Bates Bobcast Episode 141: NESCAC Championships season is here!
On this week's Bobcast, we're talking to a pair of NESCAC champions for the track and field program. Plus, the baseball team swept Colby, the softball team won another thriller against Trinity and the rowing teams hosted, and won, the 23rd Presidents Cup. All that and more...
Interviews this episode:
- 0:58 -- Andrew Small '19, Men's lacrosse.
- 3:16 -- Justin Foley '19, Baseball.
- 10:11 -- Janell Sato '22, Softball.
- 16:24 -- Zach Smith '21, Men's track and field (Male Bobcat of the Week).
- 23:07 -- Ayden Eickhoff '19, Women's track and field captain. (Female Bobcat of the Week).
- 30:30 -- Claudia Glickman '19 and Trevor Fry '19, Rowing captains.
Aaron: This is the Bates Bobcast. Our weekly podcast where we take a look at the week that was, in Bates athletics. My name is Aaron Morse and this week we’re talking to a pair of NESCAC champions for the track and field program. Plus, the baseball team swept Colby and the softball team won another thriller against Trinity. All that and more, coming up, on the Bates Bobcast!
Aaron: The men’s lacrosse team defeated Colby for the fifth straight season on Wednesday, winning 14-12 at Garcelon Field. It was the final regular season home game for Bates' seniors, and we caught up with senior Andrew Small after the game, he scored two goals, dished out an assist, recorded two ground balls and caused two turnovers in the win.
Andrew: I think the most important thing was we were just trying to rebound from Saturday. Obviously, we just wanted to play well, play our best. This time of year you have to be playing your best because everyone you're playing is very good and playing hot, so that was a really hot team that we were just happy we could come in and move the ball and be unselfish and make plays for our teammates.
Aaron: How special is this for the senior class never to have lost to Colby?
Andrew: Yeah. I know. It feels great. That's always a big- CBB is always some pride. The state of Maine. You're always playing for it.
Andrew: We've had some- this year's just been really special and really great and we're trying to ride as long as possible.
Aaron: You touched on this, but what was the focus for the team after the rough game against Amherst? What'd you focus on the last couple days in practice leading up to this short turnaround?
Andrew: Yeah. So, Monday night we probably had the best practice we've had, honestly, in my four years here. Just up and down. We want to just get back to he basics, get back to playing hard, wanting every ground on the ball, wanting to make every pass. Definitely very talkative and competitive with each other. Pushing each other, that's really what it was all about was making those little plays so that when we comes out to the game we're ready for and can make it happen.
Aaron: All right. Andrew Small. Thank you so much.
Aaron: The Bobcats fell in the NESCAC tournament quarterfinals to Amherst on Saturday and the Bates men sport a 10-5 overall record and are ranked 16th in the country. All five of their losses have come against teams ranked among the top 7 in the country in this week’s poll. The Bates women’s lacrosse team fell to Colby in its regular season finale and to Middlebury in the NESCAC tournament quarterfinals. The Bobcat women have an overall record of 8-8 and are ranked 25th in the nation.
Aaron: Speaking of the NESCAC tournament, the Bates baseball team needs to at least split a doubleheader this Saturday at Bowdoin to qualify for the four-team conference championship for the third straight season. This comes on the heels of a big weekend that saw the Bobcats sweep the Colby College Mules in a three-game series, outscoring Colby 26-5 along the way. On Saturday, Bates won 16-3. First-year Bryan Gotti homered and senior Justin White hit his first career home run in the victory. Then senior Justin Foley pitched a complete game shutout in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader, as Bates won 3-0. The Bobcats took game two as well, this time by a count of 7-2. Foley, a two-sport athlete at Bates, joined the Bobcast to talk about his outing and the season so far.
Aaron: Justin Foley with us here on the Bobcast and Justin, your first career collegiate complete game, at least, against Colby. What was clicking so well for you out there on the mound? Seven innings and shutting them out?
Justin: Really, just locating fast balls and keeping the ball off-speed. Some breaking balls and stuff.
Justin: I worked with Jack. The guys behind me made a bunch of plays and we had a nice inning, got three runs and that's all we needed.
Aaron: Sure. And for you, I mean, control seems to be the name of the game, right? You don't walk very many guys. How do you approach that out there on the mound each day?
Justin: Well, I just think about getting ahead, starts with the first pitch. Obviously, you want to get a strike and then just stay ahead. And then, just put the guy away. Don't give him a chance. No free bases 'cause in my experience, that has always come back to haunt me.
