The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Author: Sarah Rothmann (Page 1 of 3)

Men’s Cross Country Dominates NESCAC Championships

PHYLLIS GRABER JENSEN/BATES COLLEGE

Nico Johnson ‘19 finished fourth for the Bobcats, playing an important role in the team’s standout fourth place finish.

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) is notoriously one of the most competitive Division III conferences in the country. Several schools such as Amherst, Williams, and Tufts are often nationally ranked. Therefore, when Bates’ cross country team finished fourth out of 11 schools at the Championship meet at Franklin Park in Boston on Oct. 27, it should be recognized as a tremendous accomplishment.

Before the Championship meet, the team competed against several nationally ranked NESCAC schools at the Connecticut College Invitational on Oct. 13. Here, the team had a tough start, raced through muddy course conditions, and finished in 14th place out of a field of 27 teams, while Amherst, Williams, Middlebury, and Tufts finished in the top four. Regardless of the conditions, the men knew they could have competed with a smarter race strategy and returned to Bates eager to come back strong at the conference championships.

“Our team has been focusing on many things throughout the year,” Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Al “Fresh” Fereshetian said. “One of those has been to develop a culture of challenge, which means to be prepared to take risks.”

“We want to anticipate success and to be motivated by the excitement of the moment,” Fresh continued. “We really learned from our mistakes at Conn. College where we got out too slowly and buried ourselves in a huge field. The poor conditions on that day prevented us from moving up through the field effectively.”

Led by Coach Fresh, the Bobcats maximized their training between the two meets and learned from their mistakes as they ran their best effort of the season at the Championship meet. Not only did they beat three nationally ranked teams, Conn. College, Tufts, and Bowdoin, they also persevered through grueling conditions and surpassed their No. 8 ranking in the conference.

“The team did a fantastic job at the NESCAC meet,” Coach Fresh said. “This time around we went out very well and established our position in the first mile of the race to battle with the other top teams. From there, most of our team was able to really execute our race plan and the results were great. With the brutal weather conditions, it just made the whole thing that much more fun. They had to challenge themselves with not only the competition, but the conditions as well.”

2016 NESCAC Rookie of the Year James Jones ’20 lead the team with his eighth-place finish, earning Second Team All-NESCAC honors. Henry Colt ’19, Justin Levine ’20, Nico Johnson ’19, and Mark Fusco ’19 finished 17th, 19th, 32nd, and 35th respectively. Tucker Barber ’21 and Henry Raff ’22 were the team’s two displacers, finishing 41st and 43rd. The fact that all of the members of the top 7 finished in the top 50 speaks volumes to the impressive talent and depth of this team.

“The team had a really strong performance, we were able to build off each other’s drive to succeed and we handled the tough weather better than most,” Jones said.

“For our team to do well, we need each individual to perform as well as possible,” Coach Fresh said. “Our top runners did a fantastic job of running where they were capable of and competing and we had some guys like Fusco, Barber, and Raff really step up.”

The team’s next target is the Division III New England Regional Championships, which is set to take place at Bowdoin College on Nov. 10. Regionals is the focus of the season every year and the Bobcats are excited to continue the success they were able to accomplish at NESCACs.

“Our focus next week will again be to embrace the challenge of the moment and to be really present and prepared for the meet,” Coach Fresh said. “This is a great team; the chemistry is tremendous and our leadership is top shelf. The energy that the entire team has brought to the season has been inspirational and I know that they will give all that they have on that day. What happens from there is maybe beyond our control, so we will focus on putting our best effort out there and accept the results that follow.”

 

Rowing Teams Ready to Dominate the NESCAC and NCAA This Spring

One point capped off an incredible 2016-17 season for the women’s rowing team. The Bobcats became national champions as their second varsity eight narrowly defeated the Williams Ephs by one crucial point on Mercer Lake in West Winsor, New Jersey at the NCAA Championships last May. The men’s team also had a remarkable 2016-17 season, as they placed a program-best second in the men’s varsity eight and first in the second varsity eight at the New England Rowing Championships on Quinsigamond Lake in Worcester, MA during the same month. Both teams look back at these impressive achievements fondly but are excited for a fresh slate this spring.

“We have a large team this year with a strong freshman class, so we’re looking to continue to have good depth on our team,” says senior captain Olivia Stockly ’18 on behalf of the entire team. “Every year presents a new challenge, so we’re not necessarily looking at last year, but rather trying to find our full potential this year.”

As a team we are really striving to solidify ourselves as a dominate force, not only within the NESCAC, but also within the rowing community in general,” says men’s senior captain Kyle Schueter ’18. “We are going into this spring season as deep and as strong, across the board, as the team has ever been. Earning a spot in the de facto D1 national championships, IRA’s, is something that all of us have our eyes set on. It would be a NESCAC first and Bates first to get an invitation to such an elite event.”

