The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Author: Vanessa Palollea (Page 1 of 2)

Bates Re-envisions Sports Medicine


Bates athletic trainer Ben Walker shows a basketball player the appropriate form for a T-spine quad stretch.

It is hard not to notice some of the changes in the sports medicine department at Bates this year: new faces, new techniques and an explosion of activity evident to all who pass by the trainer’s room in Merrill.

This year marks a new beginning for sports medicine at Bates. With only one returning and four new staff members, the core of the program has gone through a major shift in just the past few months alone.

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Men’s Field Athletes Lead Bates to a Fifth Place Finish at NESCAC Championships

The men’s track and field team competed at the NESCAC Championships last Saturday, April 28 at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. The Bobcats placed fifth out of 11 teams, with the field athletes earning all but a few of Bates’ total points.

Bates earned 78 points total, losing only to Middlebury (172), Williams (140), Tufts (137) and Bowdoin (110). Out of the 78 total points scored by Bates, 72 were scored in field events. In total, Bates left the meet with eight All-NESCAC honors, earned by placing in the top three of each event, and two NESCAC champions.

Adedire Fakorede ‘18 earned 24 points for the team with three top-three finishes in the throws. Fakorede won the discus throw for the second year in a row with a throw of 160-7 (ft), placed second in the hammer throw with a mark of 173-4 and third in the shot put with a throw of 49-3.75.

In one of the most remarkable outcomes from this meet, Bates took first and second in the pole vault with not one, but two Bobcats vaulting the winning mark of 15’5”. Garrett Anderson ‘18 earned the conference title and David Dick ‘18 took second place, earning a solid 18 points for Bates.

“My mind is just blown,” Anderson says. “It was the first outdoor meet where the weather was good for us this year, which can be really important in the vault, but I didn’t expect to jump quite so well. For me to meet my PR from last year and David to come out and have a ridiculous one foot PR jump to tie me was just not something that I could believe would happen. All of the Bates vaulters had a really great day, and I think we capitalized on that energy well.”

Head Coach Al Fereshetian “Fresh” agreed: “The vaulters were amazing. I knew they could do well, but I never imagined a 1-2 sweep at 15’5”. David and Rett have established themselves as the best vault duo in Bates history.”

In the high jump, Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene ‘20 placed second with a season-best mark of 6’6”, only two inches lower than first and four inches higher than third.

Two first-years from Bates, John Rex ‘21 and Zack Smith ‘21 earned All-NESCAC honors in the hammer throw and javelin throw respectively. Rex threw a personal record of 171-7, earning him third place in the event. Smith similarly hit a personal record in the javelin with a mark of 168-1, also earning him third place.

Other scorers in the field include Tom Endean ‘18 who placed fourth in the discus throw (140-2), Tyler Harrington ‘19 placing fifth in the javelin (167-7) and Caleb Stotz ‘18 placing eighth in the triple jump (42-2.25).

“I do think that having the head coach directly involved in the throws and vault specifically is a big factor [in the success of Bates’s field events], and it shows,” Anderson says. That being said, we have a really great coaching staff on all sides.”

On the track, Bates’s 4x800m team comprised of Ian Wax ‘19, Jonathan Sheehan ‘19, Ryan Nealis ‘21 and Jack Kiely ‘18, placed sixth with a time of 8:04.86. The 4x400m team, run by Ryan Corley ‘19, Michael Somma ‘19, Mark Fusco ‘19 and Rob Flynn ‘18, earned seventh place with a time of 3:25.46, and the 4x100m team of Michael Bennett ‘18, Corley, Kimpolo-Pene and Frank Fusco ‘19, placed eighth in 43.94. Each of these relay teams received points which contributed to Bates’ total score.

However, even with Bates’ solid fifth place at NESCACs, Coach Fresh says that Bates was holding back.