Aaron: Gotcha. And then, you know, for the team itself, pretty exciting season, right? I mean, it comes down to this weekend kind of at Bowdoin, for the NESCAC tournament. What are your thoughts on the way the season's gone so far being your senior year?
Justin: Yeah. We're really clicking. This is I think our best record above .500 that we've had in my four years, in my fourth year here now. Everyone gets along really well. We just got some good chemistry going on. We're playing good baseball at the right time now. Yeah. We got to win one out of two by like, on paper against Bowdoin but we wanna go for both.
Justin: That would be good momentum heading into the tournament. But yeah, we want to win the games in between. We got USM coming up. Probably Saint Joe's I think will be rescheduled. Those are both good teams. They are usually in the regional. That's our goal. We go out to the tournament before and got the taste, but we want to change that up and get a couple victories.
Aaron: Certainly. And for you, I mean, how have you seen yourself develop as a pitcher since you were a first-year 'cause you've pitched a fair amount each season and now this year, obviously, being one of the weekend starters, but how have you seen your growth kind of take place here at Bates?
Justin: So, out of high school, I was always a starter and then coming to Bates, I didn't necessarily start my first couple years and it wasn't necessarily frustrating because like coach Leonard the first year, then coach Martin. They've always given me opportunities to pitch and it's because I throw strikes, so it's more like, they get in a jam, they feel comfortable that I can go in there and just put out the fire, I guess, or something just so calm it down a little bit.
Justin: At first, it was all right, but I don't necessarily like not knowing exactly when I'm going to pitch, but I do love coming in in the big spot. Bases loaded, no outs type of thing. Like, see what we can do. I used to- I enjoyed that.
Justin: I really like having full control of the game, like from first pitch. Every time I go out there, I want to pitch all nine innings or however long the game is. Anything short of that, I mean, obviously, it's a team effort, but that's what I set my goal as every time I go out there.
Aaron: For sure. How about the chance of playing in the Futures League over the summer? I understand you were playing against some guys who are on your team, like Jack and Nolan. How'd that go?
Justin: The Futures League is awesome. I started playing in coming into my first year out of high school and that definitely helped me get ready for college, like ... so all the guys, there was about a couple D1- from D1 to D3 scattered around and they were all good players. It helped me figure out what I need to do to get college guys out and that is: be able to locate multiple pitches on command.
Justin: I really shaped up being able to locate a curve ball and I've had some trouble with my change up this year, but I think I figured it out again.
Justin: So, stuff like that. Really being able to change sides of the plate, like throw the ball inside, not hit the guy type of thing, but not be afraid and leave it over the middle because that'll happen.
Justin: Yeah. No. That was fun. And playing against Nolan, Smitty, and Jack, that's always a blast. I know Jack's going back this year. He's going to Nashua and playing up there. That's a great program. He's going to have fun there. It's closer to home for him.
Justin: Yeah. It was always fun. Down in Brockton, the bullpens are right next to each other, so Jack and- Nolan pitched against us a lot in the beginning of the year but going on like- schedule's started mixing up a little bit, so it would be cool when those three guys would be over there. Sometimes I'd hop over the fence and I'd go hang out with them. There was another- they had a Tufts pitcher too, so we'd just talk. It's a great time.
Aaron: Nice. I think I interviewed you when you were a first-year when you were I think NESCAC Player of the Week in football as a punter and I asked you about two sports. You said, "I guess we'll see how it goes 'cause I don't know yet."
Aaron: How has it gone throughout your time here?
Justin: I've loved it, honestly. I've never known not being in season, so that's going to be a big change for me this summer and in the fall, but we'll get there when we get there. We'll see how that goes. (laughs) No, but I've loved it. It's been great for me to have two groups of guys that I can rely on, always have somebody to sit with in commons.
Justin: Seeing two different- well now I've had four different coaches, but just being able to see the different perspectives, take a little bit from each person, see what works with me the best and apply it to myself. It's been a lot of fun, even though we haven't won too many football games, I got my fair share of work, so it's been worth it for me.
Aaron: Right. Yeah. You did. You have any thoughts on this weekend doubleheader at Bowdoin coming up? Because I mean, it's do or die sort of, right?
Justin: Yeah. It is. They're going to be important games. I know Nolan's going to go game one. I'll go game two. We're going to be hungry for it, though, so we got to play well. It start with- we'll focus on USM first. We got to play well against them and then a good week of practice and then- it was a close game. 3-2 when we played them.
Justin:It's going to be a good weekend, competitive, and I wish it was at home, but what are you going to do?
Aaron: All right. Well, Justin Foley, we're looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully, the NESCAC tournament after that. Thanks so much.
