The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Category: Sports (Page 1 of 3)

Motivation with Maru: An Introduction

Hello hello my feisty friends! My name is Mary Richardson, but y’all can call me Maru, I am a first-year here at Bates. I have an Instagram account called @motivationwithmaru that preaches all things positivity, healthy body-image, nourishing food, fitness, and self-care.

I wish to share these sort of messages around the Bates campus, so in each issue of The Bates Student I plan to share some pointers for leading a balanced, wellness-focused life, something that can often get put on the back burner behind academic priorities. For this edition of “Motivation with Maru,” I thought I’d start off by sharing a bit about me!

I am from Blue Hill, Maine, a small coastal town about 45 minutes from Acadia National Park and graduated from George Stevens Academy. I absolutely love to draw and am interested in possibly majoring in Studio Art and minoring in Education here at Bates, we shall see! So far, Bates has been all things bright and beautiful, I am so stoked to learn and grow here academically and athletically. I am planning on running for Bates in cross-country and track and field, but am currently easing back into training after a bout with tendinitis.

I’ve raced competitively since the 6th grade, but really started to struggle with body image as a sophomore. I decided to open up @motivationwithmaru on Instagram in November of my senior year to help me cope with struggles I experience in the hope that my posts would help comfort and lift up others. I am so stoked to share some motivational mojo with y’all via The Bates Student, so here’s to spreading positive pointers amongst the Bobcat community! Until next time my feisty friends, embrace the day!


Women’s Rowing Q & A: Liza Folsom ‘22 of women’s rowing discusses her experience on the water


Liza Folsom ‘21 sits at the head of the varsity eight’s boat during the Head of the Charles Regatta on Oct. 21 where Bates won first for the second year in a row out of 28 teams.

Elizabeth “Liza” Folsom ‘21 is a geology major and spanish minor from Can Mateo, CA. She is a member of the women’s rowing team at Bates and was the coxswain for the team that won the Division II National Championship last year. I had the opportunity to speak with Liza about her experience as a member of the Bates rowing team. This article has been edited for grammar and clarity.

Q: Can you provide some details about your background?

A: I rowed for a small team in San Francisco. I started off rowing when my mom suggested I try doing a camp in 7th grade, since she rowed a little in college. I ended up really liking it, so I joined Pacific Rowing Club in my freshman year of high school and absolutely fell in love with the sport and my team!

Q: Could you describe your experience with sports in the past?

A: I did rowing all through high school. I started off as a rower my freshman year then switched to coxing women my sophomore year. Junior and senior year I was a coxswain on the men’s team. Before high school, I had played soccer and swam and liked it, but never as much as I like

rowing now.

Q: How did you decide to become a coxswain?

A: I decided I wanted to be a coxswain after rowing for a year because I always found myself sitting in the boat thinking of things my coxswain at the time could be saying differently and I wanted to try and see if I could do it. While I loved rowing, I felt like coxing was a role that I could fit into better and something that I would enjoy even more.

Q: What is your role on the rowing team?

A: While a coxswain is not actually rowing, they sit in the stern of the boat facing the rowers. When in the boat, you steer, motivate the rowers, correct their technique, talk to them about what the boat can improve on, and make sure they’re rowing well and together. A big part of coxing is knowing what your rowers want to hear and communicating with them so you can say the things that will make them pull the hardest and row the best.

Q: What is your role during practices?

A: One of the first things I do at practice, along with the five other coxswains on my team, is get told the workout and what we’re doing that day by our coach before we get on the water. Then we’ll gather everyone in our boats together and carry the boat down to the water and then meet our coach and the other boats out in the river. Usually we’ll start off with drills and then move into pieces. Depending on the day of the week or what season we’re in, we’ll do one minute pieces, 20 minute pieces, 1000 meter pieces, etc. During pieces, it’s my job to make sure the boat is going straight and to say whatever I need to in order to make my rowers pull as hard as possible while still rowing well.

Q: What is like to be a part of the rowing team at Bates?

A: Rowing at Bates is hands down the best decision I’ve ever made. The team environment is really fun, everyone works really hard, and we all do a really good job of pushing each other to be as fast as we possibly can.

Q: What was it like to win a national championship as a first year last year?