Unfortunately, the beginning of the season has proven to be rather difficult for both teams. Relentless March blizzards have kept the Bobcats off the water during practices and races, delaying the start of competitions. Given the slow start, the teams are antsy to get on the water and face new rivals.

“We’ll be racing against some teams we’ve never seen before, which is an exciting new challenge,” agrees Stockly and the women’s team. “At this point, we’re just ready to get on the water, competition or practice! Coming off the high momentum of the fall, we’re all very excited to find new speed and face some good competition!”

The women not only dedicate their time to hard work in their erg room, but also test their swim racing talents. “Although we spend the majority of the time in the erg room, every so often we dabble in our swimming abilities with relays and laps,” adds Stockly. “Mostly, we are splashing and making lots of noise and thinking about how easily the Bates swim team would put us to shame!”

The men have also made the most of their practices. “We have been putting in some serious hard work indoors,” says Schueter. “The amount of bulk work we have been doing inside only makes us relish the moments we get on the water that much more, and we always strive to make the most of our time outside of the erg room,” says Schueter.

Saturday, March 31 saw uplifting feats, as both teams used their intensive practices to their advantage and reigned victorious at their respective competitions on the Charles River Basin. The women competed against Simmons, Radcliffe, MIT, and Georgetown and returned to Bates with an impressive 4-1 win. Although a closer result, the men competed against Harvard, Trinity, and Boston College and came home with a 5-4 win. The success that the men and women’s teams saw this weekend foreshadows an exciting spring of regattas!

“Even though most of our competition has been on the water for some time, we’re just excited to get out and see what we can do without water time,” says Stockly and the women’s team. “At this point, we’re hoping for warm weather to melt the river!”

“Also, the indoor work has shown just how strong our team is overall compared to previous years, and it is very exciting to see such powerful underclassmen making their strides in our program, and who are willing to keep pushing the envelope and limits of our successes,” says Schueter.

Overall, on both the men’s and women’s sides, depth has been added to their rosters with strong showings from all class years. The Bobcats look forward to keeping up the momentum from this weekend and jumping into April and May ready to earn huge strides and historic accomplishments.

 

Baseball Team Looks to Reclaim Their Season After Tough Start in California

Despite a six-game losing streak during their week-long 2018 debut in California, Bates’ baseball team looks to persevere and regain a victorious momentum throughout the remainder of their season. The Bobcats were in California from Sunday, February 18-Saturday, February 24 and recorded six losses against Pomona-Pitzer, Occidental, Whittier, Cal Lutheran, Claremont-M-S, and Puget Sound. When reflecting on these losses, the team agrees that they need to bounce back by regaining their focus and playing with more energy and confidence.

“We got off to a tough start in California and I think we just were not prepared all the way around,” says Zachary Avila ‘20. “There were undoubtedly some good teams but we just lost some of those games due to lack of preparation.”

“We did not do nearly as we had planned, but we’ve now had almost a month to work on the weaknesses we identified and feel ready to compete come NESCAC time,” adds senior captain Jacob Shapiro ‘18.

This is the Bobcats’ second season with head coach Jon Martin and the team understands that his expectation for them is to work on “executing” every pitch and situation, whether it be in games or practice. After a month of intensive practice and teambuilding, the Bobcats have already begun to turn their 2018 record around. On Saturday, March 10, less than a month from their California season opener, the Bobcats traveled to Northboro, Mass. and swept Worcester State at the conclusion of an exciting double-header.

“Last weekend, against Worcester State was all around great baseball in both games,” says Patrick Beaton ‘20. “Our pitchers did really well. Offensively, we had timely hits when we needed, with men in scoring positions to start innings. We also capitalized on all their defensive mistakes.”

Game One ended with the Bobcats finishing with a tight victory of 3-2. The competition lasted for twelve grueling, hard-fought innings. During the final inning, Avila hit an RBI single to send Pat Beaton ‘20 home for the winning run. Beaton had hit a triple before Avila was at bat. On the mound, the Bobcats only allowed two runs and six hits. Senior captain Connor Russell ‘18 lasted five innings and only gave up three runs before Shapiro took over during the sixth to earn the win. Russell struck out three batters, while Shapiro allowed no runs and struck out five batters.

Later that same day, the Bobcats defeated Worcester State 4-3 after another close game. The Bobcats won the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when Dan Trulli ‘19 hit a walkoff single. Relief pitcher Justin Foley ‘19 earned the win, allowing no runs and recording three strikeouts.

“Ever since California, we have proclaimed ourselves to be in the land of execution,” says Avila. “We know we don’t have a big team, so we have been preparing a lot for the small ball aspect of the game, such as bunting and hit and runs.”