Justin: Yep. Thank you.
Aaron: The Bates softball team has qualified for the NESCAC tournament for a second straight season. Bates will take on No. 3 nationally ranked Williams this Friday at 5pm on the campus of Tufts University. Over the weekend, the Bobcats dropped a trio of heartbreakers to Bowdoin, but Bates did win a thriller against Trinity, finishing the NESCAC regular season schedule with a record of 5-7. In Sunday’s game against the Bantams, first-year Janell Sato delivered the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth, as Bates won 5-4 for the Bobcats’ second win against Trinity this year in three games. Sato sports a .427 on-base percentage this season, tops on the team. She takes us through her game-winning hit and how she’s enjoying Bates so far, having grown up in Hawaii.
Janell: I was just basically looking to drive in a run. It was Kennedy who led off and then she got a single and then Aleah had a perfect bunt, which she got on safe. I turned to coach, I looked out on third base line and I was like, I have to find a pitch to drive in this run. We was battling throughout 'til the ninth inning, I think.
Janell: It was definitely one of those games where we had to grind out one more run and I guess my goal was just to hit a line drive to score that run.
Aaron: This was your first walk-off hit I'm pretty sure in college. Did you ever have any in high school or club ball or anything like that?
Janell: I think I had a few in club ball or in high school but this definitely was one of the highlights of my season. It was one of the best games. The feeling after I hit the ball was amazing and I couldn't have done it without my teammates and my coaches.
Aaron: What was it like being mobbed by your teammates after the getting the hit? (laughs)
Janell: It was amazing feeling. I couldn't have done it without their support, so it was just a great feeling.
Aaron: So, you're from Hawaii. You have a teammate at Bates. You were teammates in high school. Kennedy Ishii in Hawaii as well and now she's at Bates, here with you as also. How'd this development go in terms of playing ball in Hawaii growing up and then coming to Bates for college?
Janell: Well, I'm so happy that Kennedy and I kind of picked the same school. I guess coming from Hawaii, going to the east coast, it was a huge adjustment, but definitely having Kennedy by my side- me playing second, Kennedy playing short, that just made the whole transition a lot better. I have been playing with her since maybe ten and under. Playing softball, we had the same coaches, we went to the same high school. She's like a sister to me and we do everything together and I'm so grateful for her.
Aaron: Were you a double play combination in high school also, or?
Janell: No, we weren't. Yeah. I actually- in high school, all four years I played catcher, so Kennedy was there at shortstop and she was always there catching my throw downs. But definitely playing second base and she playing short, it's a different dynamic. Yeah. I'm grateful that she's there. She helps me through- this is the first season I've actually played second base, so she helps me kind of discover what I have to do as a second baseman and she would communicate every play and so I'm glad that she's there.
Aaron: Yeah. So, having never had played second base before, what was your reaction when coach was like, "We need you there?"
Janell: Yeah. So, during I guess Florida, she came up to me and she said, "Janell, can you play second base?" And I was like, "Sure. I don't mind trying it. I guess I could." I played catcher basically my entire life and I was like, "Yes. Let's try second base."
Janell: Like she said, she told me it was going to be learning experience and it definitely was. Through each game, I learned a little more and if I had any questions, I went up to coach and asked her how I would be able to do something differently and she really helped me through the process. Definitely all my teammates helped me and yeah, it was- I love second base now, but it was definitely a transition from catcher.
Aaron: What about Bates appealed to you during the process of looking for colleges?
Janell: Oh. Definitely the academics and the seasons. And coach introduced me to Bates and I was interested in bio and the science departments. Everything about Bates. It seemed like a family community and that's what I loved and so it definitely drew me to Bates. Yeah.
Aaron: That's interesting you mention the seasons, right? Growing up in Hawaii, it must've been pretty much sunny all the time and here you have real season. Is that- that's an appeal for you?
Janell: Yeah, definitely. I actually have never seen snow before, so coming to Maine, notoriously for snow, I was like, "Oh my gosh!" Like this is- I love snow. My teammates were like, "I think she's crazy. She loves snow this much."
Janell: The first snow, Kennedy and I were wearing shorts and we were just like, "Wow. This is beautiful." It was kind of like glitter falling from the sky and I told coach I love snow. I love the seasons. It's something really different that we don't really get to experience in Hawaii.
Janell: But, yeah. So far, I'm loving it.
Aaron: Excellent. So, academically, you mentioned that being an appeal also. What are some classes you've taken so far that you've found interesting here?
