WORCESTER, Mass. -- The No. 1 nationally ranked Bates women's rowing team made an early season statement by defeating No. 4 and defending national champion Wellesley, No. 9 WPI and No. 13 Trinity in the first and second varsity eight races on Sunday at the WPI Invitational.
The Bates first varsity eight took advantage of great conditions on the water to race to the finish of their two-kilometer race in 6:43.78, about six seconds faster than the second place Blue of Wellesley, who finished in 6:49.62. WPI came in third at 6:57.57 and Trinity came in fourth with a time of 7:20.57.
The Bobcat second varsity eight won their 2K race in 6:55.43, which would have been good enough to beat the WPI and Trinity first varsity eight crews. As it was, they defeated second place Wellesley (7:02.93) by about seven seconds.
Further down the ladder, the Bates third varsity eight finished runner-up to Wellesley with a time of 7:28.21. They were faster than the second varsity eight of Trinity (8:07.74). Meanwhile the fourth varsity eight also finished second to Wellesley but impressed with a better time than the third varsity eight, finishing in 7:21.45.
The Bobcat women, currently tied with Wesleyan in the national rankings at No. 1 will get to challenge the Cardinals along with Tufts on April 15 in Malden, Mass.