The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Author: Jack McLarnon

Learn About Competitive Club Skiing at Bates!

Elly Bengtsson ’19, a senior captain of the Competitive Ski Club, answers questions about the team just before their last race of the season.

ELLY BENGTSSON/COURTESY PHOTO
(Left to right) Chloé Lo Faro, Katrina Johnson, Peter Galloway, Jake Michael, Jacob Nishimura, Elly Bengtsson, and Owen Daniell celebrate a day of victories at the Sunday River Race last weekend.

The Bates Student (BS): How would you describe the Competitive Ski Club to a Bates student who has never heard of it before?

Elly Bengtsson (EB): Well, it’s a club for people who have raced in the past and want to continue in college, or for people who enjoy skiing and want to start racing. All levels of experience have a place on our team…The club really starts with a ski camp in December, with returning skiers and newcomers all meeting each other and doing activities together. There’s multiple ski events you can do, like the slalom and “GS” [giant slalom] …Then we have two months of racing on weekends and practices twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday at 4:15, meeting in back of Chase Hall. It’s all students; we don’t have a coach…This is an opportunity open to anybody at Bates.

BS: How did you first get started in the Club Ski Team?

EB: I knew that I wanted to do something like this in college, because I had raced in high school and wanted to continue it at Bates. I did an online search before even coming to campus, and I found it in the college’s club [directory] webpage. I saw that the club’s over a decade old, and that made me feel confident knowing it had been around so long.

BS: What is your favorite part about being on this team?

EB: Oh, there’s so many…first, the people on the team are great. It’s so much fun to work together, especially when you get to see other skiers improve. It can be crazy seeing how much better somebody gets since they first started…Another awesome part of club skiing is that we get to set up and make our own training courses at Lost Valley, which is difficult but fun. We have to lug the drill, drill-bit, and gates up and down the hills. Then everybody of all abilities gets to try their best on these courses that we made…Racing at the level we do is also good. We race in the Reynolds Division of USCSA, which is D3 instead of D1, which I think gives us just the right amount of competition.

BS: How many races have you had so far? How do you feel about them?

EB: We’ve had six races this winter. [Two races ago] the women’s team had their first win, coming in first out of 17 teams at Sunday River, with three Bates skiers in top five! Yeah…As for whole team has been doing through the season, it’s hard to say. Different people show up to each race day. We bring whoever wants to come that day. So there has been improvement, but a lot of it is seeing skiers surprise everyone by showing their various strengths. Other people show more consistency, and that’s good, too.

BS: What are you looking forward to in the last race day

EB: We only have one more race, which is a panel slalom next Saturday. It’s extra exciting because they’re going to announce who wins the Reynold’s division. We weren’t even expected to be in the running for winning the division, but now it’s become a serious possibility. This is even more impressive because we don’t have a ski coach. I can’t wait to give it our best on Saturday!

BS: Is there anything else you would like to say about Club Ski?

EB: In addition to the club website on the Bates page, we have an Instagram. Anybody who wants should check it out, especially first-years and sophomores; starting earlier means you can have a lot of improvement…I hope that people continue to come out and ski at our practices. Everybody is welcome, and we are always looking forward to having people on the team with lots of energy and enthusiasm.

MIT MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Meet for Indoor Track

Last Saturday, the women’s Track and Field team traveled down to Cambridge, Mass. to compete against MIT and Colby for their first meet of the indoor season. This meet served as an ideal opportunity for the Bobcats to show their abilities after several weeks of preseason training.

The meet ultimately resulted in Bates finishing with 117 points, beating Colby’s 60 but coming in second to MIT’s 155. In addition to this strong team showing, many individual athletes put forward impressive performances in various events, with seven of the events being won by Bates.

“I think you have to go into the first meet with an understanding that it’s just a starting point and there is so little pressure on you,” commented senior captain Katie Hughes ’19. “For some, it was their first college meet; for others, it was their first indoor track meet. This is to say that my wildest expectations were surpassed by all of the performances on Saturday.”

The sprinters had multiple successful races. With a time of 27.58 seconds, first-year Rebecca Willis ’22 won the 200-meter dash handily. Sophie Matt ’22, another first-year, ran 1:02.61 to win the 400-meter dash, a great start to her indoor track career at Bates. The 60-meter hurdles was also dominated by Bates, as sophomore Amanda Kaufman ’21 crossed the finish line in first place at 9.33 seconds, followed by Willis in second place at 9.54 seconds.

Distance and middle-distance runners had a good showing as well. In the 1000-meter run, senior captain Ayden Eickhoff ’19 won with a time of 2:57.19, breaking her own Bates record from last year (2:57.24) in the process. This continued improvement bodes well for the rest of the season.

Additionally, the 600-meter run saw terrific opening races from Bates; although the first place spot went to MIT, first-years Elise Lambert ’22 and Mary Corcoran ’22 gained second and third with times of 1:40.52 and 1:41.39 respectively.

