In an impressive showing, the #8 nationally-ranked men’s track and field team took home first place out of ten teams at the Tufts Invitational on Saturday, while the women’s team also performed well by placing third.
While the men’s team did win the overall tournament, the Bobcats actually only won three individual events. Two of these wins came from an impressive performance from senior thrower and two-time NCAA champion David Pless, who won the shot put (17.75 meters) and the weight throw (17.65 meters).
Bates’ other win came from senior James LePage, who won the 800 meters with a time of 1:55.22.
In the mile run, junior Tully Hannan came in second at 4:18.80, while senior Anthony Haeuser came in second in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.67 seconds. Also performing well were junior John Wisener, who came in third in the pole vault (4.25 meters), and sophomore Eric Wainman placed third in the high jump at 1.19 meters.
The women’s team used its strength in distance events to separate from most of the other teams, being edged only by Tufts and UMass-Lowell.
“Coming into the season, our strengths definitely showed in our distance and middle-distance events,” explained senior Lindsay Cullen, “Distance-wise, we have 6 of our top 7 runners from the nationals cross country team all competing, which is a definite strength since so many are coming off of that season in excellent shape.”
Cullen and freshman Hannah Zeltner placed first and second, respectively, in the 3,000 meters, with times of 10:32.35 and 10:51.42.
Bates also won two other individual events, as sophomore Sarah Fusco placed first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:21.83 and junior Amanda Solch won the mile run with a time of 5:22.03.
Also performing well were senior Bud Arens, who came in second in the 1,000 meters at 3:03.12 and freshman Melanie Ehrenberg, who placed second in pole-vaulting at 2.90meters.
Additionally, Bates took home first place in the 4×800 relay with a time of 10:10.05 behind strong efforts from Solch, junior Kallie Nixon, freshman Isabelle Unger, and senior Lisa Reedich. The 4×400 relay team of Arens, Fusco, Ehrenberg, and sophomore Amelia Oliver placed second at 4:10.05.
While Bates’ strength clearly comes from distance events, Cullen noted that, “The biggest surprise thus far is absolutely the strength and work ethic of the sprint and field event athletes. Watching them practice and push each other to the limit in workouts really demonstrates that the sprints will be our biggest surprise this year in competition. I think other teams assume that our middle-distance and distance runners will win events, but soon they’ll find out we have so much depth in the points in bigger meets.”
The two teams will look to build on the success they have already had this season when they host the Bates Pentathalon on Friday and the Bates Invitational on Saturday in Merril Gym.