WORCESTER, Mass. -- Wellesley College took third place overall at the 2011 New England Rowing Championships on Lake Quinsigamond. The Blue used strong racing from all four boats to record the highest finish at the event in program history.

Leading the way were Wellesley's varsity eight and novice eight boats, each earning bronze medals.

In varsity eight racing, the Blue took third place overall using a fast sprint to gain time on second place Bates. Williams won it in 6:34.02, with Bates finishing just a second over Wellesley with a 6:41.61 to the Blue's 6:42.78. Wellesley finished ahead of Trinity and Division-I boats in Holy Cross and UNH.

In the earlier varsity eight heat, Wellesley posted a time of 6:39.41, just behind Bates at 6:35.38, but fast enough to overtake Smith, Mount Holyoke, Wesleyan and UMass-Lowell, advancing them to the grand final.

In novice racing, Wellesley again took third overall, recording a time of 7:02.22 in the culminating race. The Blue finished behind only Williams and Trinity, defeating UNH, Holy Cross and Tufts. In the earlier heat, Wellesley's novices took second in 7:05.02, finishing behind Trinity, but ahead of Tufts, Smith, Middlebury and UVM.

In second varsity action, Wellesley finished in sixth place overall with a time of 6:56.60 in the grand final. The Blue advanced via a second place finish in the heats, as Wellesley outdistanced Mount Holyoke, Simmons and Wesleyan.

Finally, in third varsity racing, the Blue finished in seventh place, winning the petite final with a time of 7:25.23. In their earlier heat, they placed fourth with a time of 7:14.23.