WEST WINDSOR, N.J. — The Bates College women’s rowing team followed through on the first day of the NCAA Championships.

The Bobcats, ranked No. 1 in Division III, rowed to first-place finishes in their first and second varsity eight heats Friday on Mercer Lake. Bates hadn’t raced since winning the National Invitational Rowing Championship on May 12, but showed no rust.

“Two weeks without racing tends to get anxiety levels up,” Bates head coach Peter Steenstra said. “So it’s nice to have good heats like that so they can really feel good about what they’re doing.

“But if there’s anything I’ve learned about this regatta, (it) is what happens in the heats does not always correlate to what happens in the finals. Anything could happen tomorrow and we are very aware of that.”

Bates will try to win its second national championship in three years at Saturday morning’s grand finals. The Bobcats won the 2015 championship and came in second last year.

Senior coxswain Katherine Traquina and senior stroke Molly Pritz led the first varsity eight to a wire-to-wire victory, but the Bobcats had to hold off a late charge by Wellesely in the final 500 meters and ended up winning by about two seconds, 6:35.534 to 6:37.704.

Bates will be joined by five other boats in the top eight final.

The Bobcats’ second varsity eight, helmed by cox Abigail Bierman and stroke Grace Jurkovich, dominated its heat Friday, winning by a shade more than nine seconds over second-place Ithaca.

The first and second varsity eight boats that advance to Saturday’s finals earn points toward the team national title. The school with the most combined points is the national champion.

Bates is seeking its first gold in the first varsity eight. When it won the 2015 championship, the first eight finished second and the second eight took first.

Girls’ lacrosse

Edward Little 18, Oxford Hills 8

AUBURN — Megan Steele had seven goals to lead Edward Little to a 18-8 victory over Oxford Hills on Friday.

Hayley Frohlich added an eight-point effort by notching six goals and two assists, and Piper Norcross had seven points with two goals and five helpers, and Kaylee Jipson had a hat trick and a helper for the Red Eddies (5-6). Mariah Vaillancourt made eight saves.

Caroline Burns had four goals and two assists for the Vikings (0-10), while Arianna Greene had a pair of goals. Hailey Hartnett contributed a goal and assist, and Maggie Hartnett had a goal.


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