INDIANAPOLIS -- Bates didn't win the big one, but once again did the next best thing Saturday morning at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships, finishing as the national runner-up for the fifth consecutive year behind rival Williams.
Bates' first varsity eight (WV8) also claimed the silver medal for the fifth straight time in its grand final. Bates stood in second place over the entire second half of the race, as Williams steadily inched farther ahead in the course. The Bobcats finished the 2,000-meter course at Eagle Creek Park in 7:22.874, 2.232 seconds behind the Ephs and 2.718 seconds ahead of third-place William Smith. Trinity (7:27.968), Washington (Md.) College (7:29.313) and Wellesley (7:40.614) trailed behind.
Bates' W2V8 placed third in its grand final, in a race that went off at 7am, 20 minutes prior to the WV8 race, under a weather-altered schedule. Williams' W2V8 finished first in 7:24.573, followed by Trinity in 7:28.026, Bates in 7:30.239 and Wellesley in 7:42.168.
The final team scoring had Williams in the lead with 42, followed by Bates with 35, Trinity with 31, William Smith with 28, Wellesley with 21 and Washington with 20.
Bates women's rowing has the second-most top-two national finishes in the 12-year history of the NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championship, and the most second-place finishes. For the Ephs, the day marks eight consecutive NCAA titles and nine overall.
Bates' WV8: Junior coxswain Gabriella Bilotta (Washington, D.C.); sophomore Jenna Armstrong (Florham Park, N.J.), junior Alexandra Hill (Wayland, Mass.), junior Heather Monty (Bedford, N.H.), sophomore Mallory Ward (Pittsford, N.Y.), sophomore Elizabeth Sangree (Ashford, Conn.), junior Hope King (Greenwich, Conn.), junior Aisling Ryan (Millis, Mass.), sophomore Eliza Barkan (Seattle, Wash.).
Bates' W2V8: Junior coxswain Molly Huffaker (Ithaca, N.Y.), junior Sarah Murphy (Wellesley, Mass.), senior Lauren Hadiaris (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), first-year Alison Simmons (Indiana, Pa.), first-year Emma Taylor (Scituate, Mass.), sophomore Rebecca O'Neill (Westminster, Vt.), first-year Margaux Joselow (Manchester, N.H.), junior Taylor Kniffin (Stamford, Conn.), junior Hadley Dawson (Wayland, Mass.).
Saturday Results (PDF)
Friday's first-day results putting both of the Bobcats' boats in their respective grand finals on Saturday morning.
Bates' first varsity eight (WV8) won its preliminary heat and advanced directly to Saturday's Grand Final, while the Bates W2V8 also advanced to the W2V8 grand final by winning the Friday afternoon W2V8 repechage.
In the second of two preliminary heats for varsity eights, eventual runner-up Wiliam Smith led Bates' WV8 by a fraction of a second after 500 meters. But the Bobcats pulled into a 2-second lead by the halfway point of the heat, and continued that trend into a 4.595-second margin of victory over the competition from New York State, with a final time of 7:13.133 on the 2,000-meter course at Eagle Creek Park. Washington (Md.) College was third at 7:22.192, followed by Ithaca in fourth at 7:35.857. Bates' victory allowed the Bobcats to bypass the afternoon repechage races and automatically qualify for Saturday's Grand Final.
Bates' time was more than three seconds faster than Williams' was in the Ephs' victory in the other prelim. Williams won that race in 7:16.584, well ahead of Trinity (7:23.940).
The Bates W2V8 was a solid second among three boats in its prelim. Trinity took the early lead and maintained it, finishing in 7:18.341, while Bates finished in 7:23.337 and Washington College took third in 7:32.871.
Moving on to the afternoon W2V8 repechage, the Bobcats pulled away over the final 1,000 meters to post a commanding win among four boats. The Bobcats finished in 7:54.310, followed by Wellesley in 7:59.315, William Smith in 8:10.410 and Washington fourth in 8:20.292.