It was a successful weekend for the men’s and women’s cross country teams down in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at the Paul Short Invitational. At the event, hosted by Lehigh University, the men had two runners place in the top 50, while the women had a runner place in the top 25.

“We were very pleased with our effort at the Paul Short Invitational,” noted men’s coach Al Fereshetian. “We went down with ten athletes and came back with ten personal bests, and we showed that we are among the better Division III teams on the East Coast.”

Seniors Allen Sumrall and Gregg Heller placed 27th and 39th respectively out of 354 runners, helping Bates finish in eigth place. Sumrall covered the course in 25:19, a 5:06 per mile pace. Heller finished just behind his fellow senior in 25:27. Bates had three runners round out the top 100 behind Sumrall and Heller in juniors Joe Doyle (77th) and Michael Horowicz (86th), and senior Taylor Saucier (91st).

For the men, they have two weeks in preparation for the Maine State Championships. According to Fereshetian, rest and training progressions will be the key before then. “This team has been very responsive to our training progressions, and as we head into the second half of the season we are very confident that our best races are still to come,” he noted.

On the women’s side, the Bobcats placed fourth out of 18 D-III squads. Leading the way was junior Jessica Wilson in 23rd, covering the six-kilometer course in 22:06. Following Wilson were three runners who rounded out the top 75 for the Bobcats in senior Isabelle Unger (54th), junior Molly Chisholm (59th), and sophomore Katherine Cook (74th).

“The weekend results were great and we are excited for both this weekend and then our state meet in two weeks,” explained women’s head coach Jay Hartshorn. “This team from top to bottom is more prepared for this postseason versus last year.”

The women compete at the all-divisions Open New Englands on October 10th, while the men have two weeks before the Maine State Championships on October 17th.