Janell: Oh. I have taken this marine science course that I really found interesting. I didn't really think- going into it I thought it would be something outside of my comfort zone. Maybe a fun course, and it was definitely fun. I also liked my bio and chem courses, the stem courses I loved. My calculus course definitely was a challenge last semester, but I think overall, the courses here are amazing.
Aaron: Excellent. And then, from a softball perspective, coming from high school and now playing college, what were some adjustments you had to make initially, maybe in that first Florida trip and coming back here?
Janell: Definitely bringing your A-game every single practice, every single lift and single game. I think from high school, there are some days where you don't really have to focus during lifts or sometimes you just go through the motion but here in college, every single day has to be your A-game and the intensity has to be up and your teammates kind of hold you accountable for that. I think that's the difference.
Aaron: And then, you've got the NESCAC tournament coming up here, right? Taking on Williams, one of the top ranked teams in the country there. You played them before and I know one of the two games was a pretty close one, so what are your thoughts on Williams coming up here?
Janell: I'm actually really excited to play Williams. I think that it will definitely be challenge for us but I think we are starting to peak and everyone's coming together and I think- actually, I know we're going to be able to beat them. We're going to have to all come together as a team and depend on one another and every single girl has to be a little piece to our puzzle. I think our coaches, everyone believes in us and I think we can do it.
Aaron: In rainy conditions at Middlebury, the Bates track and field teams both finished 5th at the NESCAC Championships on Saturday. Each team produced a NESCAC champion, with sophomore Zach Smith winning the men’s javelin and senior captain Ayden Eickhoff winning the women’s 800-meter run. After taking third last season as a first-year, Smith weathered the weather to take first this time around AND he placed fourth in the discus. And he is our Male Bobcat of the Week!
Zach: So, to start, the day was less than ideal with the rain and the weather, but once it- with the jav, it's kind of nice because you're not directly in the mud the whole time. On the runway, kind of makes it a little easier because the runway isn't muddy. Once you get past that, it's really a matter of who can keep their mark. It's kind of hard PR in that weather. I was able to do that and that was enough.
Aaron: Right. So, it was not a PR but it seems like you maybe- some of the distances were just kind of down in general and so you're able to step into that void a little bit?
Zach: Yeah. My PR was- I set it last year, and that's 55 meters 66 and so at NESCAC's I threw 52 99, which is a little less but still for this year, I've been pretty consistent around that number. Hopefully we can jump back up and get a big one out there.
Aaron: Sure. So, in terms of- was there a lot of waiting around after your throw to see if you were going to win and kind of hold on, or how did that process go?
Zach: Well, the eventual winning throw happened. It was my second throw out of six, so the whole time, it was kind of nerve wracking because there's a lot of good throwers out there and any one of them could've beat me at that point. I think it was the weather that really held people back.
Zach: Ideally, I would want to improve the throw, but I didn't get to that that, but it was enough.
Aaron: Well, it was interesting because last year, you were top three at NESCAC's, also, right? It seems like the NESCAC championships is the right time of year for you? How do you think it's been going kinda?
Zach: It's just big meets. I like big meets and it's fun to compete in these.
Zach: Last year, yeah. I came in third. I threw 168, so similar to what I threw this year. This year, it was the weather definitely knocked the numbers down.
Aaron: Gotcha. Okay, so you're a sophomore from Waterville, so how did you decide to come down the road here to Bates for college?
Zach: So, there's a throwing clinic we run every year and my junior year of high school, came down here and it was just throwing and I remember Tyler was here and they were all coaching us up. Fresh came up to my coach in high school and said, "Can I get that kid's numbers?" So, that really opened the door, so then I came for an overnight and talked to Fresh a lot and D-Ray had me on an overnight. Then, I applied. Early decision one and got in.
Aaron: You touched on D-Ray. You also throw the discus in an event he threw and had a pretty good result there as well. How do you balance the training? Because it's obviously very different mechanics.
Zach: Well, it's actually a lot easier than you'd think because for the javelin, it's pretty hard on the arm, so we can really only do it two times per week. So, that opens all the other times, and even morning practice that an any others we have.
Aaron: So, it's the jav. There's limited opportunities, so you're able to do the discus maybe when you're not doing the jav kinda?
Zach: Yeah. In the- more of the regular season, when I have a lot more events with hammer and shot sometimes. It helps to- I mean it would be great to throw jav all the time, but you want to be ready for the meet. You want your arm to be feeling good, so you can't overdo it.
Aaron: So, when did you start throwing javelin growing up?
Zach: My freshman year of high school. I was looking for a way out of baseball. (laughs) I didn't like it that much. And then my football coach, who was also the throwing coach, said, "Why don't you join track? It'll just be a good way to start lifting for football and everything like that." And then my freshman year, I threw 141 in the javelin and I was like, "There might be something to this."
