On October 12th, the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Boston to compete in the Open New England Championships at Franklin park against over 40 other teams in the region from NCAA Divisions I, II, and III. The men finished 7th overall and 2nd among Division III teams; the women recorded an 18th place finish overall and were 4th among Division III contingents.
Senior Mike Martin finished in eighth place of 279 competitors, followed by classmate and co-captain Tully Hannan who crossed the line 19th. Junior John Stansel came in 39th, senior Noah Grayboys finished 54th, and sophomore Gregg Heller rounded out the scoring for the ‘Cats as Bates fifth finisher.
On the Monday following the meet, Martin received conference, regional, and national honors as he was named the NESCAC Performer of the Week, the ECAC Division III New England Runner of the Week, and the USTFCCCA Division III National Athlete of the Week. His 8th place overall finish at the Opens Championship was first among DIII competitors by over 10 seconds as he covered the 8-kilometer (4.97 mile) course in 24:42, at a pace of four minutes 57 seconds per mile.
The women also had a great showing as they trailed only three other DIII teams, two from the NESCAC. The squad was led by senior Kallie Nixon who covered the 5k course in 18:48, which was good for 65th place finish among 283 runners, and sophomore Hannah Zeltner who crossed the line three seconds later in 71st place.
The following weekend, on October 19th, the teams competed in the State of Maine Championships at Colby College, where the men recorded 47 points and finished third of ten teams, finishing closely behind meet-winner Bowdoin (41 points) and second-place Colby (46 points). The women took home the title for the second consecutive year with the low score of 32 points, handily beating conference rivals host-school Colby (second, 52 points) and Bowdoin (third, 76 points).
This weekend the Bobcats are set to compete in the NESCAC Championships, hosted by Connecticut College at Harkness State Park in Waterford, Conn. against a handful of other nationally-ranked teams. For Division III cross country, the NESCAC is arguably the most competitive conference in the nation this year, up there with the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in men’s rankings and the University Athletic Association (UAA) on the women’s side.