“I think one thing that sparked us after California and made us play with more energy, as crazy as it sounds, is a picture of one of our teammates smiling at the camera during batting practice and giving a thumbs up,” Kyle Carter ‘20 remembers. “Coach Martin got hold of the picture and now the awkward-smile-thumbs-up has become our thing, and it gives us so much energy for some reason.”

The Bobcats will continue to build upon their team chemistry and use mementos such as the “awkward-smile-thumbs-up” photo to earn more NESCAC wins. The overarching goal for the team is to get to the NESCAC tournament, and that requires a cohesive team unit.

“We have a young lineup this year, but with great senior leadership and a great pitching staff, we know we have what it takes to not only get to the NESCAC Tournament, but win it,” says Avila. “Since California, our entire outlook has changed, and there is a new sense of energy and focus in the locker room.”

The Bobcats’ games against MIT that were supposed to be scheduled for Sunday, March 18 were postponed but they will look to keep their winning streak Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 with back-to-back doubleheaders against Salem State and Endicott.

Q&A: Dinos Letkaritis ’19 Shares Stories from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

February break feels like ages ago. Alpine skier Dinos Lefkaritis ‘19, however, remembers that week like it was yesterday. During break, Lefkaritis was in Pyeongchang County, South Korea representing his country, Cyprus, in the Olympic games. Despite a 10 hour time difference and an intensive training schedule, Lefkaritis took the time to share his remarkable Olympics experience with me.

The Bates Student: (BS) When did you find out that you got selected to represent Cyprus at the Olympics?

Dinos Lefkaritis (DL): I found out after the Olympic list was published on January 22. Until the deadline, I was racing with the national team in order to get the lowest average out of five races. Cyprus only got one spot for alpine skiing.

BS: Describe your thoughts before arriving to the Olympics.

DL: I was in Cyprus for some days before the trip to Korea for some training and preparations. I wanted to start this journey as soon as possible. I had a small taste from participating in the 2012 Youth Olympics. There was some nice anxiety going into something so big and new.

BS: How did you prepare yourself for this competition?

DL: I was following our usual training program at Bates. Due to an injury in the summer, I needed to take a semester off and have more time to train and prepare. I was in Austria since September for training and then from December I joined the national team for our qualification races. With the good news, we decided to take the winter semester off as well for the Olympics. I had also seven days of training in Korea before the competition which was focused on getting used to the snow and adjusting to the equipment.

BS: What was it like being the sole athlete from Cyprus? Describe your thoughts during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

DL: Walking into the stadium, especially in the Opening Ceremony, was a very special moment. I just wanted to hold the flag as high and proud as possible. The Opening Ceremony was the first moment when I fully realized that I was at the Olympics. The shows were amazing and also being together with all the athletes from so many different countries under one Olympic flame was incredible.

BS: What was it like training with all of the athletes before competition?

DL: Besides training at the slopes we spent a lot of time in the gym and the fitness centers at the Olympic village. As an athlete, it was the best environment because everybody had similar goals and interesting stories to tell. Our events were later in the schedule so we got to watch other competitions from TV’s all around the village. In the village there was also a recreational center where we had games like air hockey, table football, and the best, a massage chair room. The center was filled with TV’s so we mostly watched other events there.

BS: What was your most memorable moment from the experience?

DL: I distinctly remember the Olympic circles on the starting gates and the flags. Everything was set up perfectly. You feel an obligation to yourself and your country to leave that starting gate with everything you have. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as I hoped for as I fell in both of my events but I have no regrets.

BS: The most difficult?

The end of the Games. I could definitely stay much longer but all good things come to an end. I have so many memories and experiences that will stay with me forever.

BS: What’s next in your skiing career?

DL: Until the end of this season, I will continue with training and races in Europe. I am looking forward to joining Bates again for the college championship. Looking even further, I hope I have the opportunity to represent my country again in big competitions.

BS: What are your plans for when you return to Bates?

DL: I will continue pursuing the combined plan of Mechanical Engineering and Economics.

BS: Any final thoughts?

DL: I really want to thank the Bates Alpine ski team, my teammates and coach Michaela Holland for all the help and support in this journey. The last two years, we have been working together and contributed a lot in this achievement. I also want to thank my parents for being next to me in good and bad times and lastly the whole Bates community for the amazing support.

 

Softball Team Sets Records in Florida

March is always a hectic month for Bates. The softball team, however, knows how to begin this crazy month right as they traveled south to Clermont, Florida for a week of intense competition. Instead of trucking through mounds of snow, the Bobcats took advantage of the warm Florida sun and won nine out of the twelve games that they played during the week. This is the best start the women’s softball team has seen since 1994.

“The Florida trip is an essential part of our season and travel experiences are important to the team because not only are we playing a lot of games down here, but we’re also together 24/7 for a week,” says Kirsten Pelletier ’20. “We’re cooking, cleaning, packing coolers, doing school work, and everything else in between which really allows us to develop an amazing team dynamic.”

