Courtesy of Bates Sports Information
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - The Bates women's rowing team defeated Williams by one point to win the 2017 NCAA Championship in dramatic fashion Saturday morning on Mercer Lake.
The Bobcat second varsity eight won its fourth consecutive gold medal, earning Bates 12 points. Meanwhile the first varsity eight came in second to Williams, earning the Bobcats 27 points and giving them 39 overall. The Ephs earned 30 points for their first place finish in the first varsity eight race but only tallied eight points for their third place finish in the second varsity eight race, giving them 38 overall.
The second varsity eight grand final got underway at 11:12 a.m. with the Bobcats taking on Wellesley, Williams and Ithaca.
Bates led wire-to-wire, although the Blue kept things close for the first 1,000 meters. The Bobcats led by less than a second halfway through the race before opening up a two-second lead at the 1,500-meter mark.
Bates raced to the finish in a gold medal winning time of 6:48.332. Wellesley came in second with a time of 6:51.502 and Williams came in third, well behind the top two crews with a time of 6:57.632.
The first varsity eight grand final marked the last race of the day and it proved to be a nail-biter the whole way. Bates held off Wellesley for second place by just over a second, giving the Bobcats the points they needed for a second national championship.
The Ephs took home the first varsity eight gold medal with a time of 6:35.379 and the Bobcats rowed to the finish in 6:37.652. Wellesley came in third with a time of 6:38.842. Ithaca, RIT and Wesleyan finished fourth through sixth, respectively.