The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: January 2015 Page 2 of 4

Top 10 Bates Athletes: #1 Andrew Byrnes ‘05

Andrew Byrnes is very much at home in Victoria, British Columbia. After spending many long training sessions, days, and years at the hub of the Canadian Olympic Rowing program, he’s settling into his first house and planning to get married in September. Since the end of his rowing career in 2012, Byrnes has appreciated the fact that “two day weekends are pretty great.” But just as Byrnes battled through three practices per day, six days a week that were “meant to push you to the point of failure, to force you to go as hard as you can and then try to go a little harder,” he continues to live with an attitude of ultimate effort and dedication.

Today, the only Olympic gold medalist in Bates’ illustrious athletic history works for DEC Engineering, a mechanical engineering firm that builds district energy and renewable energy systems. Armed with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Bates, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and a resolute grittiness cultivated in his Olympic quests, Byrnes sets the highest expectations for himself. He works as late as he needs to in order to get his job done, and he even absorbs relevant engineering articles during his “free” time in the pursuit of being the best he can possibly be. At Bates, Byrnes found the ideal environment to strive towards his immense potential academically and athletically.

Unlike many Olympians who start their sport as soon as they can walk, Byrnes didn’t begin rowing until his senior year of high school. As a result, he wasn’t heavily recruited by large Division I rowing schools, although it’s clear that Division III Bates was a better fit. “I liked the people, the place, the academics, and the rowing program,” says Byrnes. “I didn’t came to Bates to row; I came to learn. I’m glad I didn’t go to a school with a high profile rowing program just to be an athlete, because I would’ve sacrificed my education.” At the time, crew at Bates had only been a varsity sport for few years. With the team constantly growing and improving, Byrnes has good memories from his tenure, and he recalls that a 2003 President’s Cup victory by the men’s varsity eight over Bowdoin and Colby was especially satisfying. Once he submitted his thesis (on nanotechnology in physical chemistry) and grasped his degree, Byrnes left Bates to earn his Masters at Penn, establishing himself as an elite rower whenever he wasn’t studying.

During his year and a half in Philadelphia, Byrnes competed for the prestigious Vesper Boat Club, transitioning from New England collegiate foes to opponents familiar with the world of national and even international crew. Andrew Carter, Byrnes’ coach at Bates and a fellow Canadian (as well as the current University of Iowa coach) gave Byrnes valuable insight into the Canadian rowing apparatus. A duel citizen, it soon became apparent that, given the greater odds of standing out amongst the smaller Canadian group and the methodical, detail oriented nature of their approach, it would be wise to accept Team Canada’s invitation to be part of their development program.

Just a couple days before departing for Victoria in December 2006, Byrnes’ car was stolen in Philadelphia. “It was actually fine, since I didn’t need it anymore,” he says. All the travel Byrnes would need to do over the next several years was of the aerial variety. From Amsterdam to Lucerne, Switzerland to Beijing, Byrnes has traveled the world. Along the way, he has won four world championship medals, including a gold in the 2007 men’s eights, along with multiple medals at World Cup events. But an Olympic Gold is the greatest prize of all. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Byrnes felt “pretty lucky to be part of an extremely experienced group,” though the pressure of being the favorites was also palpable. When the Canadian eight crossed the line ahead of the British, Byrnes says the moment was “honestly characterized by a lot of relief, though it was also of course hugely rewarding.” Between Beijing and London 2012, Byrnes was completely dedicated to the next Olympics; “as soon as one finishes, you’re thinking about the next one,” he recalls. Heading into the race in 2012, Byrnes assumed more of a leadership role on a less heralded team than the 2008 group. With Canada starting their final sprint with about 600 meters of the 2,000 meters race remaining (as opposed to the typical 250-300 meters), another medal looked improbable. Undeterred, the Canadians “emptied [their] tanks,” passing the British boat in the home stretch and stealing Silver. Falling backwards into the boat in utter exhaustion, Byrnes, “heard cheering, so I thought we had gotten bronze.” Seconds later, he saw that he actually now had a miraculous Silver to add to his Beijing Gold.