Before the team started the week, they visited a second grade classroom at Clermont Elementary. While they were helping out, the teacher and her students used a “ten-finger woot-woot!” cheer whenever a hard question was answered correctly. The team took this saying under their wing during the rest of their time in Florida.

“When someone on the team gets a good hit, or makes a great play, we award them with a “ten-finger woot-woot!” Pelletier explains.

Tuesday, March 6 marked the first day of the week-long series and the Bobcats immediately started with a “ten-finger woot-woot!” During their first game against North Central University, Pelletier threw the team’s first no-hitter since 2013 to drive Bates to win 6-0. She struck out a career-high eleven batters. The Bobcats also tallied seven hits during this game with the first-years making impressive strides. Caroline Bass ’21 went 2-2 with a run scored, walk, and stolen base and Mary Colette ’21 went 2-3 at the plate.

“The no-hitter I threw was an awesome experience,” says Pelletier. “I have worked hard all offseason, and to see results in the first game was an amazing feeling.”

On the same day the Bobcats fell 7-2 to Dominican University. Julia Panepinto ’20 and Andrea Russo ’19 each recorded a pair of hits and RBI to put Bates on the board.

The Bobcats won all of the games that they played on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday they won 1-0 against Penn State Brandywine and 5-4 against New England College. During the win against Penn State Brandywine, Pelletier allowed just two hits and struck out eight batters. On the same day, the Bobcats defeated Mitchell 9-1. Payton Buxton ’21 pitched a complete game and did not allow a single run after the first inning. The Bobcats scored five times in the third inning with Buxton scoring twice and driving in two runs.

Pelletier continued her dominance on Thursday, March 8 when she threw a complete game three-hitter and struck out seven batters. Mimi Crowley ’19 and Buxton both had two hits and Russo scored two runs. All of these impressive feats helped the Bobcats defeat Bridgewater State 3-1. Moreover, Buxton hit her first career home-run to help the Bobcats win a game against New England College with a score 5-4 that same day. Over the course of both games, runs were scored by Russo and Buxton.

Friday consisted of a tight win against Northwestern (Minn.) and a complete blowout against Wheelock. When the Bobcats played Northwestern, Pelletier threw another complete game with nine strikeouts and no walks. Russo, Panepinto, and Buxton each recorded two hits to help the Bobcats rise 4-3. Later that same day, Bates defeated Wheelock 15-1 as the Bobcats scored 10 runs in the sixth inning. Jevan Sandhu ’21 allowed just one run during the game and struck out two batters.

To end the week, on Saturday March 10, the Bobcats defeated Gordon College 12-6 and lost to UMass Dartmouth 2-0. During the win against Gordon, every Bates batter tallied at least one hit. Buxton threw four shutout innings, striking out five batters and allowing only one hit. Pelletier pitched the entire game against UMass Dartmouth, allowing eight hits and striking out two batters. Finally, on Sunday the Bobcats defeated Ripton 7-1 and lost to Minnesota-Morris 6-4.

Given their impressive week in the Florida, the Bobcats are eager to have this level of intensity be consistent through the rest of the season. “In general, we want to give it our all in every moment of every game. As a young team, our main focus is to compete and develop the program,” explains Russo.

 

Eleven Bobcats to Represent Bates Swimming and Diving at NCAAs

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving team will cap off a remarkable 2017-18 season by sending 11 Bobcats to the NCAA Division III Championships set to take place March 21-24 at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis. On both the men’s and the women’s teams, there are Bobcats who will be making their NCAA debut and those that will be returning to the national stage for their fourth consecutive year.

“I am proud of my team for being so positive throughout the rough parts of this sport; it makes the season more fun and happy,” says Caroline Apathy ’21 of Devon, Pennsylvania. “Just continuing training and doing what we’ve been doing will help us get ready for the meet. I’ve thought about having this chance and I’m excited and honored to represent Bates at NCAAs.”

“This year was a tighter group and everyone had each other’s back,” says Alex Bedard ’19 of Amherst, New Hampshire. “We are prepared for NCAAs by keeping the high energy from NESCACs and keeping the excitement for the next few weeks.”

The women’s team will be sending six athletes to the NCAA championships. These swimmers include: Apathy, Lucy Faust ’19, Janika Ho ’20, Monica Sears ’20, Hope Logan ’18, and Logan McGill ’18.

“My goals are to just have fun and enjoy Indy,” says Apathy. “I’ve swam here before and I haven’t seen the new renovations, so I’m looking forward to seeing the pool and hanging out with my team.”

“NCAAs is really a whole different ball game from the rest of the season. There are some incredibly talented swimmers in DIII, so it’s always fun to watch and learn from them,” says McGill. “For my final NCAAs, I’m mostly looking to enjoy the experience and take in everything I can one last time. I also want to focus on the relays I’m in, since those score a lot of points, but are also hands down the most fun.”