There were also notable performances in the field events. Senior captain Katie Hughes ’19 took first place in the shot put by throwing 11.16 meters. Hughes also won the weight throw with a distance of 14.42 meters. Sophomore Genesis Paulino ’21 gained third place in both events as well, throwing 9.90 meters in the shot put and 13.28 meters in the weight throw. In jumps, Kaufman took second for the long jump with 5.01 meters, and Lambert overcame 1.53 meters in the high jump for second place.

The Bates team for the 4×400-meter relay was victorious with an overall time of 4:12.8. Senior captains Sarah Shoulta ’19 and Andrea Russo ’19 along with sophomores Kaufman and Imani Boggan ’21 put forth the speed, effort, and teamwork necessary to beat out MIT in the end by just under two seconds. This exciting meet revealed a determination and growth on the team that will hopefully carry on for many meets to come.

In just their first meet, four first-year athletes qualified for the New England Division III Championship. Willis’ performance in the 60-m hurdles, Lambert and Corcoran’s efforts in the 600-meter run and Lauren Berube’s ’22 mark of 3.10 meters in the pole vault each earned them the opportunity to compete against many other talented athletes in New England.

Even though it may be easy to get caught up with the times and placements and scores in a meet like this, Hughes took a more holistic approach to the overall success of the team. “While there were definitely some strong individual performances on Saturday, I feel as though the most crucial piece of our success as a whole is that everyone showed up to MIT and did what they needed to do,” she said. “Whether they showed up ready to compete, or showed up ready to help film and to be supportive, everyone did what they needed to contribute to the success of the team.”

In regards to the overall potential of the team this year, Head Coach Jay Hartshorn is optimistic. “I am excited to see where the season goes,” she said. “We have an extra week before [the New England Division III Championships], so [there’s] lots of time to get back some of our injured people and then really see what we can do. It’s a young team which is always really exciting.”

Shooting for Excellence in the “Pineland Super XC Shootout”

This Saturday, Sept. 15, the Bates women’s cross-country team competed in what may very well be the most fantastically named dual-meet in the history of the sport. Running at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine, the Bobcats went head-to-head in a 5K against Tufts to see how both teams stood at the beginning of their seasons.

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Track and Field Teams Compete at Tufts “Last Chance” Meet

The Tufts National Qualifying “Last Chance” Meet held Saturday, March 3, saw the men’s and women’s track and field teams head down to Medford, MA to try for performances that could send them to the NCAA Indoor Championships. The highly competitive nature of this meet, with each athlete striving to hit national qualifying times, heights, and distances, led to a vivacious atmosphere. Spectators and teammates were enthusiastically supportive, and the Bobcat athletes themselves put forth tremendous efforts. Unfortunately, no performances for this meet provided any more Championship qualifiers for the Bates program. However, several team accomplishments and personal bests were achieved at Tufts this weekend.

Both the men’s and women’s Distance Medley Relays put forth seasonal bests and Top Ten Performance lists. The Men’s DMR team Rob Flynn ’18, Mike Somma ’19, Mark Fusco ’19, and Jack Kiely  ’18, running the 1200m, 400m, 800m, and 1600m, respectively, ran a time of 10:02.92. This put them sixth out of nine at the competitive meet, fourteenth in this season’s national rankings (just shy of the required twelfth spot for running in the Championship race), and ninth out of all Bates Men’s DMR performances.

“It went really well. We all ran the fastest times we had all season,” says Somma. “Even though we came up a little short, it was a great experience.” This was certainly a high note for the Men’s DMR to go out on this season.

Likewise, the Women’s Distance Medley Relay had a superb effort, concluding their Indoor Track run with the best performance of the season. Sarah Rothman ’19 in the 1200m, Imani Boggan ’21 in the 400m, So Kim ’21 in the 800m, and Ayden Eickhoff ’19 in the 1600m, all worked together as a determined and powerful team to finish with a time of 12:06.98. They came in fifth out of an incredibly tough field of six, 28 in national rankings, and eighth on the women’s list of Bates all-time performances.

DMRs are a total distance of 4000m, or about 2.5 miles, meaning that the Bobcats’ times for this event were immensely impressive. But not only did they achieve fantastic times, they also gained valuable and enjoyable experiences from running at such a tough meet. As Eickhoff stated: “I enjoyed having a final opportunity to compete alongside my teammates this weekend. Although the result wasn’t there in the end, we did what we could and had fun doing it.”

The men’s pole vault saw standout performances from Garrett Anderson ’18, who won the event with a height of 15 feet, 3.5 inches, and David Dick ’18, coming in sixth at 13 feet, 9.75 inches. There were also strong efforts in the weight throw, with Adedire Fakorede ’18 throwing 61 feet, 7.75 inches, Zach Campbell ’19 sending it 50 feet, 11 inches for a personal best, and John Rex ’21 making a seasonal best with 50 feet, 4.5 inches. The 5000m also included two highlight performances from Justin Levine ’20, who set a substantial personal best of 15:06.38, and Zach Magin ’18 at 15:14.28—they came in third and fourth, respectively. “It felt great to see the work that I’ve been putting in all year pay off, and it gave me a confidence that will carry on into future seasons,” commented Levine.