As I talked with Byrnes on the phone, I found myself getting pumped, and it wasn’t because he was spewing clichés. Rather, he was speaking a truth that he had intimately learned about motivation. “It comes down to, ‘How badly do you want it?’” he told me. “Then it’s about putting in as much effort and time as possible, and getting the job done.” Despite that defining determination, Byrnes has a prudent attitude when it comes to ambitions. “There are stepping stones,” he said. “You slowly climb one step at a time, and you don’t see the top until you’re close to it.” He noted that, “it wasn’t like I wanted to win a Gold Medal since I was a little kid. But what’s important is always looking for what’s that next step, and going after that new goal.”

In the workplace, Byrnes recognizes that the inner strength he gained as an athlete is a major asset. Even though he essentially “is eight years behind my peers” in his traditional career path, Byrnes knows that he can accomplish whatever goal he desires, and then move on to the next one. The tangible proof of that are his Olympics medals, stored in a drawer in his bedside table. “Nothing fancy,” he says.

Men’s and women’s squash teams with winless weekends at Middlebury Invitational and Dartmouth

Bates men’s squash, ranked 15th in the nation, opened the weekend with matches against Franklin and Marshall (9th in the country) and Middlebury (19th). Reflecting on the weekend, Sophomore Carlos Ames said, “We went into all three matches with good energy and the belief we could get the wins, but sometimes it doesn’t work out.”

The Bobcats went down 7-2 against Franklin and Marshall and lost to Middlebury 6-3. Wins for Bates came from junior Ahmed Amdel Khalek and sophomore Ahmed Hatata at first and second singles. The duo of Amdel Khalek and Hatata are a combined 20-0 on the season, and Hatata was named NESCAC Men’s Squash Co-Player of the Week.

The next day, the Bobcats faced the home team Middlebury. Again, Bates’ top two singles won their matches. However, the bottom seven matches were closely contested, with three of the matches going to five sets. After the day at Middlebury, Bates traveled to Dartmouth, capping a tough weekend with a 7-2 loss. Still, the team is not disheartened.

“We’ve all had some time to regroup and reflect on the weekend, and like the champions we are, we’ll be back, stronger and more determined,” Ames commented. “Losses make wins and we are all ready to push through the disappointment of this weekend. We are a family and have worked too hard to give up, especially now at this point in the season.”

The strong connection the players have to each other is one of the major reasons the team has enjoyed success in the past. In addition, the team knows that they represent the school. Ames said, “While we play for ourselves and our teammates, every time we put that jersey on, we are playing for Bates College, for everyone at this school, and we will fight until the last point. That’s just who we are. We are Bates Squash.” The connection between the team and school is palpable, and the team should know that the school is behind them as they face Bowdoin and MIT next weekend.

The women’s squash team also faced Franklin and Marshall, Middlebury, and Dartmouth this past weekend. Like the men’s team, they lost to all three teams 5-4, 8-1, and 7-2, respectively. Senior Nessrine Arrifin earned the title of NESCAC Women’s Squash Player of Week with an impressive undefeated weekend at the number one position.

Despite the losses for the team senior captain Lesea Bourke remains positive, stating, “Although we haven’t gotten the results we wanted yet, I believe with our hard work and determination our team is capable of anything. Our team is about the fight; each match we fight until the last point.”

Just like the men’s team, the importance of their team is what drives them forward. “Squash is an individual sport but when our players come off court their teammates are there believing in them and helping them push harder. That’s how we’re going to get the results we want at NESCAC’s and Nationals. We always tell each other “Don’t let up.” It’s our way of saying go out there and give it all you’ve got; continue to push yourself until you hear the last roar from your teammates, and that’s when you know you’ve given it your all.” Hopefully the women’s team will get the results they want next weekend against Bowdoin and Wellesley.

Women’s basketball falters against #5 Tufts

The Bates women’s basketball team was within striking distance heading into halftime this past weekend against the number five nationally ranked Tufts, but a second-half surge from the Jumbos helped them pull away from the ‘Cats and eventually earn an 83-37 win.