“I think it was a great meet for our entire team and it should set us up very nicely to be even more competitive as a team this weekend at the New England Championships,” Coach Fresh says. “We had a great meet two weeks ago at States, but it’s hard to put strong efforts together three weeks in a row so we rested some guys and let others run in other races for developmental reasons this past weekend knowing that we had a sizable point base to start with, but not likely enough to contend for the title.”

For many athletes, the NESCAC Championship will be the end of their outdoor track and field season. However, others will continue on to compete this week, May 3-5, at the New England Division III Championships hosted by MIT in Cambridge, Mass.   

From Practical to Weird: Supersitions in Sports

If you talk to any athlete at Bates, you’ll find that each has their own unique pre-competition routine. While many of these actions are practical and are done out of necessity, others may seem odd and nonsensical. People in all walks of life hold personal superstitions. However, athletes may be the most fanatical of them all.

For most athletes, these superstitions seem to develop out of small habits: what they eat, the music they listen to, and the way they prepare their gear before a game. Then, what once was an unmentionable routine begins to take on a new significance, something that may even border on spiritual.

Even as athletes recognize the futility of these actions, they often continue to follow these customs until they are either forcibly broken, or when there is a significant change in the athlete’s life, such as the transition from high school to collegiate sports. Yet, it would be erroneous to believe that personal superstitions remain unchanged over the years.

Three-time All-American Katherine Cook ’18, a member of both the cross country and track teams, says that her pre-race routine and superstitions are always changing, though some have remained the same.

Before a race, Cook notes that she always has to have at least one coffee, drink water with several dissolved electrolyte tablets, and eat a banana an hour before her race “every single time.” Additionally, she makes sure to add a downward-dog stretch to the usual warm up routine and wish everyone at the start line good luck.

“Sometimes, I think of some kind of mantra before running. Depending on what I think my biggest struggle at the moment is, if I’m feeling extra nervous about the race, my mantra might be ‘courage,’ which I would repeat over and over before racing.”

While many of these current habits may seem practical and useful for settling nerves, she explains they have not always been this way.

“One of my earliest traditions was that I had to wear a pair of bright-green, leopard-print spandex under my uniform, and I did that every single [race]. I was on a relay, and my coach said ‘you can’t wear those, because you don’t match,’ and I basically panicked. [I said to myself] ‘How am I going to run without these bright green leopard print spandex…’ That was my first time diverging from my superstitions.”

Similarly, Brianna Karboski ’21, a member of both the cross country and ice hockey teams, says that she feels compelled to re-tape her hockey stick before every game, whether it needs it or not.

“Before a hockey game, I always re-do the tape on my hockey stick, because I think that I play better and handle the puck better with fresh tape. The tape job has to be perfect. If it’s not, then I get super anxious.”

For her, this simple superstition has continued for years: “I got serious about re-taping my hockey stick probably about three hockey seasons ago. I would practice handling a ball with my hockey stick, and I just liked doing it with new tape rather than old tape.”

No matter how strange or impractical these habits may be, each holds a special significance to the person who practices them: championships won, personal accomplishments, and mental preparedness, to name a few. There may be little to no science backing the validity of these actions; however, what matters most is that people believe in them and, in turn, themselves. This sense of comfort can be invaluable to anyone.


Bates Water Polo: Wild, Wet, and Fun

It is important to recognize that not all athletes at Bates compete under the NCAA Division III banner. Last year, the Bates women’s water polo team, a club sport, succeeded at defeating all the teams in Maine during a weekend tournament held at Bates’s own Tarbell Pool, earning them the title of Maine State Champions. This year, the team is coming back with a splash, as experienced team members and beginners alike come together for some fun competition in the pool.

The women’s water polo team began informal practices in February; however, they were not able to begin using the pool until after February break. Now, with access to the pool, a normal day of practice for them may include dry land work, swim sets, and general water polo skills such as dribbling, shooting, defense, and practicing formations. All of these skills are brought together during scrimmages, which are held every Friday.

On March 3-4, the women’s water polo team competed in their first two-day tournament at Yale University, where they proudly beat Bowdoin in an exhibition match 5-0. This tournament proved challenging for the women’s water polo team, because they only had five days of practice in the pool preceding this event.

