HADLEY, Mass. -- Bates College's NESCAC champion men's and women's rowing teams led all schools with six all-conference selections apiece, while head coach Peter Steenstra repeated as both Men's and Women's Coach of the Year, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its 2018 All-Conference Rowing Teams on Wednesday.
Steenstra swept both men's and women's Coach of the Year awards for the fourth time in his 10-year tenure at Bates. He pulled off the same feat in both 2015 and 2017, when Bates also won both the men's and women's conference titles, as well as in 2012.
Bates men's rowing captured its third NESCAC title on Saturday at the National Invitational Rowing Championships with the team's varsity eight outracing the only other NESCAC team in the MV8 grand final, Williams College. Bates' win in the MV8 grand final (over Marist, Hobart, Boston College, Williams and WPI) represented a new zenith in the program's history, as the Bobcats punched their ticket for its first trip to the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta, to be held at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., June 1-3.
Six members of that boat received all-conference nods: seniors Quinn Gardner (Tucson, Ariz.), Roderick Pratt (Arlington, Mass.) and Daniel Sparks (Simsbury, Conn.) were named First Team All-NESCAC along with junior coxswain Ariel Lee (Misawa-shi, Aomori, Japan). Seniors Joshua Bilchik (Brookline, Mass.) and two-year senior captain Mats Terwiesch (Wynnewood, Pa.) landed on the Second Team. It is the fourth All-NESCAC honor in as many years for Sparks, and Pratt's second First Team All-NESCAC honor in as many years. Terwiesch, a two-year team captain, also claimed his second career All-NESCAC award.
The Bates women's varsity eight swept its competition at the NIRC regatta for the second year in a row, capturing the Bobcats' fourth NESCAC team championship and claiming an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championships. The No. 1 ranked team in Division III, Bates will seek its third NCAA title in four years at NCAAs, taking place May 24-25 in Sarasota, Fla.
From the women's team, seniors Rosemary Kyne (Nashville, Tenn.) and Olivia Stockly (Cumberland, Maine) repeated as First Team All-NESCAC picks, while senior Laura Rand (Barrington, R.I.) made a move from Second Team All-NESCAC in 2017 to the First Team. The three seniors were joined on the First Team by first-year coxswain Elizabeth Folsom (San Mateo, Calif.). Junior Lena Rintell (Brookline, Mass.) repeated on the All-NESCAC Second Team, where she was joined by sophomore and first-time All-NESCAC awardee Hannah Fitts (Pawtucket, R.I.).
Steenstra has now been named NESCAC Women's Rowing Coach of the Year six times (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018) and Men's Rowing Coach of the Year four times (2012, 2015, 2017, 2018).