Things looked like they were going to get out of hand early as Tufts pulled out to an early 14-3 lead, but the Bobcats made it a contest in the first half behind the play of freshman Nina Davenport and sophomore forward Allie Coppola. On two separate occasions, the Bobcats narrowed the Jumbos’ lead to seven, including 22-15 when Coppola hit a mid-range shot with six minutes left in the first half. Going into the half, Tufts had a 32-21 lead.

The second half was a different story, and behind 62% shooting from the field, Tufts pulled away. Early in the second half, Tufts used a 19-2 run to dispel any upset bid by the Bobcats. From there, Tufts’ lead didn’t go below 27 points, as they held Bates to just six points in the final ten minutes.

“We just have to do better in all phases of the game,” noted head coach Jim Murphy. “We were outrebounded by 32 and had a hard time defending their post players.”

For the game, the Bobcats were led by Davenport (15 points) and Coppola (four points, five rebounds). As a team, Bates shot 26% from the floor.

Looking forward, coach Murphy believes that, in order to get on the winning track again, the team needs to be, “fundamentally sound on both offense and defense,” adding that they “need to play with a greater sense of urgency and make sure that we working hard to make our opponents get a shot and to make sure we get a good shot on every offensive possession.”

The Bobcats will be put to the test again versus St. Joseph’s on Wednesday.

McCandless’ sister reveals the wild truth

Taylor Blackburn/The Bates Student

The iconic picture of Alexander Supertramp.

 I have yet to come across a student at Bates who has not read John Krakauer’s bestseller Into the Wild, the tragic, simultaneously uplifting true story of a young man named Christopher McCandless (a.k.a. Alexander Supertramp).

On August 1992, the real McCandless ventured into Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve and never returned home. McCandless burned all his money, ditched his Datsun, and survived in Alaska with the help of strangers he met along the way. Many people told McCandless that he should bring more equipment, but he was determined he would be able to sustain himself with resources from the land. People told him he didn’t know how harsh the Alaskan wild can be, but he didn’t care. Once he got trapped in the wild, his small amount of provisions didn’t last him long, and about three months later his remains were found by hikers on September 6, 1992.

The story of Chris McCandless touched many people, but there was also a significant amount of anger toward McCandless after his death. Some people saw him as a rich, reckless youth who was doing this to spite his parents. Others thought he was solely acting selfishly in order to hurt his parents, seemingly for reasons unknown since no one understood how vicious his parents were. Some remarked that McCandless essentially caused his own death because of his naive and blasé attitude when it came to preparing for his trip.

This is what drove Carine McCandless, Chris’s younger sister, to write her powerful, incredibly revealing book, The Wild Truth.

Carine McCandless was deeply affected by her brother’s death, especially since the story became well-known. Carine knew that people were judging her brother’s actions severely, but she also knew that there were only a select few who understood Chris’s actions as not surprising or selfish, but rather enlightening and necessary. Carine writes of her brother and her’s tumultuous relationship with their parents, and this debunks any critic’s beliefs that Chris was acting with only self-serving purposes.

Their parents, Walt and Wilhelmina “Billie” McCandless, were two people that never should have been together. Walt was an angry, bitter drunk who would go into intense bouts of rage. He would violently attack Billie, and then move on to his children. Carine describes a time when she was dating her first boyfriend and the relationship was beginning to get serious. Walt and Billie sat Carine down and spoke to her about how they were always there for her, and how it was ultimately her choice if she wanted to have sex. Carine was shocked at this encounter because they were acting so protective and the way “normal” parents should act.

A few nights after the talk, Carine came home from her date and, since her parents had asked her, she tells them that she had decided to have sex. Their response was far from parental. Walt and Billie became furious and continuously told Carine that she was a whore and a disappointment to the family. On another night, Carine came home to find her father drunk and he leapt at her, threw her onto the living room couch, and began to choke her. Finally he let go, but when Carine told Billie about the episode, Billie refused to believe her, even though she had experienced Walt’s violence firsthand, and said, “You know what, Carine? I think youre a lying bitch.”