On the men’s side, there will be a record five swimmers attending the meet in Indianapolis. These Bobcats include Alex Bedard ’19, Jonathan Depew ’18, Riley Ewing ’18, Tanner Fuller ’20, and Teddy Pender ’18.

“As this is my first time making it to NCAAs, I am really just excited to be going,” says Bedard. “I’m really excited to be going with a large team, too, and to be able to share the experience with each other. That being said, I am going to go to the meet and not count anything out and still give it my all.”

“NCAAs is always an incredible experience and I’m honored to have this opportunity again. Going into this meet, I would love to finish top 16 for at least the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke as well finish top 8 in our two medley relays,” Ewing says. “However, I’m mostly just looking to have fun this meet! It will likely be my last time competing in the sport that I have dedicated over a decade and a half to!”

For both teams, relays will be the focus. The 200 free relay team – Apathy, Ho, Logan, and Mcgill – is seeded 12th overall. The same group of women are seeded 14th in the 200 medley relay and 21st in the 400 medley relay. The 400 free relay team of Apathy, Ho, McGill, and Sears is seeded 17th.

On the men’s side, the 400 medley relay team of Ewing, Bedard, Pender, and Fuller is seeded 14th. Depew will be anchoring the men’s 200 medley relay team with Ewing starting and Bedard and Pender swimming the middle legs. This 200 medley relay team is seeded 15th.

The individual swimmers include Apathy, Sears, Ewing, Bedard, and Pender. Apathy is seeded fifth in the 100-yard butterfly and 56th in the 50 free. Sears is the 25th seed for the 200 freestyle and the 27th seed for the 1,650-yard freestyle. Ewing is seeded ninth in the 200 backstroke, 22nd in the 100 backstroke, and 36th in the 100 butterfly. Finally, Bedard is 26th in the 200 breaststroke and Pender is seeded 28th in the 100 freestyle.

“The next couple weeks, we will begin to focus on race development again. It’s a quick turnaround from conferences to NCAAs but every year the team is able to improve on records set at conferences,” says Ewing. “NCAA’s is always an incredible experience and I’m honored to have this opportunity again. It is fun being up against the best in the nation, representing Bates.”

  

Ice Climbing Is the Hidden Jem of Winter Sports

Ice-climbing is the type of Bates Outing Club (BOC) activity that has the potential to arouse tremendous fear amongst students. I can not speak for everybody but the thought of being suspended upwards of 30 feet, let alone 80 feet in the air when it is five degrees outside sounds intense but also very terrifying. After talking with BOC members Adam Dohn ‘20 and Sarah Abbott ‘21 about their ice-climbing adventures my perspective on the sport changed. Although Dohn and Abbott come from different levels of experience, they both agreed: “It is safe, fun, and the closest mountain, “The Crag,” is only 25 minutes away. No experience is necessary and everybody is welcome!”

BOC is able to provide equipment to make these ice-climbing trips a feasible possibility for everybody. The most important pieces of equipment that are necessary for a successful ice climb are crampons, which are metal spikes that latch onto your boots, and ice axes, which, in the words of Kohn, are “gnarly looking picks that swing into the ice and allow you to hang on.” Rope, climbing slings, and boots can also be found in the equipment room.

Kohn, from Corning, New York, has been ice-climbing for four years and recently led a BOC trip to the Mount Washington Ice Festival in North Conway, New Hampshire. He started climbing at the beginning of his junior year of high school. Before Bates, Kohn had to scramble to look for different cliffs to climb around the area where he lived and even remembers climbing the Sandstone boulders in the middle of the Pennsylvania woods. Now, as an active BOC member, he enjoys being able to find events that he can lead and undergo adventures with people who share a similar drive to try an activity completely new.

“In the climbing community having people to climb with is really huge because it is nice to have people that know the skills and can help you learn and get better,” says Kohn. “The outing club is just a great place to connect with those kinds of people and if you are not super experienced with climbing, it is a great place to have somebody take you under their wing and teach you all that you need to know.”

One such member of this tight-knit climbing community is first-year Sarah Abbott. Abbott, originally from Chatham, New Jersey, started ice-climbing as an after-school sport when she attended the White Mountain boarding school in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

“Before I started school at White Mountain, I got a sports list and saw ice climbing. I didn’t know what it was so I checked the box and signed up!” says Abbott. “It is interesting to know people who have the same hobbies but it is also cool to just meet people who want to learn things that you never knew about.”

Among Abbott’s favorite ice climbing spots are “The Flume Gorge” in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire and “The Shagg Crag” in Bryant Pond, Maine. As a busy first-year who wanted to continue to find climbing adventures at Bates, Abbott finds herself at the “The Shagg Crag” at least once or twice a week.

Kohn’s favorite ice-climbing memory happened last year on a BOC trip.

