The Bates Cross Country team took on its third meet of the season this past Saturday in New Gloucester, Maine at Pineland Farms. As the team aims to maintain its reputation as one of the best in the NESCAC, they were eager to take on Tufts University, who was ranked number 11 in the country this week.

Overall, in standard scoring (five runners deep), the Bobcats beat two schools that were expected to win. The men’s team finished with a standing score of 152, beating Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (“RPI”) handily. Senior captain Allen Sumrall helped lead the team by finishing third at the meet. He posted an outstanding time of 26:09 in the eight-kilometer race. Sumrall offered a glimpse of how the team is expected to progress this fall during a recent interview.

Although he is already an excellent competitor, he has a personal goal to be “top 50 at Nationals and maybe even an all American (top 35).” Sumrall is already off to a good start by delivering a second-place finish with a time of 19:27 at the Bates/Colby Wave Race on September 12. “We’d really love to qualify for Nationals. We missed it last year after having qualified three years in a row. I think we’re surprising ourselves so far this season, and everybody on the team is going all-in to continue the trend,” said Sumrall.

Sumrall also hopes to leave a legacy while also advancing the team as a unit. “As captain, I try to help remind the team that everybody contributes to the team’s success. I hope I can continue to keep people’s outlook positive, keep people on track in terms of doing the workouts coach prescribes for us, and most importantly, maintain an amiable and friendly team environment. So much of cross-country is about a team’s dynamic and cohesiveness. We don’t have any standout national-caliber athletes this year (not yet, anyway!), but if we continue to work together as we have, we will have just as much success as if we did. I hope to continue driving that dynamic.”

Though Tufts took first place, the women’s team finished in a tied for second with Wellesley. Junior Jessica Wilson led the Bobcats with a time of 18:56. The team finished strongly in the five-kilometer race (3.11 miles) with a standing score of 240. Although the team ended up in second, many runners achieved faster times than the competitors from the Tufts team. The team thought the Jumbos were going to surpass them this past Saturday at Pineland Farms, but yet again, the Bobcats surpassed their expectations.

The Bobcats can expect to do well next Friday, October 2 at Lehigh University. As the fall season takes off, the Bates community eagerly watches as the Bobcats’ cross country teams race to continuing success.