So, the actions that Chris took were not purposefully meant to hurt his parents, but rather escape them. Carine writes eloquently about her very trying childhood and why her brother was not in the wrong.

Before writing Into the Wild, Krakauer talked with Carine and she spoke very bluntly about her childhood. Carine asked Krakauer not to include the details of her dysfunctional family, and he obliged. However, the family was the stem of Chris’ decision to leave. As he grew up in this toxic environment, he began to see nature as his true home. He rejected his parents’ money and material goods, and instead embraced something infinitely more important: the wild.

The mere fact that Carine was willing to be so honest and open is a gift to both books’ readers. She wrote her story not to derail her parents, but rather to clear her brother’s name.


Obama’s SOTU: Delusional as ever

Last week, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address. His speech was designed as a victory lap.

After years of cautious optimism, Obama finally declared it was morning in America again, labeling the past year as “a breakthrough for America.” He cited our nation’s “growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy production, and…[the end of] our combat mission in Afghanistan” to support this claim.

However, the reality of life in America is far different than the rosy picture the President painted. Although the unemployment rate has recovered, millions of Americans remain underemployed or out of the workforce entirely and therefore are not counted in the official statistics. Wages have still not recovered to pre-recession levels. The energy revolution in fracking, responsible for our reduced dependence on foreign oil, has come in spite of Obama’s policies rather than because of it.

While the President exaggerates the country’s progress on the domestic front, it’s not unfair for him to take some credit for an improving economy after five years of stagnation. However, Obama’s naïve and self-serving description of the situation abroad is dangerously delusional and representative of his destructive approach to foreign policy.

The President claims that his policy in Iraq and Syria is “stopping ISIL’s advance.” He confidently makes this assertion despite the fact that this terrorist group has doubled its land territory since the beginning of American airstrikes. While the current policy of limited air support is better than nothing, it remains obvious that it will take much more force to dismantle or even stop the advance of the Islamic State.

Obama argues that as a result of his policies, “Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.” While sanctions have certainly played a role in the crumbling Russian economy, this downward spiral is mostly a result of the plunging price of oil.

His emphasis on this point also misses the mark. The purpose of sanctions is not only to weaken Russia, but also to change its policy towards Ukraine and demonstrate the resolve of NATO.

In this regard, Obama has been a complete failure. Russian troops remain stationed in Crimea and a legitimate threat to the rest of Ukraine. A weak and desperate Russia may, in fact, be more potentially dangerous to Eastern Europe and the United States than a secure one.

In terms of foreign policy within the Western Hemisphere, Obama maintains, “Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere and removes the phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba, stands up for democratic values and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.”

It is highly unfortunate that the President regards the repressive policies of the Cuban government as a “phony excuse for restrictions.” However, this long-standing approach appears much less “phony” to the thousands of Cuban dissidents who have suffered under the oppressive thumb of the Castro regime. In this policy change, the President has given up the United States’ only leverage in Cuba and thrown a lifeline to a desperate and weak Castro government. These reforms in exchange for the relatively puny concession of the release of a few dozen political prisoners can hardly be described as a win “for democratic values.” The Obama administration, by the way, cannot even prove to the world that the Castro brothers actually made good on their end of the bargain.

Lastly and most worrisome, the President blatantly misleads the public on the status of the Iranian nuclear program. He asserts that, “We’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.

This claim is so misleading that the Washington Post rated it with Three Pinocchios. Although Iran has lowered it enrichment of 20-percent uranium, it has supplemented this material with increased enrichment of 5-percent uranium. Either Obama is so desperate for negotiations to work that he is willing to actively promote Iranian State propaganda in order to maintain the illusion of successful diplomacy, or he has calculated that an Israeli attack on Iran would be more destructive than an Iranian nuclear weapon and is therefore deliberately stalling for the regime in Tehran.

Regardless, the President has now put himself in the position of supporting the lies of a sworn U.S. enemy. In Obama’s world, this is what we should call progress.

New Late Night FUNds

On January 21st, Dean Josh McIntosh sent out an email to the school regarding new funds for student weekend activities.