“The way our schedule worked out coming back from February break, we had done some really casual team runs and team lifts… but we don’t have pool time until after February break, and so we only had literally five days of practice before our first tournament,” team captain Ashley Kulesza ‘18 says.

This would be tough for any member of the team, no matter their experience level. However, as many of the team members this year are beginners, it proved especially challenging.

“When you’re coming in with a young roster with a lot of beginners who don’t necessarily know the sport… it’s really rough getting in your first game and not really knowing what to do or what to expect,” Kulesza says. “As much as we had this barrier, I’m really proud of how it all happened. I saw so much talent and hustle that weekend that I’m really excited for our next few tournaments, and having these weeks to actually practice and get some experience and game time in scrimmages will really help our outcomes and record, I think.”

It is interesting to note that the women’s water polo team does not have a coach. Instead, team captains come together to discuss expectations for the team and help teach beginners. As a club team, this sport is meant to be competitive, but also fun. Since there is no coach, captains and team members with relevant experience are instructional during training.

“Sam Tyler is our varsity athlete swimmer who has been really great stepping up and helping us really focus on [our technique],” Kulesza says. “You swim on a swim team, and it’s about time, but you swim in a water polo game, and it’s about being fast, but also about swimming smart. She’s been really awesome about coaching us through how to swim smart and to get in shape for water polo.”

Water polo is a tough sport. Swimming and treading are important, but these tasks take on a whole new level of difficulty when one must also maneuver the ball around the pool and into the net.

“If you’re not an aggressive person or a strong swimmer, just that physicality of the sport can be tough for people,” Kulesza says. “I think that’s the most difficult aspect, but it’s also a really fine aspect if you get into it and have that mentality.”

The women’s water polo team is always open to new people who would like to try out the sport. Practices are held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Tarbell Pool Tuesday through Thursday, and team scrimmages are on Friday at 5:30.

“Anyone who is interested can just show up any day and hop in with us,” says co-captain Margaret “Meg” Robinson ‘18. “All it takes is a swimsuit and little toughness, and we can teach you how to play!”

March Madness Bracket Palooza

Welcome to March, a time of dreary weather, academic struggles, and non-stop basketball. With the start of the NCAA Division I basketball tournament, commonly known as March Madness, on the horizon, many fans have begun to pore over season records and past championships to try and predict the outcomes of each of the 67 games played throughout the tournament.

The NCAA selection committee released the full list of the 68 eligible teams competing in March Madness last Sunday, March 11. Fans have a short window of opportunity, namely until the first game on Thursday, March 15, to create and submit their bracket predictions to any number of online pools, or in simple competition amongst friends.

Prediction methods vary hugely amongst fans and may include any combination of statistics, history and personal bias. Some have even been known to choose winners based on superficial characteristics, such as a team’s color or mascot. Others may simply choose to flip a coin or create elaborate and highly entertaining schemes involving their exotic pets. No method is foolproof, however, as no one person has yet to create a perfect bracket in the modern version of the tournament.

Ellie Strauss ‘21 says that she tends to take a pragmatic approach when creating her own bracket predictions. “I don’t have favorite teams, [although] I definitely have favorites between match-ups,” she explains. “If there’s a rivalry, like UNC and Duke, I have my favorite and I’m definitely more biased to pick them. But a lot of me goes into looking at what they did, especially in previous matchups. Duke has played UNC three or four times this season already, so you have to factor that in as well.”

The makeup of a team also factors highly into her decisions. Strauss will look at the seniority of a team’s players and how well they have worked together in the past. Additionally, team histories play a significant role in her selection process.

“I look at records as well as previous NCAA appearances,” she says. “For instance, if it’s a team first appearance at the NCAA tournament I’m less likely to choose them to win against a team that has been at the NCAA tournament a bunch of times…Then there’s a few teams that I know right off the bat who always win one or two rounds and then they’re done.”