Aaron: When did you decide you wanted to maybe possibly throw in college as well?
Zach: Every year in high school, I increased my number, and something about that was just really cool. Just almost immediately, sophomore year, junior year, somewhere in there, I wanted to keep doing that. Then, senior year, when the opportunity for Bates came around and coach Fresh was like, "Yeah. We'd love to have you." It was a no brainer for me.
Aaron: Excellent. New Englands coming up here. What are you- you going to be discus and jav again or what are you going to be doing there?
Zach: Yeah. I'm going to be throwing discus and jav. With New England's, the competition's a lot stiffer. Especially in the javelin, which is my focus right and the later season. Discus is fun, but I'm definitely focusing on javelin.
Zach: I'd have to throw a pretty big one to be in contention, but hopefully we can do it.
Aaron: Well, yeah. I'm curious in terms of the jav from national perspective. I mean, NCAAs. So, when you think about either maybe not necessarily for this year but in the future?
Zach: That's the goal. When you're practicing, trying to get better, the goal is to eventually make it to nationals and then do the best I can there.
Aaron: I'm curious. Growing up in Waterville, obviously, that's Colby's back yard. What'd you know about Bates kind of growing up, if anything?
Zach: Really, all I knew about Bates was the Colby, Bowdoin, Bates rivalry, so I'd always go watch the football games.
Zach: I didn't really know much about it until I got to high school and then it's like wow, this could actually be an opportunity for me.
Aaron: It seems like a lot of throwers were football players growing up. Do you get that sense as well? I mean, obviously, Tyler plays for Bates right here, so.
Zach: A lot of the stories I hear are similar to mine where the football coach is tied in with track somehow or wants the players to do track just to lift. And then, sometimes, I fell in love with track and I think that happens a lot.
Aaron: Excellent. So, what's going to be the practice schedule going to be like this week for you? How do you prepare to throw at New England's kinda?
Zach: Well, we go a morning practice and an afternoon practice. One of them is usually a little easier just to- you know, for jav, just to warm your shoulder up, keep it loose. Then we can throw a little harder. Usually it's two different events per day and then we throw a little harder in the afternoon, usually.
Zach: Like with discus, we can throw that a lot because that's not too hard on the body. It's nice to have two practices, I think, to get you ready.
Aaron: For sure. Well, any other thoughts we haven't discussed about, you know, you winning the NESCAC title this year for you?
Zach: (laughs) I mean, it's fun and I just really appreciated my team out there, even in the horrible weather, still cheering me on and everything.
Aaron: There you go. Zach Smith, NESCAC champion in the javelin. Thanks so much.
Zach: Thank you.
Aaron: It’s the second NESCAC title in the 800 meters for Eickhoff. Her first-place finish came just two hours after she finished second in the 1,500 meters. And Ayden Eickhoff is our Female Bobcat of the Week!
Aaron: Finish second in the 1500 but then a few hours later, you're able to win the 800. First, tell me a little bit about what you do between those two races to kind of keep yourself loose and ready, but not wear yourself out or anything?
Ayden: Yeah, definitely. So, pretty much immediately, you just have to put on your layers, go back inside. I did a cool down, couple laps around the indoor track. With this much time between races, it really wasn't possible to have a meal or anything, so just a couple snacks, some Gatorade. Just to get something in your stomach before you're about to race again. I try to stay inside as much as possible so that my body wasn't trying to keep me warm outside. But, it was a little hard because I definitely wanted to be able to support the other events, but you can just pull up the feed on your phone and (laughs) watch what's going on outside.
Ayden: Yeah. So, it was kind of- a kind of stressful hour and a half there, but just definitely stretching, staying warm, having a little bit of energy gel and going from there.
Aaron: Yeah. The weather I understand, not ideal. Take us through the weather conditions and how you deal with that?
Ayden: Yeah. It was terrible. It was truly terrible. Thankfully, by about nine-thirty, ten, there wasn't rain anymore, but it still was just a pretty frigid day. Low 40's, 20 mile an hour wind right at you on the back stretch. Especially for the races that had to deal with that multiple times, you could definitely tell it took a toll by the end with girls after battling the wind for a couple laps. Really just not having that kick on the final stretch that they would have.
Ayden: In the 1500, I definitely felt just ... everything was just kind of cold and pretty tight, so I wasn't able to really feel like I had a lot left at the end.
