Led by captains Joe Doyle ‘17, Michael Horowicz ‘17 and Evan Ferguson-Hull ‘17, the men’s cross country team which currently holds a national rank of 35th, is very excited for this season and is hoping to travel to Louisville, Kentucky and compete at the NCAA division III national championships. Although they lost Allen Sumrall ‘16, who earned All-American honors after his impressive 31st place finish at the NCAA championships in Wisconsin last year, head coach Al Fereshetian is confident in the close spread of his returning runners. Along with the three senior captains, Nick Orlando ‘18, Zach Magin ‘18, Matthew Morris ‘18, Stephan Rowe ‘18, Ben Tonelli ‘18, and Jack Kiely ‘18, will all be very competitive this season. James Jones ‘20 will also have a strong impact on the team this fall. All members of the top ten are within 30-40 seconds of one another.

“I am very excited to see the team come together as one unit,” Fereshetian said. “I know that the training is there and am looking for confidence and development. Every individual has the opportunity to improve and advance because they have worked very hard to get to where they are at and have a lot of respect and commitment to the sport.”

The men’s team in their opening meet were challenged by an intense 6,000 meter course, comprised of steep rolling hills along the Quarry Trails in Waterville, Maine, where where they were defeated by Colby College in their season opener, edged by a score of 61-49.

The meet was split by class years. The juniors and seniors were grouped together and the first years and sophomores competed against each other.

Making an impressive comeback after suffering from a stress fracture for the majority of last year’s season, Nick Orlando ‘17, led the junior/senior Bates men, and finished fifth overall with a time of 20:05. Following in a close pack behind Orlando were captains Evan Ferguson-Hull ‘17, Joe Doyle ‘17, Zach Magin ‘18 and Stephen Rowe ‘18. Magin led the pack with a time of 20:08 with the other three members all within 20 seconds of each other.

James Jones ‘20 won the first year/sophomore race with a time of 20:21 over the course of difficult, hilly terrain. Jones’ classmate Justine Levine ‘20  finished second overall, followed by teammates Ryan Betz ‘19, Gabe Benson ‘20 and Jack McLarnon ‘20 who finished in 5th, 8th, and 10th, respectively.   

“Although the junior-senior race didn’t go quite as we had hoped, we were very excited with what we saw from our first years and sophomores,” Doyle said. “The meet also gave us a great opportunity to preview the NESCAC Championship course well in advance of the meet, which is something we haven’t been able to do in years past.”

The Bobcats will be hosting the Bates Invitational at Pineland Farms, in New Gloucester, Maine next Saturday, September 17th, where the men’s team hopes to work together, using the strengths of all class years, for a well-deserved win.