The Bates women’s rowing team celebrates after winning a national title Saturday morning. Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Bates women’s rowing team won a fourth straight NCAA championship with a win Saturday morning at Nathan Benderson Park.

Bates scored the maximum 42 points with both the first varsity eight and second varsity eight winning their respective grand finals.

The second varsity eight got the day started by winning a seventh straight gold medal at NCAAs. Led by senior coxswain Elise Grossfeld and sophomore stroke Casey Winter, the Bobcats raced to the finish Saturday in 6:48.503, defeating NESCAC rival Hamilton College, which finished in 6:54.311.

Next the first varsity eight came from behind in its grand final, winning in 6:34.872 to complete an undefeated season. Led by senior coxswain Elizabeth Folsom and senior stroke Grace Bake, the Bates first varsity won its third consecutive gold medal at NCAAs. For the first 1,000 meters, a fast Ithaca College crew held a slight edge over the Bobcats but Bates grabbed the lead for good at the 1,500-meter mark and defeated Ithaca by nearly three seconds.

Bates won the 2017, 2018 and 2019 NCAA championships, with the first varsity eight making history in Sarasota in 2018, earning its first gold medal on the national stage. The first varsity has now added two more to its collection. From 2009-2013, the Bobcat women finished second to Williams at NCAAs each year before Bates broke through with the program’s first national championship in 2015. The Bobcats have now won five of the last six NCAA titles, finishing second in 2016 to Wellesley.

TRACK AND FIELD

ELISE LAMBERT FINISHES FIFTH AT NCAAs: Bates junior Elise Lambert took fifth place in the women’s 800-meter final Saturday at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Greensboro, N.C., officially winning her third career All-America honors in the final athletic event of the year for Bates College.

Lambert finished in 2:11.85, the second-best time of her career and 0.08 seconds faster than her preliminary-heat time from Friday. Esther Seeland of Messiah won in a meet-record time of 2:02.52.

This is the Bates women’s team’s fifth straight year of scoring at the NCAA Outdoor Championships; Lambert is the third and highest-placing athlete in team history to become an All-American in the outdoor 800 meters, following Ayden Eickhoff in 2017 (eighth place) and Sarah Dominick in 1992 (sixth).

JOHN REX PLACES FIFTH IN HAMMER THROW: Bates senior John Rex finished fifth in the hammer throw at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, earning All-America honors.

Rex launched the hammer 189 feet, 9 inches on his first attempt — enough to send him into the finals and eventually standing as his best mark of the day. Jude Misko of Rutgers-Camden won at 198-5.

Rex becomes the 15th athlete in Bates men’s track and field history to win All-America honors in the hammer throw, and the first since Sean Enos in 2015.

LEWISTON’S KALILWA PLACES IN TRIPLE JUMP: Lewiston native Adela Kalilwa finished sixth in the women’s triple jump at the NCAA Division III Championships in her last time competing for University of Southern Maine.

Kalilwa had a best leap of 11.69 meters in her first attempt. It was Kalilwa’s fourth time competing in the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. University of Chicago’s Isabel Maletich won the event with a mark of 12.38 meters in her final attempt.

BASEBALL

USM WINS TWICE: Cam Seymour hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning, and Bryce Afthim scattered eight hits as Southern Maine stayed alive in its NCAA Division III baseball regional Saturday defeating Oswego State 4-0 in Hartford, Conn.

Afthim (10-1), a freshman from Windham making only his second start in 19 appearances, worked his way out of trouble several times, including a bases-loaded jam in the second inning. He struck out five and walked four.

USM took the lead in the fifth when Seymour, a freshman from Saco, hit his 13th home run of the season, after singles by Brogan Searle-Belanger and Janek Luksza.

The Huskies made it 4-0 in the eighth when Sam Troiano singled home Andrew Hillier.

The Huskies advanced to another elimination game Saturday night against Wheaton, the only undefeated team remaining in the double-elimination regional. James Sinclair allowed just four hits in 8 1/3 innings and Brogan Searle-Belanger drove in two runs as Southern Maine (34-10) won 4-1 against Wheaton.

The two victories move top-seeded USM into Sunday’s regional final against the winner of an early game between Wheaton and Salve Regina.

STONY BROOK 15, MAINE 9: Brett Paulsen went 4 for 4 with three RBI, pacing a 16-hit attack as Stony Brook (31-18) eliminated Maine (22-22) from the America East tournament in a rain-delayed game.

Maine took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning, sparked by consecutive doubles from Scout Knotts, Joe Bramanti and Jake Marquez.

But the Seawolves answered with six runs in the bottom half, then broke it open with three runs in the fourth and four in the fifth.

Maine didn’t score again until the eighth, when four Stony Brook errors led to a six-run rally. The Seawolves then answered with two runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Stony Brook advanced to face NJIT in the finals, needing two wins over the Highlanders to win the title.


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