Jaimin Keliihoomalu ‘21 tends to take a softer approach with his predictions; statistics may be useful in choosing the winners for the outer brackets, however the inner brackets are much more difficult, he says.

“It’s not about choosing who is going to win for the majority [of the games],” he says. “The higher seeds are going to win; now you just have to pick the upsets. You can guess every one of the first 32 games right, and you get all the points and all your teams move onto the next level. Then you can get all of the next ones wrong and you can lose. Every year, there are always upsets, there will always be upsets.”

When it comes down to these brackets, Keliihoomalu will look at who other people are choosing and go with his gut instinct.

“Sometimes you just know,” he says. “When you’ve been around sports long enough, you see how a team works, how it functions. It’s not something you can really point out…[but] you just know that this team is going to play really well against this team. In the end, it comes down to matchups.”

Justin Levine ‘20 is similarly enjoys choosing predicting brackets. His strategy? He first starts by picking his favorite team to win and then moves down from there. He tries to identify strong teams that are ranked higher than they should be as upset picks, focusing much of his time on the inner brackets.

Yet, Levine notes that his own personal preferences often drive his choices.

“[First], I usually pick my favorite team, which is Duke. Depending on the year, they are usually the team I pick to win…sometimes I pick teams based on whether I like the school or not.”

For most, March Madness is a time to get together with friends and family to enjoy one of their favorite sports.

“March Madness is a lot of fun,” Levine says. “My family has done a bracket every year since I was a little kid, so it’s just a really exciting time [for me]. I really love basketball.”

Justin Levine ’20 similarly enjoys predicting brackets. His strategy? He first starts by picking his favorite team to win and then moves down from there. He tries to identify strong teams that are ranked higher than they should be as upset picks, focusing much of his time on the inner brackets.

Yet, Levine notes that his own personal preferences often drive his choices.

“[First], I usually pick my favorite team, which is Duke. Depending on the year, they are usually the team I pick to win…sometimes I pick teams based on whether I like the school or not.”

For most, March Madness is a time to get together with friends and family to enjoy one of their favorite sports.

“March Madness is a lot of fun,” Levine says. “My family has done a bracket every year since I was a little kid, so it’s just a really exciting time [for me]. I really love basketball.”


Jessica Wilson ’17 Continues to Shine After College

For many athletes at the Division III level, graduation is the end of their competitive careers. Senior year is often seen as the last opportunity to achieve one’s athletic dreams. Yet, for some athletes, the love for their sport is simply too great to let go.

Five-time All-American Jessica Wilson ’17 has not only continued to run after graduation, she has done so exceptionally well, setting personal records, topping Division I athletes, and finishing mere seconds behind professional runners. She has done this all while living and working full-time in Boston.    

After graduating from Bates, Wilson moved to Cambridge, MA, where she began working as a research assistant for Boston University (BU). Here, she also joined a running group in Boston called the Heartbreakers and has continued training with the intention of racing a marathon in the spring with fellow Batesie Kallie Nixon ’14.

“Transitioning into what we term ‘the real world’ can be kind of scary and overwhelming at times,” Wilson says. “For me, running has always been my anchor, the sort of thing that I can always fall back on if other areas of my life aren’t going so well. I realized that running and competing with a group of people, having that camaraderie and support, is something that I really desire in my life.”

During her time at Bates, Wilson made a career out of breaking records. She currently holds the indoor 3000m (9:43.31) and the outdoor 1500m (4:27.33) and 5000m (16:57.09) records. Now after graduation, she continues to shatter her own personal records.

At BU’s Terrier Classic in January, she ran the 5000m in 16:19.45 on a banked track, placing second in a field of 48. Two weeks later, she raced the 3000m in BU’s Valentine Invitational and once more earned a huge personal record, running 9:27.52 and placing 13 out of 141 runners.

“It certainly isn’t always easy,” she says. “I find myself more tired than I did in college. Working forty hours a week and then trying to run before or after work can be quite a lot, but I’m happy with the decision that I made to continue running.”

