WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Bates men's rowing team claimed the 2017 NESCAC Championship Friday at the National Invitational Rowing Championships with its second-place overall finish in the men's varsity eights grand final.
The Bobcat MV8 rowed against fellow NESCAC boats from Williams and Tufts in the grand final, in addition to Hobart, WPI and Marist. Hobart won the race in 5:59.059, edging Bates (6:01.363) by 2.304 seconds for first place. Hobart's win denied Bates its goal of competing at the IRA Nationals as the only small college invited to compete at the famed regatta.
Bates was triumphant nevertheless, winning its second NESCAC team trophy, following the 2015 crown, by virtue of the best-performing MV8 at the NIRC regatta.
The Bobcats did it by a margin of more than six seconds, as Williams placed fourth (6:07.479) and Tufts came last (6:11.668). WPI was third (6:06.425) and Marist fifth (6:08.392). Two other NESCAC crews, Wesleyan and Colby, competed in the MV8 petite final.
Bates also placed second to Hobart in both the the M2V8 and M3V8 grand finals. In the M2V8 grand final, the Statesmen topped the Bobcats by a 6:04.744 to 6:08.565 margin, followed by Coast Guard (6:11.621), Marist, Tufts and Wesleyan.
In the M3V8 grand final, Bates finished in 6:12.509 to Hobart's 6:06.509), fighting off WPI (6:13.101) for the runner-up spot. Buckness came fourth, followed by Tufts and Wesleyan.
Bates remains one of just three to have won a New England Small College Athletic Conference title, since the NESCAC began awarding championships in men's rowing in 2004. Williams has won eight and Trinity won four in a row from 2005 to 2008.