“The trips can be really intimidating to start so we had one person that was coming up to the climbing wall and was absolutely terrified,” Kohn remembers. “Everybody was cheering him on and he went one arm, one leg at a time. He slowly made his way to the top with everybody cheering and was super happy and proud. Just seeing people go through the huge span of challenging emotions of trying to push themselves to accomplish a feat that they have never done before is something that I love to see.”

The peak ice-climbing season is relatively short and currently underway. During one of these cold winter weekends, especially as March lurks around the corner, be sure to stop at the BOC equipment room, contact Adam Kohn or Sarah Abbott, and sign up for an ice-climbing escapade!

 

Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams Face Off and Revive Lost Tradition

The 2017-18 season has been nothing short of remarkable for both the men’s and women’s hockey teams. The men’s team started the season off by welcoming their new head coach, Michael O’Brien, to Bates. Under the leadership of O’Brien, and senior captains Samuel Levin and Nick Barker, there has been tremendous growth and team chemistry on and off the ice.

“Going into this season we always knew it was going to be a rebuilding year,” says Levin. “Guys are playing new positions for the first time and are being forced to step up. Everyone has been taking their new roles and executing them the best they can. This year, we have really worked toward keeping a smart system: playing disciplined hockey, and capitalizing when we get opportunities.”

Led by head coach Jon Anctil, and captains Anna Clements ‘18, Julia Kavanagh ‘18, and Anastasia Leff ‘19, the women’s team has yet to lose a game. They have three games left and hope to continue their undefeated record.

“We have a really strong team with lots of experienced players that span all class years,” says Kavanagh. “We also have a lot of new players come as well,” Clements adds. “It is fun to be able to have both and be a team that is open to everyone but is also very serious.”

To celebrate the successes of both programs, the men’s and women’s team challenged each other to an exhibition game. The matchup took place on Wednesday, January 31st at Underhill Arena and marked the first time that the women’s and men’s teams have had an organized faceoff on the ice in program history.

“Although we practice separately, the game is still the same and is enjoyable regardless,” says Ned Moreland ‘19, a junior from the men’s team. “Hopefully this starts a long-lasting tradition between the teams as a way to build a camaraderie between the programs and create a fun sporting event for Bates students to attend in years to come.”

The rules for the men’s game differ from that of the women’s game. Therefore, the teams balanced the varying components of the game to make the competition as fair as possible. Checking was not allowed, and teams played three 20-minute periods on a running clock. The women’s team took an early lead, but the men’s team ended up winning 11-6.

“There has been a lot of talk about whether or not the women’s team could actually play the men’s team,” Clements laughs. “We all skate with the guy’s team during free time but we have never had a real game. We all had a lot of fun! It was awesome to see that both of our coaches are working on having more solidarity between the two teams.”

“The women’s team is spectacular, and I thought that both teams got a lot out of the match. It is one thing to have a solid relationship between the two teams, but when there is some structure to it, there is a little more meaning,” adds Levin. “A lot of the time, during a game, when it is more of an exhibition, there is a tendency to just fool around and deviate from what you have been learning all year. We all wanted to make sure to keep working on playing smart hockey.”

January 31st not only marked the first men’s and women’s match up; the date also saw the revival of the Bates College Alumni Hockey Award. The award was last presented in 2008 and is granted to Bates ice hockey seniors who display outstanding leadership, spirit, skill, dedication, humor, and sportsmanship on and off the ice. The 2017-18 recipients of the award were Julia Kavanagh and Sam Levin.

“I am really glad that the coaches came together and decided to bring the award back,” Kavanagh says. “I am honored to have received it and am also excited for it to become a tradition at Bates.”

“I have been playing on this team for four years, and hockey has always been a huge part of my life, so it is always nice to see that hard work pays off,” adds Levin. “But, at the same time, the mean is lost without all the other guys out there. We all wanted to work harder to make sure the program survives, thrives, and succeeds.”

Both Kavanagh and Levin value the organization and leadership skills that they have acquired through their four years playing ice hockey for Bates. While it is definitely bittersweet to see their time repping the Bates uniform come to a close, they are both eager to see what the future holds for both programs.

“In the end, the success of the program hinges on a willingness and drive to play a great game of hockey and have fun with it. If people are out there and dedicated to play, there is always going to be something for them,” says Levin.

Although the 2017-18 season may be coming to a close, the success of the men’s and women’s ice hockey programs has just begun.

 

Bates Throwers Discuss their Craft

Team captain Katie Hughes ‘19 leads women’s track team in a cheer before the start of their meet on Saturday, January 20th . THEOPHIL SYSLO/BATES COLLEGE

As a mid-distance runner for Bates’ track and field team, I train for races by running workouts on Merrill’s indoor track. Every workout I run past where the throwers train but am unaware of the the intense technical and strength practice that is taking place each day.