Wilson also realizes that there may come a time in the future when she no longer feels this way. If she comes to that point, she says, she will reevaluate what she is doing. “To find that motivation, it can be hard at times, but it’s also something that I know makes me happy, and I know that I really care about it,” she says. “So for the time being, I’m continuing to run and compete. We’ll see if that continues for another two months [or] for another two years. It’s hard to say, but the nice thing about running is that, when you graduate, you can pick and choose what you want to do.”

Unsurprisingly, Wilson’s accomplishments after graduating from Bates are not just limited to the track. As a research assistant for the BU Department of Environmental Health, Wilson is helping to research the influence of metal contaminants on women’s health in different regions of Massachusetts. Additionally, she helps rephrase scientific information about research within the lab to make it more understandable for the public, community, and policy-makers.

“I really enjoy contributing to something that’s larger than myself and contributing towards something that hopefully will ultimately help women’s health in Massachusetts,” she says. “I find that sometimes my bosses tell me to slow down, because I do work too quickly, and the reason why is because the pace at Bates is just so rigorous and so demanding that you get used to that, which is absolutely invaluable.”

Her advice for current Bates students? “Take advantage of every opportunity you have at Bates,” she says. “You don’t realize until you leave that the ‘real world’ doesn’t have forty eight types of cereal coming out of a container in a wall. I haven’t found any of those yet.”

Wilson is a shining example of how one may continue to do the sport that they love post-Bates. It has not always been easy for her, but ask her about running, and she will tell you that she loves what she does. While she may not know what the future holds, for now she is content with running and will continue to do so as long as it makes her happy. Who knows what she may further achieve along the way?

Alpine Ski Teams Earn Impressive Placement at the Dartmouth Carnival

On February 9 and 10, Bates’ alpine ski team competed at the Dartmouth Carnival in Lyme, N.H. Here, the alpine and nordic ski teams obtained a combined score of 365 team points, earning a season-high seventh place finish out of 17 teams.

While both the men and women of the alpine ski team competed well, the women were the dominant point scorers for this competition, posting strong performances in both events. On the first day, the alpine ski team competed in the giant slalom. Hannah Johnson ‘18 led the women, placing 21st out of 52 skiers with a first run time of 1:04.93, a second run time of 1:05.57 and a combined time of 2:10.50. On the men’s side, Calvin Wilson ‘21 came in 40th place in a field of 50 competitors, hitting 1:03.33 on his first run, 1:04.06 on his second run and a combined time of 2:07.39.

Rounding out the scoring on the women’s side was Sierra Ryder ‘18 in 25th and Hannah West ‘21 in 26th, skiing combined times of 2:11.54 and 2:11.66. In total, the women earned 60 points in the giant slalom.

Maximilian Schneider ‘21 came in second for the Bobcats with a combined time of 2:08, placing 44th. Tagert Mueller ‘20 was third in 46th place and finished with a combined time of 2:10.34. The men earned 25 points total in this event.

The Bobcats shined on day two of the Dartmouth Carnival, competing in the slalom event. Twins Griffin Mueller ‘20 and Tagert Mueller led the way for Bates, placing 12th and a personal best placement of 20th out of fields of 52. Griffin Mueller hit 55.24 and 55.42 in her runs, with a combined time of 1:50.66 and Tagert Mueller skied a time of 54.12 on his first run and 53.06 on his second for a combined time of 1:47.18.

The women showed their strength in this event with four top-thirty finishes. Coming in behind Griffin Mueller was West in 15th with a time of 1:52.19 and Johnson in 28th with a time of 1:55.14. Following close behind Johnson in 29th was Ryder with a time of 1:55.37. The women received 76 points for their effort in this event for a total of 136 points overall in the carnival.

For the men, Wilson came in 42nd with a time of 1:50.78 and Joe Gillis ‘21 followed in 43rd with a time of 1:50.91. The men earned 42 points in the slalom and 67 points total last weekend.

“This season has gone well so far,” says team captain Ryder. “It’s hard to believe we are already more than halfway through the college races. The women’s team has been doing very well…we have a very deep team this year, making it good for team scoring.”