Ayden: Going into the 800, I knew I was going to deal with that again, but at the same time, everyone is dealing with these conditions. I tried to be strategic. There was a couple girls who went out pretty fast in the 800, so I stayed behind them for the back stretch hopefully- hoping that that would take away some of that wind from me.
Ayden: For the 800, I was able to out kick people at the end, but yes, the wind definitely played a large role in this meet.
Aaron: So, it's safe to say no one was setting PR's on this afternoon?
Ayden: Exactly. Exactly. And you could tell pretty much everyone from their heat sheets going into it, I would say was for some of the longer events, several seconds off of where they would want to be. Also, when we get to these championship meets, people are wanting to PR and wanting to sort of put their training to the test and it really just wasn't the day for it. Going into it, I had hoped to really get a solid 1500 time and then just to see what was left in the 800 and I had to change a lot of those expectations once I got there and said, "This just won't be possible today."
Aaron: Is it good? Is it nice to have that Williams runner to kind of having your eye on her kind of the whole time 'cause for those of you who don't know, Ayden, you finished second to her in the 1500 but then beat her in the 800. How did that dynamic kind of work?
Ayden: Yeah. So, Anna and I have seen each other at a lot of races over the years. Most recently, at nationals at the indoor 800. And then, the year before at the indoor 800, so we definitely have been at a lot of these meets finishing very, very close to each other. She is so nice and just getting to talk to her before and after the races about what we're doing for the day, how we feel about the race. It's been great, but it definitely is really nice to have someone that you know, okay, if she's a little bit ahead of me, I've run with her before, I can be up there. I assume that she feels the same about me when I'm going out ahead. It's been nice to have her as a gauge.
Aaron: Well, as one of the captains on the team, it must be nice to see the team get a top five finish. I know last year a little bit further down for the team but now back in that top five there.
Ayden: Yeah. No, that was really nice, and it's something that we weren't necessarily sure of throughout the day. A lot of our points kind of came later on as Jay went over in our meeting, it was a lot of those sort of sixth, seventh, eighth places that really added up for us.
Ayden: Beating Hamilton by half a point was just like, the cherry on top of the day. But yeah, certainly. We definitely- as you said, really no one was having great days. People had good times, which for the conditions, were probably stellar performances, but they just didn't quite look like that on paper. A lot of those performances really helped us in the end.
Aaron: We often talk about the difference between outdoors, indoors. Outside conditions is the main one, but in the terms of the level of competition and terms of the teams you're dealing with, I know New Englands is going to be at least on the men's side, Zach was saying just like, tons of talent coming in and that's NESCACs and beyond. What's it like on the women's side?
Ayden: Yeah. It's the same. NESCAC is very, very strong for what we do but then there's always people from the larger D3 meets that come in. We have MIT join us, we have WPI come join us, so definitely more competition. You'll just see more heats that are stronger across the board.
Ayden: That being said, NESCAC is one of the top- the most competitive. It will fortunately, it will feel like we've already kind of already competed with a lot of these people.
Aaron: Sure. What races are you doing this weekend then? Is it the same races or different ones?
Ayden: Nope. I'm doing the 800 and then later in the day I'll do the four by eight.
Aaron: The four by eight. Okay. So, no 1500 this week?
Aaron: Gotcha. Okay. So, with the four by eight, that's obviously a fun one because relays. You have any idea who's part of that relay team or is it still kind of being worked together?
Ayden: Yeah. I think it is still kind of being worked together and it'll depend on how the day goes for a lot of people.
Ayden: I believe it is Mary, So, me, and Sarah. So, yep, a group of girls who have had a lot of experience in a four by eight setting and also a relay setting and the 800 setting. I think it'll go really well.
Aaron: Well, any other thoughts on another NESCAC title for you in the 800 there?
Ayden: Yeah. I definitely was very happy to be able to pull that off and get the points for our team that we needed. It really just did come on a day where I had different expectations, so it was great that that happened, but I also was then facing, "Oh. Well, this day, I didn't get the times I wanted."
Ayden: It just- as I said, just really changed the expectations for me, but still a great day overall.
Aaron: Sounds good, Ayden Eickhoff, Female Bobcat of the week. Thanks so much.
Ayden: Thank you.
Aaron: The Bates rowing teams hosted the 23rd edition of the Presidents Cup on Sunday, welcoming Colby, Bowdoin and the University of Maine to the Traquina Boathouse in Greene. The Bobcats won the Cup for the 11th straight year and we caught up with two of Bates’ captains, senior Trevor Fry for the men and senior Claudia Glickman for the women, both of whom race in their respective second varsity eight boats, to talk about the experience of hosting the Presidents Cup.
