MEDFORD, Mass. -- The No. 1 nationally ranked Bates women's rowing team's top three boats delivered outstanding performances at the Tufts University Crew Races on Saturday, defeating all challengers, including co-No. 1 Wesleyan University and host No. 6 Tufts.
The day opened with a highly anticipated matchup between the Bobcat first varsity eight and Wesleyan's first varsity eight crew. Led by senior coxswain Katherine Traquina (Wayland, Mass.) and senior co-captain Molly Pritz (Ithaca, N.Y.) at stroke, the Bobcats came away with the victory, racing to the finish in the 2-kilometer race in 6:37.3. The runner-up Cardinals came in with a time of 6:41.4.
The two top-ranked schools also went head-to-head in the morning in second varsity eight and third varsity eight races.
Led by senior co-captain Abigail Bierman (Bethlehem, N.Y.) at coxswain and junior Grace Jurkovich (St. Paul, Minn.) at stroke, the Bobcat second varsity eight completed the course in 6:58.7, beating the Cardinals who finished with a time of 7:05.6.
The Bates third varsity eight, led by junior coxswain Hanna De Bruyn (Old Lyme, Conn.) and first-year stroke Elizabeth Johnson (Dorchester, Mass.) made it a clean sweep of the Cardinals with a time of 7:14.1, beating their counterparts from Wesleyan by 4.5 seconds.
In the grand final for the first varsity eight, Bates defeated host Tufts by four seconds with a time of 6:42.
Defending national champion and No. 4 ranked Wellesley saw their first varsity eight boat lose to host Tufts in their first race of the day. But both their second and third varsity eight boats won, setting up one-on-one battles with Bates in their respective grand finals.
The Bobcat second varsity eight won in dramatic fashion, clipping the Blue by just one second, with a blazing fast time of 6:39, nearly 20 seconds faster than their first race of the day.
Bates' third varsity eight also improved on their first race with a time of 7:04, defeating Wellesley's crew by three seconds to give Bates' top three boats a combined record of 6-0 on the day.
The women's rowing team will introduce their brand new boathouse to the world on April 23 when they host the President's Cup starting at 9:00 a.m.