Women’s crew finishes third at NCAA Championships
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Bates College captured third place in its first trip to the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships on Saturday. The Bobcats’ first varsity eight nipped the University of Puget Sound by 0.07 seconds, 6:57.10 to 6:57.17, in the process clinching third place overall, at the University of Tennessee’s 2,000-meter Melton Hill Lake course.
The third of four full teams to have entries in both the grand and petite finals, Bates took a sixth-place finish in the petite final in 7:15.25 to earn three points.
But the Bobcats vaulted to a third-place overall finish as they edged Puget Sound for the bronze medal in the grand final, completing a 1-2-3 finish for squads from the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Williams defended its national title, defeating second-place Trinity College by nearly four full seconds to grab the title-clinching 12 points.
Ithaca College and Puget Sound finished the competition with 11 points each, but Puget Sound was awarded fourth place due to a higher finish in the grand final. William Smith took fifth place in the grand final and sixth overall with a time of 6:59.92.
At-large entries Mary Washington and Coast Guard finished one-two in the petite final, but were not eligible to earn team points. Mary Washington stopped the clock at 7:03.36, just three-tenths of a second ahead of Coast Guard (7:03.66).
Bates’ first varsity eight boat has first-year Rachel Tofel (Bronx, N.Y.) at coxswain, senior Gabby Voeller (Littleton, Colo.) in the stroke seat and first-year Alexia Zhang (Berlin, Conn.) in the bow seat. Seats 2 through 7 are, in order, sophomore Caitlin Murphy (Duxbury, Mass.), sophomore Laura Hubbell (Yarmouth, Maine), junior Laura Director (Wilmington, Del.), sophomore Nicole Ritchie (East Dummerston, Vt.), senior Jaclyn Olson (Norfolk, Mass.) and senior Jeanethe Falvey (Phippsburg, Maine).
Ritchie earlier this week earned First Eight All-America recognition from the College Rowing Coaches Association, while Olson made the Second Eight squad. Ritchie and Voeller were both named CRCA Division II/III National Scholar-Athletes as well.
Bates’ second varsity eight boat has sophomore Charlotte Coulter (Branford, Conn.) at coxswain, sophomore Emily Chandler (North Yarmouth, Maine) in the stroke seat and junior Kara Constantine (Beverly, Mass.) in the bow seat. Seats 2 through 7 are, in order, junior Kate Harmsworth-Morrissey (Brookline, Mass.), junior Catherine Cluett (Sanbornton, N.H.), sophomore Brianna Belanger (Millbridge, Maine), junior Emily Howieson (Holliston, Mass.), first-year Josie Cutts (Kittery Point, Maine) and senior Sarah Ewing (Washington, Conn.). Bates’ alternates at nationals are first-year Danica Doroski (Wayne, Pa.), first-year Chelsea Thibodeau (Duluth, Minn.) and first-year coxswain Lindsay Thomson (West Hartford, Conn.).
Back row, standing (L-R): Co-Interim Head Coach Eliot Pitney, Nicole Ritchie, Gabby Voeller, Sarah Ewing, Catherine Cluett, Josie Cutts, Alexia Zhang, Danica Doroski, Kara Constantine, Co-Interim Head Coach Anne Lewis.