Bates track was in Iowa this past weekend for the NCAA Division III Championship, where several athletes placed highly in the indoor season’s final meet.
Sophomore Adedire Fakorede had a very strong season and ended it on a high note by finishing third in the 35-pound weight throw. He entered the finals in seventh place with a throw of 17.60 meters. Fakodere’s first throw of the finals went for a mark of 18.03 meters. He then moved into fifth place with his penultimate throw of 18.50 meters, while his final throw of 18.83 meters helped Fakorede jump from fifth place to third, moving ahead of seniors Alex Mess of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Thomas Zamorski of Widener. Fakorede’s strong campaign comes to an end, as he becomes the 39th All-American for Bates and the 16th man to achieve that distinction in the weight throw. He also ranks seventh all-time on Bates’ performance list and has set the Bates sophomore record twice this season.
In his last ride senior Nick Margitza went out swinging, earning All-American honors in his first appearance at the NCAA Division III Championships, placing sixth out of 15 competitors in the shot put. The team captain’s first attempt went for a mark of 16.44 meters—33 centimeters short of his personal best, placing him fourth. His final attempt of 16.57 meters placed him fifth and qualified him for the finals, where he threw for 15.79 meters in his last attempt to ensure All-American status.
The Bates women’s track and field team barely placed out of the scoring in both of its events Friday at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships, as junior Allison Hill placed ninth in the 60-meter hurdles while the distance medley relay team placed 11th. The women qualified the most athletes for Nationals in school history.
Making her NCAA Championships debut, Hill lowered her own team record again with her trial time of 8.84 seconds, 0.02 better than her previous best. Hill placed ninth and was one spot short of advancing to Saturday’s finals, 0.01 seconds behind eighth-place Jill Harmon of Illinois Wesleyan. All the hurdlers who placed were seniors, meaning that Hill definitely has a bright outlook for next season.
In the last event of the night, the distance medley relay squad finished 11th out of 12 teams, with a time of 12:03.81. Senior Isabelle Unger ran the leadoff leg of 1,200 meters, followed by junior Claire Markonic in the 400-meter leg, first-year Ayden Eickhoff in the 800-meter leg, and junior Jessica Wilson in the 1,600-meter leg.
Sophomore Sally Ceesay, Bates’ first All-American triple jumper since 1985, placed eighth at the competition. She matched the school record she set last year for the second time on her second attempt, with a mark of 11.75 meters. Ceesay, competing at nationals for the second time in her career, was tied for fifth place in the field of 17 as the top nine entered the final round. Even though three athletes passed her in the finals, Ceesay finished 0.75 inches ahead of Williams junior Chloe Rogers for eighth place and her first career All-American honor.
Nationals was the conclusion to a solid showing by both the men and women this season; with these great performances, there is a lot to look forward to for next season.