She continues to note that the men’s team is unfortunately currently lacking one of their key skiers, Michael Cooper ‘19, due to a back injury.

“The circuit that we ski on is always filled with incredible ski talent and, in my opinion, it has been getting harder almost every season with many schools recruiting top athletes from national teams [which makes] the carnivals exciting, but also very difficult. Regardless, we are all working very hard and I am hoping that we get some more personal bests these next two weekends,” Ryder finishes.

The alpine ski team will continue their season next weekend at the Williams Carnival held at Jiminy Peak in Hancock, MA. This will be their last carnival before the NCAA regional and national championship competitions.


Maine State Championships: Men’s Track and Field Falls to Bowdoin

On January 4, Bates hosted the 50th Maine State Meet Indoor Championships. While the Bobcats put forward a solid performance, it was not enough to overcome No. 20 Bowdoin.

By the end of the meet, Bowdoin had racked up 223 points. Bates followed in second with 180, Southern Maine in third with 76 and Colby in fourth with 69 points. Even in the face of this loss, Bates came out of this meet celebrating many notable accomplishments.

Among these achievements includes Adedire Fakorede ’18 taking home the Peter Goodrich Memorial Most Valuable Field Athlete Award.

“It’s a special trophy. It has a very good history with Bates,” Fakorede says. “David Pless was the last one to win it; Rich McNeil won it; Chris Murtagh won it…so it makes me happy to…hold this trophy and call it my own.”

At this meet, Fakorede won the weight throw with a mark of 62-05.75, breaking the previous meet record of 62-1.25, held by David Pless ’13, by 4.5 inches. Additionally, he placed second in the shot put, throwing a personal record of 48-09.

“It felt pretty good. I was in awe,” Fakorede says. “I’ve definitely been looking forward to it. It was a number I had in my head. I knew it was 18.93m (62-1.25 ft.), and I had thrown 19.05m in my sophomore year, but I had never gotten back to that point.”

Mark Fusco ’18 won an exciting 600m in 1:22.67, beating out Bowdoin by a small margin of 0.17 seconds, right at the line.

After a season high performance in the mile, placing second in 4:14, Jack Kiely ’18 came back to win the 1000m run in 2:34. Kiely now currently ranks 11th nationally in division III for the mile. In the high jump, Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene ’20 also earned a state championship title, jumping 6-04. Garrett Anderson ’18 similarly won the pole vault in a decisive 14-05.25.

Many other athletes contributed to Bates’ success Saturday night in the field, on the track, and in the dark.

Robert Flynn ’18 placed second in the 800m by a heartbreaking 0.04 seconds after running a hard race against Bowdoin. After separating from the field early on in the race, Flynn and the runner from Bowdoin remained neck and neck until finishing in 1:55. Ryan Nealis ’21 followed shortly after, earning third with a time of 2:01.

In the 3000m, Henry Colt ’19 and Zach Magin ’18 earned second and third, crossing the line together in 8:45. Colt and Magin ran the race together, staying with the first place runner from Bowdoin until only the last few laps of the race.

In a similar situation, Stephen Rowe ’18 and Justin Levine ’20 both ran a hard 5000m race, placing second and third in times of 15:26 and 15:32. Although they ran with the leader for much of the race, a strong surge in the last few laps of the race was enough to secure the win for Bowdoin.   

Bates also placed second and third in the 400m with Ryan Corley ’19 running 52.16 and Michael Somma ’19 hitting 52.56. Ian Wax ’19 earned second in the 1000m, running close behind Kiely, to hit a time of 2:35.

David Dick ’18 finished second in the pole vault, hitting a mark of 13-05.25.

In the 4x400m relay, Bates earned third with a team composed of Elijah Coyne ’21, Fusco, Miles Nabritt ’21 and Somma in a time of 3:31.

