The Bates Men’s and Women’s Rowing teams continued their excellent run of results over the weekend, with both teams posting multiple wins at Holy Cross and the President’s Cup Regatta. With both programs coming off strong performances at WPI, the races at Holy Cross and the President’s Cup presented a tremendous opportunity to build momentum heading towards the critical parts of the late season.
“The season has gone super well so far. We were late getting onto the water which meant that more time was spent working out in the erg-room,” said Grace Bake ‘21. “Water time is super important for us in the spring because we have been indoors all winter and want the water time in order to gain good boat seed for racing. This season has definitely been more competitive for us that last year as other teams have also been pushing to get faster.”
Both teams raced at Holy Cross on Saturday, with the men squaring off against Tufts, Williams, and Holy Cross, while the nationally number two ranked women faced MIT along with the hosts. In the varsity eight, the men finished second, beating two very strong teams in Tufts and Williams. The second varsity eight also finished second, again trumping NESCAC rivals Tufts and Williams. Unfortunately, the third varsity eight was unable to replicate the success of the first and second men’s eight, but still raced well against the other three boats.
The women were also extremely successful, winning all three varsity races against Holy Cross and MIT. The first varsity eight won by a margin of over 10 seconds ahead of MIT and Holy Cross, while the second varsity eight and third varsity eight were 40 and 22 seconds, respectively, ahead of MIT’s second eight. The Bates women also won the varsity four race, edging Holy Cross by eight seconds.
Both groups raced again the following day at the President’s Cup Regatta in Greene, Maine, with the women sweeping all six races and the men winning four out of six against Colby, Bowdoin, and the University of Maine. The women have dominated the compettion, sharing or winning every President’s Cup since 2008. The women’s varsity eight remained the same as from the day before: Grace Smith ’20, Emma Wheeler ’20, Bake, Catharine Berry-Toon ’21, Hannah Beams ’21, Sally Harris Porter ’21, Hannah Fitts ’20, Lena Rintell ’19, and coxswain Elizabeth Folsom ’21.
The men won the varsity eight, second varsity eight, novice eight, and novice four, with their first varsity eight lineup also remaining the same from Saturday: Kento Kajima ’19, Maxwell Milavetz ’20, Steven Sparks ’22, Maxwell Cavallaro ’22, William Crate ’21, Kevin Downing ’21, Eric Jordan ’19, Julian Stolper ’19, and coxswain Ariel Lee ’19.
Going forward, both groups will be looking to build off of the tremendous success that they have achieved heading into their respective championships. The women will race at the New England Rowing Championships, National Invitational Rowing Championships, NCAA DIII Championships, and IRAs, while the men will race the same schedule with the exception of the DIII Championships.
The women will be looking to add their third consecutive national championship, and, as they are currently ranked at number two in the nation, they have a huge opportunity to achieve that goal. The men are looking to defend their titles from last season at the New England Rowing Championships and the National Interscholastic Rowing Championships, and to qualify for the IRA National Championships for the second consecutive year.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have been absolutely dominant when it has come to championship racing, and while this means both teams will have huge targets on their backs, the wealth of experience when it comes winning at championship races between both teams should give Bates yet another edge over their opponents.
“There is a sense of excitement going into the championship races knowing that you are the defender of the gold,” said William Crate ‘21. “However, it is crucial to recognize that last year was last year. The varsity boat is entirely different. This means there is a lot of speed to gain in the next few weeks, and we should make the most of it.”