The Bates men’s and women track squads managed to shatter several team records on Saturday at the NESCAC Championships in Waterville, Maine while also performing well against their conference competitors.
For the women, senior Kallie Nixon continued her dominant season by winning the 800 and 1,500 meters. Nixon earned NESCAC Women’s Track Performer of the Week on April 7 in recognition of her third place finish in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Sam Howell Invitational at Princeton University. She was the only Division III runner in the field, beating Division I competition with her personal record time of 10:38.63. On Saturday, her winning time of 2:14.62 was another personal best on a major stage.
While Nixon’s victories were key points for the Bobcats, who finished sixth out of the 11 teams at the NESCAC Championships, the entire team made significant and in some cases historical contributions. In the preliminary heats of the 100 meters, senior Angeleque Hartt set a new Bates record with a time of 12.45 seconds. Hartt finished sixth in the 100 meter final. Speaking to her ability to consistently tear down old records, Hartt commented, “I think I’ve been able to continually improve my personal records because of the type of coaching and training I receive from my coaching staff. They push me and challenge me to be better everyday.”
Freshman Allison Hill’s fifth place time of 15.22 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles eclipsed the previous Bates record in the event. Hill was thrilled with this accomplishment, as well as surprised that she was able to break the record in her freshman year. She credited her coaches and teammates immensely, stating, “I’ve learned from my teammates that your biggest competitor is yourself and that’s really how I’ve pushed myself to improve every week. The set of coaches at Bates are also phenomenal and have helped me transition from high school level track and field to the collegiate level.” Hill and Hartt teamed up along with junior Quincy Snellings and sophomore Alexis Dickinson to break yet another Bates record in the 4X100 relay.
The Bates women scored in every single track event at the NESCAC Championships, a very promising sign heading into the New England Division III Outdoor Championships this Friday and Saturday.
As both a team and as individuals, the Bates men have several major recent achievements to their names. The Bobcats won the Snowflake Classic at Tufts University, defeating 26 other teams at the meet. They also were victorious yet again at the Maine State Outdoor Championship, their 12th state title in 13 years. Sophomore Rudy Pandora continued with his recent emergence as a thrower, winning both the shot put and the discus. Junior Sean Enos, who was fourth in both of the events won by Pandora, was state champ in the hammer throw. Another Bates state champion was senior John Wisener, who cleared 14’ 1.25’’ in the pole vault.
At the University of New Hampshire meet on April 5th, Wisener soared to a Bates record, cementing 16’ 0.25’’ as the new mark to beat after 16’ had stood for 10 years. That performance earned him the titles of NESCAC and ECAC Performer of the Week. Wisener shared the fascinating story of how he started out with this unique event; his older sister began vaulting in high school, and was scheduled to go to a pole vaulting camp in the summer, but “on a family trip to Iceland she sprained her ankle chasing sheep down a hill. She was unable to go to vault camp the following week. The camp refused to give my mom a refund but they did agree on having her 12 year-old son go vault with the high schoolers in my sister’s place. I began to vault there and I knew that was something I wanted to pursue.”
Wisener finished second at the NESCAC championships, where the Bobcats as a team came in third. Reflecting on his passion for the sport, he said, “My favorite part of vaulting is the feeling of flying.” He also enjoys the subtle technical elements and adjustments that have allowed him to keep jumping higher. He stated, “My goals for the rest of my senior year are to get over 16’ 5’’ if not higher, become All-American for Bates, and to continue to enjoy the event.”
The Bates men, including Wisener, will have another opportunity to excel in their respective domains like their women counterparts at the New England Division III Outdoor Championships this weekend.