At the end of the meet, in the “Blackout Relay,” where much of the indoor lighting is turned off in an annual tradition, Bates’ 4×800 team comprised of Nealis, Wax, Gabe Benson ’20, and Flynn earned second, running a time of 8:09. During this race, athletes and spectators lined the track to cheer their teams on. Not to be outdone, the Bobcats could be heard far across the track, ending the meet with a strong show of support for their teammates.

“We had many outstanding performances from every aspect of the team,” head men’s track and field coach Al Fereshetian says. “I thought the team competed very well. There was a tremendous attitude of determination throughout the meet, regardless of what the points looked like.”

Now, as the regular season comes to a close, some athletes will continue to train for the New England Division III Championships and the NCAA Division III Championships. However, the men’s team will first compete in the Valentine Invitational held this weekend at Boston University.

Men’s Track and Field Divide and Conquer at USM and BU

On January 28, the men’s track and field team split up to tackle the University of Southern Maine (USM) Invitational, where Bates placed first out of four teams, and the University of Boston’s John Thomas Terrier Classic. Despite the separation, the team performed exceedingly well with strong performances on both fronts.

Eleven members from the men’s track team traveled to Boston last week to compete against some of the best athletes in the region at the prestigious Terrier Classic.

Last week’s Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) north field athlete of the week Adedire Fakorede ‘18 placed third out of 33 throwers in the weight throw, hitting a mark of 59-3.

Rob Flynn ‘18 competed in the 500m dash, placing eighth overall in a field of 33 athletes with a time of 1:05.00, narrowly missing Partick Griffin ‘17’s indoor record of 1:04.65.

In a standout performance, Zach Magin ‘18 ran a personal best time of 14:45 in the 5K, placing 17th out of 63 runners, shattering his previous best of 15:11 by 26 seconds.

“It was hard,” Magin says, “but being with fast competition made it a lot easier, so I could just cruise on autopilot.”

Also in the 5K, Justin Levine ‘20 ran his race in a personal best time of 15:13, placing 32nd. In the 3K, all four Bobcats ran within 15 seconds of each other, with Henry Colt ‘19 taking the cake in a time of 8:42. Following Colt were Stephen Rowe ‘18 in 8:48 and Matthew Morris ‘18 in 8:57. In a separate heat, Ben Tonelli ‘18 ran his race in 8:43.

Other performances from the meet include Jack Kiely’s ‘18 1:55 and Mark Fusco’s ‘18 2:00 finish in the 800m, Ryan Corley’s ‘19 23.03 in the 200m and the distance medley relay (Flynn, Corley, Fusco and Kiely) which ran 10:13 on Friday night after the women’s meet.

At the USM Invitational, Bates won with a runaway 247.5 points. Merrimack College followed in second with 161 points, and host USM came in third with 132.5 points. This is the second year in a row that Bates has won this meet despite missing key members of the team.

The Bobcats dominated the pole vault with Garrett Anderson ‘18 taking first, vaulting a height of 14-11 to match his indoor career best set during last week’s home invitational. This mark earned him a tie for fifth on Bates’ all-time indoor performance list. David Dick ‘18 and Brendan Donahue ‘20 placed second and third, vaulting 13-5.24 and 12-5.5 respectively.

Similarly, Bates swept the weight throw with all six Bates entrants throwing farther than the single opponent from Emmanuel College. Zack Campbell ‘21 won this event, throwing 49-7.

In both the 55m dash and hurdles, Bates runners came out on top. Milan Lemon ‘21 and Ryan Giunta ‘21 placed first and second, running times of 6.75 and 6.84 to win the 55m dash; Kawai Marin ‘18 took first in the 55m hurdles, running a personal best time of 8.08. Additionally, Christopher Barker ‘21 won the 1000m with a time of 2:46.

Other notable performances at this event which led the way for Bates’ victory include second place finishes by Ian Wax ‘19 in the 800m (2:07), James Jones ‘20 in the 3000m (9:30) and Beaufils Kimpole-Pene ‘20 in the High Jump (6-2). Among notable third place finishes were, Giunta in the 200m (24.02) , Frank Fusco ‘19 in the 400m (54.00), Volney Spalding ‘21 in the mile (4:39), Kimpole-Pene in the long jump (20-9.75), and Thomas Endean ‘18 in the shot put (41-11.26). All of these athletes helped Bates rack up points.

