College roundup: Bates boats win heats at NCAA championships

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May 27—The Bobcats first and second varsity eights won their respective heats Friday at the NCAA Division III championships in Sarasota, Florida.

Bates, ranked third in the nation, advances both of its boats directly to Saturday's grand finals. The second varsity eight races at 10:48 a.m., and the first eight at 11:36 a.m. The races can be watched online here.

The Bobcats have won the past four national championships that have been held (2017-19 and 2021).

"Good performances from both boats today," Bates coach Peter Steenstra said following Friday's races. "They advanced directly to the finals, which saves us from being out in the heat this afternoon, and it sets them up nicely for tomorrow's championship races."

Bates junior Liam Byrne placed 19th in the discus at the NCAA Division III championships Thursday in Geneva, Ohio.

Byrne's second discus throw traveled 140 feet, 4 inches.

The junior's first experience at nationals continues Saturday when he competes in the hammer throw Bryne, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, won the event at the New England Division III championships earlier this month.