshine (Short Hills, N.J.), all of whom had a role in an amazing run of four straight second-place national finishes. Sonshine and Sive were named 2012 Pocock Division III All-America Team earlier this week. Also driving Bates’ first eight are Mallory Ward ’15 (Pittsford, N.Y.), Hope King ’14 (Greenwich, Conn.), Alexandra Hill ’14 (Wayland, Mass.), Heather Monty ’14 (Bedford, N.H.), and coxswain Gabriella Bilotta ’14 (Washington, D.C.).
Bates’ W2V8 lineup included Jenna Armstrong ’15 (Florham Park, N.J.) (bow); Elizabeth Sangree ’15 (Ashford, Conn.); Lauren Hadiaris ’13 (Cape Elizabeth, Maine); Rachel Ellis ’14 (Snohomish, Wash.); Amy Jacks ’12 (Baltimore, Md.); Sarah Murphy ’14 (Wellesley, Mass.); Eliza Barkan ’15 (Seattle, Wash.); Aisling Ryan ’14 (Millis, Mass.) (stroke); and Molly Huffaker ’14 (Ithaca, N.Y.) (cox). Also making the trip as alternates were coxswain Maggie Carey ’14 (Lincoln, Mass.), Taylor Kniffin ’14 (Stamford, Conn.) and Caroline Webb ’12 (Tiburon, Calif.).
The Bobcats moved out of a tie with Ithaca as the women's rowing program with the second-most top-two finishes in the 11-year history of the NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championship.
The No. 2 nationally ranked Bates women’s rowing team won both of its preliminary heats on Friday morning to open its sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Division III Women’s Rowing Championships, setting the Bobcats’ two boats up to automatically advance to their respective Grand Finals tomorrow.
The NCAA regatta’s new structure this year divides the Division III races into first and second eights (WV8 and W2V8) the whole way through — canceling out the possibility of both of a competing team’s eights competing in the same Grand Final.
Bates’ first varsity eight, ranked second in the country, opened things up Friday morning by outpacing boats from William Smith, Marietta and Trinity in Heat 2 of the WV8 preliminary heats. Bates finished the 2,000-meter course at Lake Mercer in 7:02.55, followed by William Smith in 7:07.27. The win allowed the Bates boat to skip Friday afternoon’s repechage and move on to Saturday’s Grand Final.
Bates’ W2V8 advanced straight to the Grand Final for second eights, finishing its heat in 7:16.44 to beat out Trinity (7:22.59) and Marietta (7:45.64) for the bye. Williams won the other W2V8 heat, leaving Wellesley, William Smith, Trinity and Marietta to race in a repechage later on Friday for a second attempt to make the Grand Final.