Claudia: It's just always really fun to be at our own boathouse and to have everyone from the Bates community be able to come and watch us row, which is something really special and really rare. Just for them to experience the boathouse and see what we actually do is a really exciting thing.
Claudia: Also, to be with Bowdoin and Colby, it definitely has a community feel to it that other races don't, just 'cause we are the only three and then U Maine was there but the three Maine schools with rowing teams. It was fun to get together and we all have our barbecue together and hang out. Just a lot of good people in one spot. That's always really nice.
Aaron: And Trevor, and I know you're both seniors, but Trevor, what was this experience like maybe compared to previous years? Always a fun time though, I imagine.
Trevor: Well, it's always a fun time and I think like Claudia said, a lot of other races that we do, people are pretty kind of closed and you don't really talk to people from other teams, but I really think the Bates, Bowdoin and Colby rivalry, starting with the CBB chase we do up at Colby in the Fall and then this- in the President's Cup in the Spring is really just a fun time and it's much more of a family atmosphere. People are hanging out, eating together, you're chatting with people from the other teams. The racing is fast and it's definitely competitive, but it's so much fun to kind of share the Maine rowing tradition.
Trevor: And like Claudia said, to have all your friends come out and see what you do, really means a lot for us. It really meant a lot that my three roommates were able to make it out and come out to see me row because it's definitely something that people don't really get to see. It's not like we get to row in the puddle, which would definitely be kind of fun. (laughs)
Aaron: Right. Claudia, I mean, you're both captains, but Claudia, I'll start with you. What's the experience been like being a captain, so far?
Claudia: It's one of the biggest honors I've ever had just because the people above me, you know, when I was a freshman, I came in, I walked on to the team and the captains were two of the sweetest, most welcoming and supportive people I know. And so was that whole senior class and juniors and and sophomores and everyone above me.
Claudia: To move through the program and be able to represent my team as captain is something that means the world to me and I hope that I'm fulfilling the role the way the captains from my freshman year and sophomore and junior year did. And I'm someone that people feel supported by and someone they can look up to. Yeah. It means a lot.
Aaron: How do you see it, Trevor, being one of the captains? I mean, you too kind of came in. You were in I think in the novice boat as a first year, second varsity eight and captain now.
Trevor: Like Claudia said, it's been a real honor and it's also been a lot of work this year. We graduated a lot of seniors with the amazing class of 2018. I think 23 on both sides of the boathouse if I'm getting that correct and nine on the men's side. Kind of have to take step into this leadership role for both me and Eric was definitely kind of a big undertaking, but he's been great partner to work with and we have a huge freshman class. And they've definitely kept us busy on all different kinds of fronts.
Trevor: But it's been really fun. It's been an honor. I hope I've been setting a good example. But it's been really fun and they're really kind of showing their speed right now, which I hope is partially because of what Eric and I have done throughout the season, but we'll see. We're really looking forward to New Englands this coming weekend.
Aaron: Well, you mentioned your co-captain, Eric Jordan. I think Peter Steenstra said on our previous episode of the Bobcast - you two have very different personalities but it works, doesn't it?
Trevor: We do have very different personalities. Yeah. Eric is not always the most verbose person, but I think he's a truly kind individual and an amazing leader for the team. And somebody that I've really enjoyed getting to know better this year and I think he represents Bates rowing kind of to the fullest extent.
Aaron: Claudia, you mentioned you walked on as a first-year, so what was that process like? How did you decide you wanted to come to Bates in the first place and how did you decide you wanted to join the rowing team?
Claudia: So, I went to a small, sort of conservative, private high school and after four years there and two years in the middle school, I was very much ready to get out. When I was looking for colleges, wanted something that I saw as sort of antithetical to my high school experience, so I found Bates that way. Through an exchange, I did at The Putney School in Vermont. I knew right away that Bates seemed like a place that I would love and it has been. It's been everything and more.
Claudia: I started rowing at a summer program. The summer before my sophomore year of high school. I found a club near my home and did it very recreationally there on a club where I was the youngest by probably 30 years or so. (laughs) I never had a coach, I never had a race, I never erged, I just- you went out in small boats with nice, older people who talked me through it and were very patient and kind.
Claudia: Without any scores or racing experience or competitive experience at all, I had nothing to be recruited by and I didn't even look for a rowing program when I was deciding on colleges. I just looked at the college as a whole and always thought in the back of my mind it would be really fun to be able to row.
Claudia: So, when I got to Bates, I met someone who also was considering walking onto the team. She had never rowed before at all, so we decided to go the orientation meeting together and after hearing that it was four to seven every afternoon was the practice commitment, she said, "You know what? That's just not for me." (laughs) But I really appreciate her giving me the courage to go to the meeting because I stuck with it and it was the greatest choice I made.