The email says these funds will be used to support new activities on weekend nights to promote a healthy, yet still exciting, late night culture at Bates.

This new program is called Late At Bates (LAB) and is being coordinated by the Office of Student Activities and by student organizations to create ideas that are appealing to both administration and students. This money will be made available to JA’s and RC’s to host events in their respective residence halls, creating more tight-knit dorm communities for all class years.

The Late At Bates fund, made possible by recent donations to the school, is entirely new to campus this semester, so no other area of the Bates budget will take a financial hit to allow these events to occur. The addition of this fund to Bates will create flexibility for students to host and participate in activities on campus that were not previously available.

As Tomas Jurgensen, current class of 2017 representative and candidate for Student Body President, said, “I already deal with the day-to-day effort to draw out our funding as well as possible to provide engaging, enlightening, and enjoyable activities that can be appreciated by as many students as possible. The new fund would, in my estimation, be quite valuable to this end as it would allow new groups with creative ideas but limited funding [to] bring those ideas to happen.” It is his hope, as well as the hope of many others, that Bates community members who have thought of ideas for events, but never had the medium to carry them out, will be able to use this fund effectively.

The Late At Bates Fund also includes a new system used to apply for grants for these activities. A link was provided in the email to learn more about how one would go about applying for a grant and what qualifies as an appropriate activity.

According the Bates website, in order for an event to be funded by Late At Bates, it will have to meet specific criteria. Some of the more general rules are that the events will have to be open and free for all of the student body, take place after 9:00 PM on a Friday or Saturday night and be of a social nature.

Another requirement for these events is that they not be focused around alcohol. While it has always been a goal of the College to promote fun yet not necessarily alcohol related events for students to attend, the effort was noticeably enhanced after this fall. Students are looking for replacements for the removed alcohol-related events like Trick-or-Drink.

With the creation of this fund, it seems that student body’s questions are finally being answered. Dean McIntosh is encouraging students to be creative in their ideas for these activities. McIntosh said, “This is an exciting time for students to take the lead on further building a vibrant, inclusive, and healthy campus community.”

Some of the possible venues for these weekend activities are The Underground at 280, both the Little Room and Old Commons in Chase Hall, the Silo, and the Gray Cage. These events could be as simple or complex as you desire. In order to get funding, you must fill out a form from the Late At Bates page on the website, which will be reviewed by the Office of Student Activities on a weekly basis. As stated on the web page, if you are granted funding, the event will be publicized as part of the LAB program.

So for all you out there who have been itching for a chance to host an epic silent dance party or a viewing of a cool new documentary, this is your chance!

Screen Actor’s Guild Awards

The 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards, honoring 2014 performances in film and primetime television, aired last Sunday night from California.

The Screen Actors Guild is made up of over 160,000 performers who vote for the winners themselves, meaning that the actors are all voting for each other.

The red carpet preshow featured, as always, interviews with the nominees and their guests, and there was certainly an air of sarcasm from the actors and actresses. Many of them seemed to not take the questions very seriously (after being asked about their outfits a million times, I don’t blame them).

The atmosphere at the SAG Awards is a lot less formal than other events, such as the Emmys and the Academy Awards. Champagne is served left and right, the stakes are not very high (because, while a SAG Award is definitely an achievement, it does not hold as much weight as an Oscar), and everything feels much more casual.

Eddie Redmayne, for example, who starred as Stephen Hawking in the biographical drama The Theory of Everything, laughed when he was asked where his wife, Hannah Bagshawe, was. “She’s off working at an actual job,” he quipped.

Redmayne said that while Bagshawe accompanied him to the Emmy Awards, she thought she could make better use of her time by going into the office, where she works as a publicist. Redmayne won Outstanding Male Actor, and dedicated his win to those living with ALS, like Hawking.

Tony Revolori, the eighteen year-old star of the comedy-drama The Grand Budapest Hotel, was asked if he had ever worked in a hotel in real life. The actor related an anecdote about a time he actually did work as a lobby boy as he did in the film, and he amusingly pointed out that being an actor is much easier. Junior Ben Pinette thinks that Budapest has “great writing and pacing, standing up with The Royal Tenenbaums as Wes Anderson’s best work,” but Budapest lost to Birdman for Outstanding Cast.

