Traveling over 1,000 miles away from Bates, the men’s cross country team flew to Louisville Kentucky, on Saturday October 1st, to scout the NCAA Division III national course at the Greater Louisville Classic at E.P “Tom” Sawyer State Park. Head Coach Al Fereshetian brought the top ten men on his team.

The Bobcats competed against numerous teams, mostly from the southern and western parts of the United States. At the end of weekend, they ranked a solid 7th placed out of 43 teams, edged by six teams holding a national standing of at least 20. Among the six teams were No. 2 North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota and No. 5 Pomona-Pitzer College in Claremont, California.

Despite the humid air and muddy terrain, James Jones ‘20 was first for the bobcats, running a brisk 25:29.66 over the 4.97 mile course. Jones impressively placed 12th out of 388 individuals.

“The meet directors put on quite a nice race for us,” Jones said. “It was very well marked and the course was comfortable to run on.”

Behind Jones, the men ran in two tight packs, working together in a deep field of nationally ranked teams and athletes. The next runner for Bates was captain Joe Doyle ‘17, placing 52nd in 26:17.86. Doyle was shortly followed by Stephen Rowe ‘18, 26:20.39, and captain Evan Ferguson-Hull ‘17, 26:22.39. Zach Magin ‘18, led the second pack of Bates men, placing 71st in 26:30.51. Behind Magin were Matt Morris ‘18, placing 75th in 26:35.99, and Ben Tonelli 18, placing 78th in 26:37.74.

Although Kentucky was a tremendous opportunity and a great experience, the men are still hoping to improve upon their 8K times and obtain a higher national rank. Running against Maine’s Division III colleges, including their rival Colby and Bowdoin teams, they will compete at the Maine State Championship, hosted by Bates, at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester on Saturday October 15.

“States should be a great team experience,” Jones said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we stack up against Colby’s team now that we’re farther into the season.”