Campus Notes: Bates lacrosse moves up to top of rankings

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Now there is only one left with zero.

The Bates College lacrosse team is the only remaining undefeated men’s lacrosse team in NCAA Division III after Tufts and Salisbury suffered their first setbacks of the season last week.

Thanks to those losses, the Bobcats have moved up in a couple of polls. They jump from No. 4 to No. 2 in the main rankings, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s coaches poll. Salisbury, despite its loss, maintains the top spot (both teams received 10 first-place votes).

Another national poll, the Nike/US Lacrosse Top 20, moved Bates up to No. 1, from No. 6 last week.

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Maybe it helped that the Bobcats didn’t play last week, because it was a harsh week for the nation’s top teams. All three teams above then-fourth-ranked Bates (10-0) in the USILA coaches poll lost.

Then-No. 3 York lost to No. 1 Salisbury, but then Salisbury fell to then-No. 14 Cabrini. Bates’ NESCAC rival Tufts, No. 2 in last week’s poll, was dealt its first loss by Amherst, 21-15.

The second-ranked Bobcats and third-ranked Jumbos (11-1) face off Tuesday in Medford, Massachusetts. For what it’s worth, Bates defeated Amherst 23-16 on March 12.

Rowing to top

The much-anticipated showdown between women’s rowing’s co-No. 1s was all Bates.

The Bobcats’ three boats out-stroked all of their competitors on the Malden River in Massachusetts on Saturday. That included fellow No. 1 Wesleyan.

Bates’ first varsity eight started the day by defeating Wesleyan head-to-head. The Bobcats completed the 2-kilometer race in 6 minutes, 37.3 seconds, slightly more than four seconds ahead of the Cardinals (6:41.4).

Later, in the varsity eight grand final, Bates defeated host Tufts, ranked No. 6, also by four seconds.

Bates’ second varsity eight defeated Wesleyan in its first race, 6:58.7 to 7:05.6, and then edged Wellesley in the second race by one second. Bates’ time of 6:39 was nearly 20 seconds faster than its first race.

The Bobcats’ third boat repeated the second boat’s performance, defeating Wesleyan and then Wellesley.

The Bates men also fared well on the Malden.

The first and second varsity eights beat Tufts and then Wesleyan in their respective grand finals.

In fact, Bates’ top two boats were their own best competition. In the grand finals, both boats finished in 5:50, which tied for the fastest time of the day.

Bates’ third varsity eight started Saturday with a loss to Tufts, but then defeated Wesleyan in the petite final.

The Bates teams are hosting the President’s Cup this Sunday at 9 a.m., the first regatta at its new boathouse, which opened last year.

Conference honors

Bates senior Jessica Wilson (Cumberland) broke a school record and earned a NESCAC award.

Wilson was named the conference’s women’s track performer of the week after setting a new team record and placing first in the 5,000-meter run at Connecticut College’s Silfen Invitational on Friday.

Wilson ran the race in 16:57.09, which broke the mark set last year by Katherine Cook.

A couple of athletes with local ties were honored by the North Atlantic Conference.

Former Oxford Hills standout Samantha Bickford was named the women’s lacrosse defensive player of the week for the second time this month.

The University of Maine at Farmington freshman goalie made eight saves and didn’t allow a goal in the 52:40 she played in the Beavers’ 10-1 win over Maine Maritime on Wednesday.

Husson University sprinter Leah Desjardins, a freshman from Poland, was chosen as the NAC women’s outdoor track and field rookie of the week for the third consecutive week.

Desjardins placed fifth in the 200-meter dash with a personal-best time of 27.07 seconds. She also helped the Eagles’ 4×100 relay set a new program record of 51.33 seconds.

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