Matthew Martone, Bates College

A four-year letter winner on the Bates men’s rowing team, Matthew Martone saw his female teammates on the Bates rowing team make three straight appearances in the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships from 2007 to 2009. Because the NCAA doesn’t sponsor a men’s rowing championship, Martone and his male teammates were relegated to supporting the women at the end of each academic year – until 2009, that is. Martone and his teammates prevailed upon head coach Peter Steenstra to allow the team to travel to the venerable Henley Royal Regatta in England in early July. Steenstra agreed, on the condition that the men finish among the top three teams in the New England Rowing Championships.

The Bobcats took care of that part. The team enjoyed its finest ever year of competition, earning the bronze medal (and third place in the NESCAC) at the New England Rowing Championships. "There is no question in my mind that this is the best crew to ever come out of our boathouse, and these guys earned the opportunity to compete on the international level," said Steenstra.

Competing in the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley, Martone and the Bobcats won their opening-round race against Trinity College of Dublin, Ireland, before falling short in the Round of 16 to Amsterdamsche Studenten Roeivereeniging Nereus of the Netherlands.

It was a gratifying finale of an outstanding collegiate rowing career for Martone and his senior teammates, and it came after a remarkable conclusion to his undergraduate academic career. Martone was a two-time NESCAC Spring All-Academic selection and was honored as one of 28 members of the 2009 class of the prestigious Bates College Scholar-Athlete Society. Most impressively, the political science major from Concord, N.H., received the Milton L. Lindholm Scholar-Athlete Award, given to the male and female varsity athletes at Bates who graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average among their peers. A hip hop enthusiast and a two-time intramural basketball champion, the title of Martone’s thesis was “Interest Group Access and the Maine Clean Election Act: Black French Identity in the Age of Obama.”