Katie Hughes ‘19 and Adedire Fakorede ‘18 are captains for this year’s track and field team and have been throwers since they were first-years at Bates.

Hughes, from Pittsfield, Maine, is a psychology major and education minor. She has been involved with the Bates track and field community since her sophomore year of high school when she attended throwing clinics run by head coach Al Fereshetian.

“Ever since I started the clinics in high school I knew that I wanted to go to Bates because I thought it would be very cool to throw for Fresh,” Hughes says. “Fresh is the best coach I have ever had. He is so knowledgeable and if there is something that he does not know he is going to learn it. I am just so much more confident and relaxed when he is around.”

Hughes placed fifth in the shot put and sixth in the hammer throw at the NESCAC Championships during her sophomore outdoor season with marks of 36-7.75 and 131-9 respectively. Last year at NESCACs she placed third in the hammer and fourth in the shot put, earning personal records of 143-8 and 38-10.35 in both.

Hughes spent her fall semester in Copenhagen and is very excited to see to be back at Bates to compete with the team for what should be another successful indoor and outdoor season. As a junior captain her main goal is to make sure that the track and field team becomes a cohesive unit of distance runners, sprinters, jumpers, hurdlers, and throwers.

“Hearing from Coach Fresh and Jay all fall about how strong the men and women looked, keeping up with the cross country team and knowing how that was going to transition into the indoor and outdoor season was awesome and got me really excited about this year,” Hughes says. “We have only been in season for two weeks but over time as we get into the track meets I hope to see our team chemistry keep getting stronger.”

In terms of personal goals, Hughes is eager to reach personal records in all of the throwing events including the shot put, hammer, weight throw, and discus.

“The goal is always to do better each week,” she says. “You want to build off one performance and make each one better. I came into this year knowing that I am not going to start off at exactly where I ended last season because it has been seven months since I have thrown.”

Hughes, as well as all the Bates throwers on the men’s and women’s teams, practice at least five times a week. Once competition season starts they also have morning individual, or small group, morning sessions with Fresh in order to receive one-on-one attention to improve and adjust technique. The team practices the weight throw on Mondays and Thursdays and the shot put on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Coach Fresh works with the pole vaulters on Tuesdays and Thursdays so on the days that he is not with the throwers, they receive help from Coach McNeal and Coach Kirkland. Lifting is also a crucial component of their schedule.

Last year Hughes was the only woman’s thrower but this year she is joined by first-years Genesis Paulino ‘21 and Ellie Strauss ‘21.

Like Hughes, Fakorede has had a positive experience with the Bates throwing squad and is eager to start a new season as one of the team captains.

Fakorede, an econ major from Newark, New Jersey, has been throwing since his freshman year of high school.

“In high school I had absolutely no idea what I was doing,” Fakorede remembers. “It was sick to have a coach like Fresh to refine everything and teach me the importance of technique. Without him I definitely wouldn’t have achieved anything I would have in college and is technical prowess has helped me with other sports that I do such as powerlifting. I really implement his ideologies into my training.”

During his sophomore indoor season as a Bates thrower, Fakorede participated in the NCAA championships and earned All-America honors with his third place finish in the 35-pound weight throw. He returned to NCAAs last indoor season, earning his second All-america honors placing fourth in the weight-throw. Fakorede is the sixth Bates men’s thrower to earn at least two All-American finishes in the event.

“Being able to compete at NCAAs is a huge opportunity and is not something to be taken for granted,” Fakorede says. “It is definitely a big stage with other athletes in the country who have been working their hardest but I am trying not put too much pressure on myself this year because in reality it is just another meet.”

When she was a first-year, Hughes remembers watching Dire compete at NCAAs. “Seeing throwers like Adedire and Nick Margitza‘16 achieve great success gives me something to aspire to. Having that so tangible right in front of me makes me think ‘Ok I can go to national someday.’ Continuing to have Dire over the past years has definitely made me a better thrower.” The impact that the throwers have on each other speaks volumes to the positivity and support of this team.

This year Fakorede is joined by first-years John Rex ‘21 and Zack Smith ‘21, along with returning throwers Zach Bernstein ‘20, Zach Campbell ‘19, Tom Endean ‘18, Tyler Harrington ‘19. Including the women’s first-years, there are a total of four first-year thrower this year.

“I definitely see [the first-years’] competitive spirit,” Fakorede says. “They are really working hard and pushing themselves. They are also being really great students of the sport, making sure they know their positions and asking a lot of questions which speaks to how they are inquisitive and driven.”

This past weekend Bates legend David Pless ‘13, threw the shot put at the Bates Invitational, hosted by Bates College. Both Hughes and Fakorede, along with the other Bates throwers, hold him as the symbol of Bates throwing.

