Women's rowing wins six All-NESCAC honors; Steenstra repeats as Coach of the Year

Six members of Bates' first women's varsity eight gained 2015 All-NESCAC honors on May 14, 2015. (File photo by Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

HADLEY, Mass. -- Six Bates student-athletes gained All-NESCAC women's rowing honors, with four taking home First Team laurels, while Peter Steenstra was named both Women's and Men's Rowing Coach of the Year, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its all-conference rowing teams on Thursday.

The honors arrive after the Bobcats earned their second consecutive NESCAC Women's Rowing Championship, as the conference's top women's eight to compete at last weekend's ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championship in Worcester, Massachusetts. For the second year in a row, Bates won the grand final for WV8s, W2V8s and W3V8s alike.

Steenstra was named NESCAC Women's Rowing Coach of the Year for the second straight year and the fourth time overall in the six years since the NESCAC established all-conference rowing teams. Steenstra was also named NESCAC Men's Rowing Coach of the Year for the second time after also getting the honor in 2012. It is the second time he has claimed both awards in the same year. Steenstra was also named ECAC Men's and Women's Coach of the Year immediately following the regatta.

Senior Mallory Ward (Pittsford, N.Y.) is the women's team only repeat All-NESCAC selection: the 2013 First Team honoree and one-time All-American is also a First Team pick this year. Joining Ward on the All-NESCAC First Team are seniors Jenna Armstrong (Florham Park, N.J.) and Rebecca O'Neill (Westminster, Vt.), as well as sophomore coxswain Katherine Traquina (Wayland, Mass.). Bates' Second Team All-NESCAC selections include senior Eliza Barkan (Seattle, Wash.) and junior Alison Simmons (Indiana, Pa.).

The 10-member all-league squads are comprised of individuals from the eight league teams based on each team's finish at the NESCAC Championship, which is held in conjunction with the ECAC National Invitational Rowing Championship.

Bates' NESCAC Championship earned the Bobcats automatic qualification to compete in the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships, to be held at Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, California, with the Pac-12 Conference serving as host. Five of the eight teams invited to NCAAs represent the NESCAC, in Bates, Hamilton, Trinity, Tufts and Williams.