A: Winning NCAAs last year was absolutely amazing. We had been doing well all season, but at nationals there were a couple teams we didn’t get to race that much during the regular season so we weren’t sure how it was going to turn out. Crossing the finish line in front was the best feeling in the world, and doing it with such an wonderful group of people made it even more special.

Q: How did you do in Head of the Charles this year and last year?

A: This year my boat won Head of the Charles which was super exciting! Last year the varsity eight also won it and my boat, the 2nd varsity eight, got 5th which was the best Bates has ever done at that race, which was a really exciting way to start off my freshman year! It was different this year though, because we came down the course first, so we did not have any other teams to base our speed off of because fall races are done by time rather than looking at boats side by side (you’re sent down the course one at a time). We didn’t know we won until we got back to the dock and Mitch, one of our assistant coaches, told us, so it was nerve wracking at first but so exciting in the end. It’s a really fun race course because there are thousands of people along the shore yelling at you and on top of that, there are some pretty big turns so it’s a fun challenge for a coxswain to steer through.

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 Cross Country Dominates NESCAC Championships


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.”


Celebrating Amelia Wilhelm ‘18: Bates Rower earns finalist distinction for NCAA Woman of the Year


(From left to right) Andriel Doolittle, Amelia Wilhelm, Peter Steenstra, and Bella Miller ‘18 stand together at the NCAA awards ceremony in Indianapolis.

Every day at Bates, close to half of the student population has to juggle the commitments of a varsity sports team in addition to their academic obligations. These student-athletes must foster great time management skills in order to balance homework and studying with practices, games, and hosting recruits. Their ability to use their time so efficiently should be commende.

Given annually since 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female student-athletes who have excelled in the classroom, in their athletic endeavors, in service, and in leadership.

This summer, Amelia Wilhelm ‘18 learned that she was one of thirty nominees and the first Bobcat to be nominated by the NESCAC since 2010. Wilhelm was an enthusiastic member of the Bates Rowing team throughout her four years at Bates and contributed to three NCAA Division III Rowing Championships.

She was also a passionate chemistry student with a desire to help others learn. From working as a peer tutor in the Acedemic Resource Commons (ARC) and helping out as a teacher’s assistant in Lewiston, to leading admissions tours and supporting underclassmen as a Junior Advisor and Residence Coordinator, Wilhelm’s generosity and love of teaching saw no end.

Amelia credits her teammates and her coach’s philosophy of “making good people better” in large part for encouraging her to engage with others in this way.

“Being a student-athlete surrounded by women who are driven and relentless both on and off the water has inspired me to leave an impact on the team, the Bates community, and the Lewiston community in my own unique way,” she explained.

Amelia believes that every member of the rowing team, from the senior class who graduated before she arrived to her peers in the Class of 2018, played a significant role in giving her an example to follow as well as pushing her to forge her own path.

Head rowing coach Peter Steenstra was not at all surprised when Wilhelm was nominated for the NCAA’s Woman of the Year award.

“Amelia is a very dedicated person in everything she does, whether it be academic, athletic or out in the community,” he said.

He believes she contributed to the team not only through her hard work as an athlete but also through her positive influence.

“She’s the kind of athlete every coach wants on their team because, in addition to making their own improvements, they make their teammates better as well,” Steenstra added.

After being selected as one of the nine finalists in September, Wilhelm attended a ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 28th. Before this ceremony, all thirty honorees participated in a number of programs and panels aimed at empowering female athletes.

Speakers presented on Title IX as well as NCAA programs for inclusivity. The athletes also spoke to young girls in the community about playing sports in college.

“I loved hearing about their stories and their dreams to play soccer or volleyball or track and field–no prospective rowers, although I tried to explain the sport–in college, and I believe that these organizations are doing great work to supply those girls with the resources to fulfill those dreams!” Amelia said.

Although Keturah Orji, a track and field athlete from the University of Georgia, ultimately took home the award, both those in attendance and those cheering Amelia on from Bates’ campus were extremely proud of her accomplishments and the well-deserved recognition.

“I’ve really felt loved and appreciated throughout this whole process, and I hope that I am reminding everyone else around me that I love and appreciate them because there’s no way I would be who I am today without the support of my friends, teammates, teachers, and even friends’ parents!” Amelia commented after the ceremony. Bates is a very special place in that it allows students to pursue multiple interests and have a genuine commitment to each of them. Amelia Wilhelm ‘18 is a great example of someone who made the most out of her Bates experience, diving into all aspects of campus life.