“Pless was a three time national champion in the shot put, combined for indoor and outdoor, and more than that number All-American. He is one of the double plaques for All-American,” Hughes says. “Because I live in Maine I had the privilege of watching him throw when he was in college and he is just very impressive.”

“Pless just really was a student of the sport and rose up to be one of the top premiere shot putters in the world,” Fakorede says. “I think that his character just speaks volumes. He helps us with film analysis and is coached by an Olympian so we have an Olympian looking at our work. It is good to have him on board.”

Keep an eye out for these Bates throwers because they are sure to make a tremendous impact on Bates’ indoor and outdoor track and field seasons this year.

 

Alpine Ski Teams Eager to Make Their 2018 Debut

2017 marked a hard-fought and successful season for the men’s and women’s alpine ski teams. On the men’s side, Michael Cooper ‘19 became the first Bates male alpine ski racer to receive an NCAA Championship invitation. Sierra Ryder ‘18 ranked 23rd on the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) carnival circuit and just barely missed an invitation to NCAAs.

Although seniors such as Kelsey Chenoweth ‘17, who qualified for NCAAs, graduated last year, Copper and Ryder, along with women’s members Hannah Johnson ‘18 and Brielle Antonelli ‘18, all captains of this year’s team, are very excited about the young talent that has joined their 2018 roster.

“As the only captain on the men’s team, I think the main goal for me is simply to encourage and push my teammates to ski faster this year,” says Cooper. “Even in the short few months we’ve had on snow, there’s already huge improvements from all of the first-years. I think every single guy on our team has the potential to achieve a lot this season and I’m looking forward to watching them do it.”

On the woman’s side, Johnson comments, “My goal as captain is to create an environment that is both competitive and inclusive at the same time. The ski team is sometimes referred to as almost a ‘cult’ on campus, but I believe that the fact that we are able to spend so much time together fosters cohesiveness and a sense of community.”

The Colby Carnival at Sugarloaf on January 20 and 21 will be the start of a new era for Bates’ alpine ski team as 8 first-years add depth and volume to the teams’ rosters.

“This season, I foresee great things for both the men and women skiers. Fellow Senior Hannah Johnson and I are eager to climb the results lists in Slalom and GS, and we have some other great skiers to watch out for as well including Hannah West ‘21, Griffin Mueller ‘20, and Sommer Glasgow ‘21,” Ryder says. “On the men’s side, we have returning junior Michael Cooper who has done well this season already, and we also have Tagert Mueller ‘20 who I think will have a really good season as well. In the preseason races, both teams have been doing so well, and it has been really fun as a senior to be a part of the strongest team I think we have ever had in my time on both gender sides.”

There are a total of 11 men skiers, 5 of whom are first years, whose names are: Sasha Cadariu, Joe Gillis, Matthew Hanus, Maximilian Schneider, and Calvin Wilson. The women’s team consists of 10 skiers, 3 of whom are first-years. The first-year skiers include: Sommer Glasgow, Amelia Kaplan, and Hannah West.

“My expectations for the team are high this season. We have a great combination of returners and first years skiers that should make for a competitive team during the upcoming university races. I am looking forward to the upcoming carnival races, and I hope to able to contribute in any way possible,” says Gillis, one of the five male first-years.

“I have been watching our team evolve into a stronger team every year, and I am confident that it will keep building,” Ryder adds.

Bates’ DI alpine ski teams have a very intensive schedule and race against schools such as Dartmouth, Middlebury, UNH, Colby, and Williams, among others. Practices vary for each person depending on their class schedule. Classes are usually scheduled either all in the morning or all in the afternoon so that the skiers can go up to Sunday River to train for what ends up being approximately a 5-hour session. When competitions start, the team departs campus Thursday morning or afternoon, travel to the various carnivals, race Friday/Saturday, and then return back to campus Saturday evening.

Ryder skis every morning at Sunday River and returns for classes in the afternoon. “Our vans leave promptly at 7:30 AM in time to be on the chair at 9:00 AM. We ski until 11:15 AM or so. We are so lucky to have an awesome training venue, because we get really good training lanes and great conditions the majority of the time,” Ryder says.

Given the intensity and dedication required of this schedule, it is not a surprise that NCAA’s are on the radar of every captain and team member. The carnival season ends with NCAA East Regionals February 23-24 at the Middlebury Carnival. The NCAA Championship will take place March 7-10 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

“NCAA’s is undoubtedly the biggest event of the racing season, and I know it is the goal of many of us on the team. I would say that my personal goals for the team are to be even more competitive on the circuit than years past,” Johnson says. “This year, we have a lot of depth to our team, and since individual and team scores both count on the carnival circuit, there is no doubt in my mind that we, as a team, can be right there at the top with some of the best schools in EISA.”

“We support one another and encourage each other to keep training hard,” Cooper explains. “This team dynamic makes me incredibly excited for the college season to start, and I’m really looking forward to what our team can accomplish!”

 

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