HADLEY, Mass. - The Williams men's and Bates women's rowing teams will look to repeat as conference champions this Sunday when they compete for the NESCAC Men's and Women's Rowing Championships. The Eph men are pursuing their seventh straight title, while the Bobcat women are looking for back-to-back crowns.
The NESCAC championship is awarded based on performance in the first varsity eight grand final race at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) National Invitational Rowing Championships, which will be held at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass. on Sunday. The regatta will be broadcasted live at d3cast.com/rowing/. All schedules and complete results can be found at ecacsports.com. The women's varsity eight grand final is slated for 4:50 p.m., while the men's varsity eight grand final is scheduled for 5:10 p.m.
During last year's ECAC-NIRC, Williams had the top performance among conference members in the men's grand final with a third-place time of 6:04.696. Bates was the only other NESCAC institution competing in the grand final, placing sixth with a time of 6:18.500.
With the win, the Ephs captured their sixth NESCAC consecutive crown and seventh all-time. Trinity is the only other institution to have won the conference men's rowing title, having claimed four championships in a row from 2005-08.
On the women's side, Bates crossed the finish with a time of 6:51.316 to capture the program's first NESCAC title after finishing as runner-up the previous three seasons. The Bobcats finished more than three seconds ahead of second-place finisher and league rival Williams, which turned in a time of 6:54.993. Trinity and Wesleyan were the other conference institutions represented in the grand final, placing third and fifth, respectively, with times of 6:56.631 and 7:05.908.
The Ephs lead the NESCAC with nine overall conference titles, while Trinity won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005, and Colby earned the title in 2003.
This past Saturday at the New England Rowing Championships on Lake Quinsigamond, the Bates men won the varsity eight grand final with a time of 6:14.338 for the program's first varsity eight grand final victory. Wesleyan came in behind the Bobcats three seconds later at 6:17.751, while Trinity and Williams were fourth (6:18.777) and fifth (6:19.735), respectively.
The Bates women edged Williams at the finish in the varsity eight grand final with a time of 6:57.656. The Ephs clocked a time of 6:57.791. Trinity and Tufts placed fourth and fifth, respectively, as the Bantams posted a mark of 7:04.439 compared to the Jumbos' time of 7:06.324.
If the grand final at the ECAC-NIRC is not able to be conducted on Sunday at Lake Quinsigamond, the NESCAC championships, and along with it the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA women's rowing championship at Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif. on May 29-30, will be based on the results of the grand final from the New England Rowing Championships.