WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- Defending NCAA Champion Wellesley College crew advanced both boats to Saturday's Grand Finals on the opening day of the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championships on Friday at Lake Mercer. The Blue's Second Varsity Eight cruised to an open water victory to advance to the final, while Wellesley's Varsity Eight was the runner-up in their opening opening heat to earn a spot.
With a slight tailwind throughout the morning, the Blue took to the course, opening their national title defense with a powerful performance in heat two of the Second Varsity Eight competition. The Blue led from start to finish, clocking in at 6:49.617 to defeat second place Williams (6:57.645) and third place Washington College (7:17.913). In heat one, Bates (6:53.083), defeated Ithaca (7:04.089) and Rochester Institute of Technology (7:18.778) to advance to the Second Varsity Grand Final along with the Blue.
In the first of two Varsity Eight heats, the Blue and Bobcats both locked in spots in Saturday's Grand Final by pulling away from Washington College and Pacific Lutheran. Bates would win the duel (6:35.534) between the two boats, finishing just under two seconds ahead of Wellesley (6:37.704). Despite a push from the Blue from the 500m to the 1000m mark, the Bobcats led throughout the race. Washington College was third (6:47.768), while Pacific Lutheran finished fourth (6:50.368).
Saturday's Grand Finals begin at 11:12 AM with the Second Varsity Eight race. The Varsity Eight Grand Final will follow at 11:36 AM.
Varsity Eight: 8- Emilia Ball (Albany, N.Y.), 7- Kathryn Barth (Bellevue, Wash.), 6- Rhiannon Mulligan (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 5- Ali Rondeau (Ocala, Fla.), 4- Molly Hoyer (Newton, N.J.), 3- Olivia Duggan (West Newbury, Mass.), 2- Anna Gaskill (Fairfax, Va.), 1- Alyssa Rivera (Killington, Vt.), C- Stephanie Kim (Wellesley, Mass.)
Second Varsity Eight: 8- Chloe Carlander (Austin, Texas), 7- Mia Caglieris (Hightstown, N.J. ), 6- Kelsey Campbell (Broomfield, Colo.), 5- Audrey Ellis (Lincolnshire, Ill.), 4- Hannah Barton (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.), 3- Faye Washburn (Seattle, Wash.), 2- Frances Dingivan (Salt Lake City, Utah), 1- Katie Livingston (Wellesley, Mass.), C- Sydney Stento (Boise, Idaho)
NCAA Division III Women's Rowing Championship
Saturday, May 27 (Live Video)
11:12 AM: II Eights Grand Final (places 1-4)
11:36 AM: I Eights Grand Final (places 1-6)
12:30 PM: Awards Ceremony
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