When Reese Witherspoon was discussing her nomination for Outstanding Female Actor for her role in the film Wild (she ended up losing to Julianne Moore for Still Alice), Sofia Vergara of Modern Family–which was upset by Orange is the New Black for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series, after winning for four years in a row–crashed the interview.

The two actresses, who star in the upcoming comedy Don’t Mess With Texas, completely ignored the interviewer as they started gushing to each. Witherspoon joked to Vergara, “There are so many things I want to grab on you!”

Finally, Emma Stone, who lost Outstanding Female Supporting Actor for her role in Birdman to Patricia Arquette’s work in Boyhood, said that her “voice went hoarse, and Meryl Streep told me it’s because of the cocaine.” The interviewer changed the subject, but Stone kept going back to talking about cocaine. When Stone was on the stage with her Birdman cast for winning Outstanding Cast, she accidentally tripped co-star Naomi Watts with her gown. Stone’s shocked and apologetic facial expression was priceless.

The SAG awards were full of fun moments, as the actors and actresses seemed to be letting loose and having a good time.  With Birdman picking up the big award of the night, it has sealed its position as a frontrunner for the Academy Awards.


Professor Sargent spearheads petition to bring “Selma” to Auburn

It is not far-fetched to say that everyone in the Unites States knows who Dr. Martin King Luther Jr. was.

This man irrevocably changed this country through his many boycotts, speeches and rallies.

Paramount Pictures released the film Selma earlier this month, which chronicled the 1965 bus boycotts in Selma and Montgomery, Alabama. Flagship Cinemas in Auburn, however, did not feature Selma on its national release date on January 9th.

Professor of Psychology Michael Sargent inquired of the Auburn theater why is was not showing the film and when Selma would be shown. On January 15th, Professor Sargent sent an email to the Bates community saying, “Several of us have called the Auburn location, and the Flagship director of operations…but none of us has gotten a clear answer as to when or if it’s going to come.”

This answer was not good enough for Professor Sargent. Instead of resting on his laurels and solely blaming the Maine branch of Flagship Cinemas, Sargent decided to start a petition to get Paramount’s and Flagship’s attention. The Lewiston-Auburn community wants Selma, and they want it now. The Auburn Flagship Cinema shows many first-cut movies. The other top five grossing films that opened on January 9th were all playing at the theater. So why wasn’t Selma?

Professor Sargent used to create his petition, a site that over 85 million people use to rally for topics such as supporting the troops and stopping bullying at schools.

Even though this was Sargent’s first time using the website, he said that an impressive aspect of the site is that he “could enter the email address of the Director of Operations for Flagship Cinema,” who would then “receive an email every time someone signed the petition, helping to keep him aware of the growing support.”

The constant reminder that the people of Lewiston/Auburn were investing in this cause undoubtedly put more pressure on the cinema.

What Sargent overall hoped to accomplish was to make Flagship Cinema re-evaluate the situation and change the decision not to show the film despite its cinematic status. The petition was not intended to cause any malcontent within the community but instead hoped to bring it closer together.

Above all, Professor Sargent said he created “the petition to demonstrate to Flagship and Paramount that there is indeed an audience here for such critically-acclaimed, thoughtful, and socially relevant films.”

Men’s basketball falls to Trinity and Amherst

Mens Basketball Pic 1 by Phyllis Graber Jensen

After a trip down south to Atlanta for the Emory Tournament saw the Bobcats face two tough opponents in Emory and Birmingham Southern, the men’s basketball team faired much better over the holiday break. With four games over a 10-day period, the constant action didn’t stop the team, as they beat Southern Vermont, Brandeis, NESCAC foe Middlebury, and UMaine-Presque Isle. The highlight of that span was senior Graham Safford’s 1,000th career point against Brandeis.

Fresh off a four-game winning streak, the ‘Cats started the meat of conference play on the road against Trinity and Amherst. It wasn’t the road trip the team was hoping for, however, as they dropped both games, first 66-59 and then 70-53.

