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Bates College wins first rowing national title

2015 Division III Rowing

As the women who made up Bates College’s varsity eight boat crossed the finish line May 30 behind Trinity College (Connecticut) in the national rowing championships’ final event, many of them thought they had lost yet another shot at a national title. Even Bates head coach Peter Steenstra began to accept the fact that his team had fallen short once again – Bates had finished second or third in each of the past six NCAA championships. And yet, when the points were tallied, the Bobcats realized they had just captured their first team championship in college history.

Bates’ score of 39 was just one point better than second-place finisher Trinity at the championships in Gold River, California.

“I’m just very happy for the women, for them knowing they have done all the work necessary to achieve this success,” Steenstra said.

Steenstra’s team wasn’t dominated by upperclassmen. It was composed of four seniors, six juniors, seven sophomores and four freshmen. With so many returning, Bates hopes its role as perennial runner-up will become only a memory.  

“Some of these women have two or three more years to look forward to, with the desire to repeat this as many times as they can,” Steenstra said. “They’ll never lose sight of the fact of how difficult it was to get there, and that they have to continue to work just as hard. The mountain isn’t going to get any shorter.”

The Results
2015 Division III Women’s Rowing

1st: Bates, 39
2nd: Trinity (CT), 38
3rd: Wellesley, 31

Madeleine Morrissette, Washington Col.

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