“[The season so far has been] really good, love the team atmosphere,” said team captain Dacota Griffin ‘18. “I think that we bring a lot of energy everywhere that we go, and that everyone’s really positive, helping out one another, or encouraging one another to keep on doing their best. I’ve really enjoyed, since we’ve had our fall training class, just watching everyone develop into their full potential, which is still yet to come.”

The men’s track and field team will be put to the test this Saturday in the Maine State Meet, hosted by Bates, as they fight to earn the state title for the fifth year in a row.


Nordic Ski Teams Compete at St. Michael’s Carnival, Placing Eighth

On January 20-21, the men’s and women’s nordic ski teams competed in the St. Michael’s Carnival at Sleepy Hollow in Huntington, Vermont. Parker McDonald ’18 and Kaelyn Woods ’20 led the men’s and women’s teams to a combined placement of eighth out of 12 teams at this event with 229 carnival points.

Despite the relatively warm weather this weekend, Bates posted a strong showing at the event with some standout performances to help push the Bobcats through the rankings.   

The men had some impressive results in the 10 kilometer classic on Saturday, earning 76 carnival points total during the event. McDonald raced a personal record of 24:58 in this race, placing sixth out of 97 collegiate skiers and earning 37 points. Following him to round out Bates’ point scorers were Graham Houtsma ’20 with a time of 25:54 in 22nd place and Leo Lukens ’20 in 54th place with a time of 26:54.

The women’s team raced the five kilometer classic on the first day of the carnival. Taking 22nd place in a field of 87 skiers, Woods raced a time of 14:20, earning 22 carnival points for Bates. Zoe McKinney ’21 came in second for Bates, placing 54th with a time of 15:12. Samantha Pierce ’19 followed close behind and placed 66th in 15:30.

At the end of the first day, the men’s team was tied with Bowdoin for fifth place and the women’s team held 10th place with 39 carnival points.

“Parker was sixth yesterday, which was awesome,” Woods says. “[It] put the team in a really good place going into day two.”

There was no break for the Bobcats this weekend. On Sunday, both teams were back at it for the second day of the event. Here, the men raced the 15 kilometer and the women raced the 10 kilometer freestyle.

McDonald once again led Bates’ men in a time of 39:57, placing 17th out of 86 athletes and earning 25 carnival points for the team. As in the classic 10 kilometer race the day before, Houtsma and Lukens rounded out Bates’ point scoring trio with times of 40:12 and 41:47, placing 19th and 48th respectively.

On the women’s side, Woods also came in first for the Bobcats in a personal record time of 30:04. She placed eighth out of 80 skiers in the race and earned 33 carnival points for her efforts. In 50th place, McKinney crossed the finish line in a time of 32:31; not long after, Annie Blakslee ’20 came in 61st place with a time of 33:37 to earn Bates’ final points of the event.

“It’s really fun,” Woods comments. “The racing in the EISA in college is just so fun, the atmosphere around it, getting to see all the teams every weekend. It’s a hard sport but you feel pretty good afterwards.”

In total, the men’s team earned 137 points and the women earned 92 for a total of 229 carnival points. Throughout the competition, McDonald, Houtsma, and Woods earned 54, 23 and 43 NCAA points respectively.

“I thought we did really well,” Houtsma says. “I think it was a really good weekend for us. The team’s looking good right now which is all that matters…We didn’t really have too good of a season last year but things are looking up this season.”

   Until their next competition at the University of Vermont Carnival in Stowe, Vermont next weekend, the nordic ski teams will continue to train hard and wear their new, bright red pom pom hats conspicuously around campus.

“We just got brand new hats, so we’re all sporting the Bates skiing hats,” Woods says. “It makes it really easy to find us.”

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