Aaron: Did you know you were walking on to a national championship type team?
Claudia: I actually had no idea. (laughs) And I think it was something crazy to fall into like this and to just come to Bates because I love Bates and walk onto a team that happened to be the best of division three is just an extra bonus and made Bates that much more special.
Aaron: Excellent. And Trevor, what's your background when it comes to rowing? How did you decide Bates was the place for you?
Trevor: Yeah, of course. So, I played lacrosse up until eighth grade and then was pretty done getting hit by sticks. I still love watching the sport. It's so much fun.
Trevor: But I live next to- I lived at a boarding school in Massachusets and my next door neighbor was actually the director of the rowing program and had always told me ever since I was about nine years old that I should really try it out.
Trevor: So, finally, come freshman year, I got in the boat and kind of the rest was history. I went to a school where the vast majority of the graduating senior class would all go on to D1 colleges. Of the nine seniors that I graduated with from that program, I had friends at Dartmouth, Colombia, University of Washington, California, and I was the only one- and one other person and I came to a D3 school actually, both came to Bates. But those are very conscious decisions. I really wanted to go to a school where I was going to be a student first athlete second.
Trevor: And got it down. Did the recruiting process. Got it down to a couple schools and traditionally, people from my high school who had kind of gone D3 programs ended up kind of the Trinity and Williams, but I just didn't love the two programs and just kind of came to Bates. Did the overnight and something with the river, something with the boathouse, something with coach Steenstra just kind of clicked. I walked away from my overnight with the rowing team and called the assistant coach the next day saying that I was all in. So, it was pretty easy decision after that.
Aaron: And that was before the new boathouse, right?
Trevor: That was before the new boathouse and I had made the decision right as the Bates men, they were entering in their first season of winning New Englands and making kind of history in 2015. So, to hear that and kind of get the emails from the assistant coach. You hear about all the success they were having. It was really exciting, so I think I made the right decision and I definitely joined the program at the right time.
Aaron: Well, then you also said all your friends went D1, so last year's IRAs must've been extra special to compete against those type of schools.
Trevor: It was really fun and of the nine seniors that I graduated with, there are only two of us left. It's me and a guy, Cornell, so everybody else has quit for a variety of different reasons. I take kind of a point of pride that I'm kind of one of the only ones left. But it was very fun to see my friend at Cornell and another who is rowing at Cal right now and yeah, the IRA experience was just incredible. I could go on and talk about that for the next hour. It was truly an honor to get invited and I mean, to qualify and then to go and to really- it was us that everybody was looking at. I mean, we parked our trailer next to Harvard and Cal and you had all the six-foot-five Harvard rowers kind of looking at us and thinking like, "Who's Bates?" But everybody was so gracious and kind and we couldn't really have had a better time.
Trevor: We would've loved to have had our final race but it was a wonderful experience and I definitely think the team is hungry to go back.
Aaron: And Claudia, he touched on that fact that a lot of his friends quit rowing eventually 'cause it's a grind, right? How have you been able to get through it your four years here as a senior now, one of the captains? Because someone who hadn't really done this in formal setting, as you mentioned before.
Claudia: I think that's a hard question and something that a lot of people ask and ask why we get up in the morning, why we row through ice and wind and rain and what makes me keep doing it? And I think that ... I mean, it's something- there's something really special about this sport itself. I think when I get in a boat, a lot of times everything else goes out the window or if I had a stuffy nose before I started, I get off the water and somehow I'm cured and I just feel like a lot of times it's like the solution to all my problems is just to be rowing and to be outside and be with people in a boat. So, I think just loving what I do always gets me through it. But, in addition to that, and something that's even more true for a lot of people is that there's something really special about Bates rowing, from our coaches to our team who are, to the people who come to every practice who can't get in a boat.
Claudia: Just from the bottom up and the top down, it's a group of really, really special people who will do anything for each other on and off the water. That's always been really palpable and inspirational and even at the worst of times if I don't feel like rowing for me, I want to row for a lot of other people. That'll push you through a lot of things you didn't think you could push yourself through.
Aaron: Excellent. Claudia Glickman and Trevor Fry. Thanks so much.
C & T: Thank you.
Aaron: Next time on the Bates Bobcast, we’ll recap how the softball team fares in the NESCAC tournament and we’ll recap the baseball team’s big doubleheader Saturday at Bowdoin. Plus, a look back at New England Championships for both track and field and rowing. All that and more, next time, on the Bates Bobcast!