Ice Hockey Overcomes Broken Ice Rink

As the both the days and nights start to dip below freezing, and the first snowflakes of the season start to stick, it means that winter is fast approaching. And with winter comes the start of hockey season.

Since both the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams lost significant talent with the previous graduating class, the success of both team’s was a question at the forefront of everyone’s minds as the start of the 2018-19 season. On top of it all, the Underhill Ice Arena is out of commission with a broken freezer for what looks like the rest of the calendar year.

Luckily, under the purview of the new Assistant A.D. for Facilities and Club Sports, Scott Lehmann, the Bobcats were able to secure practice times at two local rinks. Yet, because of this the teams each have shorter practice slots, as well as vastly different practice times than previous years.

The men’s squad has now adopted morning practice times; such a change of pace will likely affect practice efficiency and team morale. However, the team has instead chosen to face these challenges head on.

“We chose as a program to take the adversity we currently face as a challenge we can collectively solve,” team captain Edward Moreland ‘19 said. “In truth, there is no solution to fixing the arena, that is a sunk cost, but there is a solution to the way we deal with the current administration and our mental attitude…We hope to bring positive energy and work hard to prove to Bates we deserve greater visibility in terms of our accomplishments and our goals.”

Some of these goals include skill-fine tuning, namely working towards every player fulfilling their job on their own line. Yet the team is also focusing on some goals off the ice, such as generating a strong team dynamic, bringing a positive attitude to every practice and game, and exhibiting accountability and respect.

Beyond pure logistical challenges, the men’s ice hockey team still face some questions after the departure of the Class of ‘18; among the six graduating seniors were many of their leading scorers. However, the incoming Class of ‘22 is full of unprecedented talent.

“New talent for this year makes our team unusually young,” Moreland said. “The talent demonstrated by the freshman will provide the team with the energy we need to be successful this year. They will undoubtedly be a main facet of the success we are searching for.”

“The adjustment to playing college hockey has been a lot of hard work,” Adam Slocum ‘22 said. “But I am excited for our upcoming games this Thursday and Friday to really showcase all the effort every member of the team has been bringing to practice.”

The women’s team has encountered some of the same challenges in terms of skill. A core group of the team, both on and off the ice, departed with the Class of ‘18. Particularly the departure of last year’s goaltender—Hannah Behringer ‘18—a brick wall on the defensive end, had this year’s squad slightly worried.

However, Madison Fox ‘19 has stepped in to fill her shoes and has done so brilliantly. In a tough 3-2 overtime loss against Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Saturday, Fox was integral in keeping the score margin low. Like the men’s team, the incoming first-year cohort also seems to be the key to success this season. Four of the 11 starters were in first-years, with Cecilia Gichner ‘22 gaining the assist on the game-tying goal during the game.

An additional challenge the women’s team has faced this year is that the rest of their competitive league has been training for several weeks now. The added delay with securing practice space left only two opportunities for the new squad to practice together before their first game. Looking forward, the team hopes that this new talent, coupled with a solid practice schedule, can aid in building a strong team dynamic and help the starting lines get into a more consistent rhythm.


Field Hockey Tops Endicott with Strong Second Half, Falls to No. 1 Middlebury

While many students went home, visited family, or traveled with friends over October break, the field hockey team stayed at Bates to play some of their final games of the season.

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Tara Ellard ‘22 of Women’s Cross Country Discusses Her Experience as a Stand-Out First Year Runner

As a first-year, I have only been on the women’s cross country team for a little over two months, but it didn’t take me any time at all to realize what a talented, strong group of women they are. Their stellar results will speak for themselves, but what they won’t show you is how much heart they have for running and each other.

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Batsies Take to the Outdoors During October Break

The Bates Outing Club (BOC) organized three trips over fall break: a multi-sport and backpacking trip which each went to North Conway, N.H. and a People of Color (POC) trip that went to both Camden Hills State Park and the BOC lean-to.

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Coach Hall Looks to Enliven Bates Football

Last year marked Head Football Coach Mark Harriman’s 20th and final season. The Bobcats capped off Harriman’s final season with a record of 2-7. Their only two wins were against Bowdoin and Colby, granting them the state of Maine CBB title.

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