Graham Safford again led the charge against Trinity in a contest that was quite close for most of the game. The senior guard, who clearly was the focus of the Bantam’s scouting report, was harassed defensively throughout the whole game, but still managed 13 points and six assists. Clutch shooting from fellow senior Adam Philpott, who had 11 points and six rebounds off the bench, and junior Mike Boornazian (nine points, six rebounds) kept the Bobcats in the game until the Bantams pulled away late.

“Our game is predicated on our defense,” noted Adam Philpott after the team’s 70-53 loss. “When we are able to get stops and turn it into fast break offense that is when we are at our best.”

Bates then headed to Massachusetts for a Saturday game with Amherst, who is ranked 25th in the nation. This contest was quite different from the day before, as a balanced attack and a strong first half helped the Jeffs extend their lead and eventually win by a 17-point margin. The Bobcats, who struggled mightily from the field (just 2-19 from beyond the arc), were led by Boornazian, who had a team-high 16 points and sophomore forward Malcolm Delpeche, who grabbed 10 rebounds. On the other side, Amherst shot a solid 46% from the floor and outscored the Bobcats 26-10 off the bench.

As the team heads into the thick of conference play, Philpott believes the team has “the speed and athletes to be able to contend for a [NESCAC] conference championship.”

The ‘Cats have a week of practice before a big contest at home against rival Tufts on January 24th.

Top 10 Bates Athletes: #2 Nancy Fiddler ‘78

When Nancy Fiddler (formerly known as Nancy Ingersoll) graduated from Bates College in 1978, her otherworldly level of tenacity and talent was unlike anything this school had ever seen. The first Bates woman to ever compete in the Olympics, it’s nearly impossible to overstate the impact Fiddler has made on Bates athletics. As we researched for this project on Bates’ top ten all-time athletes, which will conclude next week with a feature on our number one athlete, my co-editor Jamo and I were shocked that we’d somehow never heard of a pioneer and champion of I Fiddler’s stature.

In 1974, Ingersoll came to Lewiston from Weston, Mass., planning to play field hockey and join the fledgling, non-accredited women’s lacrosse team. The next year, Coach Bob Flynn convinced Ingersoll to add to her already hefty academic and athletic platter by trying cross-country skiing. A complete novice to the sport, Ingersoll soon realized that she was also a natural. Racing against opponents who’d been skiing for many years, Ingersoll didn’t struggle mightily in her first few races, as one might expect. Instead, she won. Then won again, and again. She won every single race that she competed in as a cross-country skier at Bates. On the strength of that sustained excellence, Ingersoll became the first Bates skiing All-American. Ingersoll essentially stared down the notion that perfection is unattainable, and she scoffed at it.

Given her knack for obliterating any and all competition, the national and world stages were the next logical steps for Ingersoll. But as she pursued her ambitions, Ingersoll advocated for women’s sports at Bates, successfully pushing to officially make women’s lacrosse and cross-country club sports. Eventually, both sports gained varsity status. Meanwhile, after a hiatus from competition, Fiddler qualified for the US cross-country skiing World Championship team in 1987. Then, in 1988, Ingersoll Fiddler was named to the 1988 Olympic team, representing the United States in Calgary in the 5k, 10k, 20k, and 4X5k races. Over the next seven years, Fiddler established herself as the undisputed top US cross-country skier. If Fiddler’s performance as the best US finisher in the 1992 Albertville Olympics isn’t enough to persuade you that she deserves that title, consider that she won 14 US national titles, including sweeps of the 5k, 15k, and 30k events in 1989 and 1991.

Fiddler now teaches and mentors young skiers near her Mammoth Lakes, California residence, creating local school Nordic teams and training many athletes who have qualified for the prestigious Junior Nationals. Fiddler’s achievements defy conventional wisdom. A Division III athlete who didn’t start cross-country skiing until her sophomore year in college became an Olympian and 14-time national champion? You better believe it. 37 years after Fiddler’s graduation, her daughter, Laurel Fiddler ’17, is currently a member of the Bates Nordic team.

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