The Bates College women’s rowing team won its third straight NCAA Division III national championship Saturday in Indianapolis. Bates College photo by Aaron Morse

INDIANAPOLIS — If it wasn’t a dynasty before, it is now.

The Bates College women’s rowing team, coached by Peter Steentstra, won its third consecutive NCAA Division III national championship and its fourth in five years Saturday at the Indianapolis Rowing Center.

For the second year in a row, the Bobcats won the grand finals in both the first and second varsity eights.

The second eight (W2V8) claimed its sixth gold medal in a row by beating WPI by 6.49 seconds. Bates’ time on the 2-kilometer course was 7:18.85.

The Bobcats first eight (WV8) was almost as dominating, finishing in 7:01.01, which was 5.92 seconds ahead of second-place WPI. Bates built a deck-length lead about a minute into the race, led by seven or eight seats three minutes in, and opened up an open-water lead before the five-minute mark. After that, it was a race for second place.

Bates finished with the maximum 46 points. WPI was second with 41.

For the first time, Bates finished first in each race of the national regatta, the finals and preliminary heats.

Bates WV8 lineup: Bow: Grace Smith; 2: Emma Wheeler; 3: Grace Bake; 4: Catharine Berry-Toon; 5: Hannah Beams; 6: Sally Harris Porter; 7: Hannah Fitts;  Stroke: Lena Rintell; coxswain: Elizabeth Folsom

Bates W2V8 lineup: Bow: Saylor Strugar; 2: Claudia Glickman; 3: Lillian Kinder; 4: Sophie Claus; 5: Emma York; 6: Elizabeth Fischer; 7: Phoebe Long; Stroke: Grace Murnaghan; coxswain: Maya Seshan


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