For the women’s team, there were also remarkable efforts in individual events. The long jump saw two substantial achievements by the Bobcats, with Srishti Sunil ’18 coming in third with a distance of 5.47m, and Sally Ceesay ’18 in fourth with 5.46m. In the weight throw, Katie Hughes ’19 threw 44 feet, 11.5 inches to come in fifth out of nine at Tufts.

Although none of these results will send any Bobcats to the national NCAA Championship Meet, to be held between March 9 and 10 at Birmingham Southern-College in Alabama, they provided a great experience for these Bates athletes and let them display their talent and effort. Luckily, some Bobcats had already qualified before Tufts, and will be going to Birmingham. For the men’s team, Fakorede is going for the weight throw and Kiely will be racing the mile, and on the women’s team Katherine Cook ’18 will compete in the 3000m and 5000m, Eickhoff is going to participate in the 800m, and Ceesay is going for the triple jump.

  

Women’s Track and Field Gives 100 Percent for Opening Meet

The first meet for the women’s indoor track and field season was a thrilling mixture of excitement, grit, determination, effort, tough losses and triumphant victories. The meet was held at Bates on Saturday, January 13, and was a three-way competition between MIT, Colby, and our own Bobcats. Although the day saw tremendous performances from all three teams, MIT emerged the winner with 106 points. Bates earned second place with 53.5 points, leaving Colby in third with 28.5. The final scores are not indicative of the effort put forth by each team, and Bates competitors from all different events saw some seriously impressive feats by the time this meet was over.

Notable among these is junior Ayden Eickhoff ‘19 setting a new school record for the 1000 meters with a time of 2:57.24, taking first place in the event as well. This fantastic performance broke a record that has been standing for fifteen years now, by Kelley Puglisi in 2003.

Other track standouts ranged across a variety of distances and hurdles. In the 600 meters, sophomore Casey Snow ‘20 placed second with a time of 1:45.75, closely followed by senior captain Caroline Gettens ‘18 in third at 1:47.52. In the mile, senior Katherine Cook ‘18 ran 5:10.22 for second place. The 800 meters was also successful, with juniors Sarah Rothmann ‘19 and Wendy Memishian ‘19 placing second and third respectively, with 2:27.69 and 2:38.35.

Perhaps the most impressive event for Bates was the 60 meter hurdles, in which four athletes made it onto the Top 10 Performances list for Bates in that event, with first-years Amanda Kaufman ‘21 (9.31 seconds, prelim.), Jenny Martin ‘21 (9.49, prelim.), and Molly McCoole ‘21 (9.90, prelim.) and junior Sarah Shoulta ‘19 (9.56, finals) taking the second, fourth, fifth, and eighth on the list, respectively.

About this great achievement, Kaufman says, “Going into the event I was very nervous. I told myself that I’ve been training harder than I ever did in high school. I guess everything just came together in that race. It was an incredible feeling crossing the finish line of my first collegiate race. I am very excited for the rest of the season and more opportunities to improve.”

The field events had tremendous accomplishments as well. For jumpers, outstanding performances include Molly McCoole winning the high jump with a height of 1.64 meters (5-0.45) and taking the fifth spot on the all-time best list. Also in the high jump, junior Shelby Burns ‘19 achieved 1.49m (4-10.5), placing third, and senior Srishti Sunil ‘18’s long jump of 4.95 meter (16-3) placed fourth. Additionally, the throwers had standout efforts, such as junior captain Katie Hughes ‘19 placing third in both shot put and weight throw, throwing 35-7.25 and 43-9.75, respectively.

There was also impressive depth displayed by the team as a whole, at all levels of performance. Unfortunately, the meet was scored only four places deep, so many of the accomplishments from Bobcats who did not quite make the top spots were not acknowledged in the final score. The tremendous efforts of newcomers and personal bests from veterans look promising for upcoming meets in the season to come. The next meet will be an invitational Saturday, January 20, also at Bates.

 

Women’s Cross Country Dominates at DIII Regionals Meet

Women’s cross country runners get ready to take off. JAY BURNS/BATES COLLEGE .

Women’s cross country runners get ready to take off. JAY BURNS/BATES COLLEGE
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This Saturday, November 11, the women’s cross country team competed in the NCAA Division III New England Regional Meet in Gorham, Maine on the Gorham Country Club golf course, the home course for the University of Southern Maine. Out of 56 teams, Bates finished in an impressive fifth place, thanks to an outstanding team effort from the seven competing runners. Their team total was 150 points, and since cross country races are won with the fewest points, their score was 33 points better than the sixth place score of Amherst College (183), and 17 points better than their total from last year’s Regional Meet (167), showing some solid team improvement this year.

Leading the Bobcats on this six kilometer course was senior captain Katherine Cook ‘18, who finished in fourth place overall with a time of 20:44.7, which gained her the title of All-New England, since her place was in the top 35. When asked about her performance, Cook actually opted to talk about her team instead: “This is one of the most talented and supportive teams I’ve ever been on, and I just feel so privileged to have been a part of that.” Her great race reflects the positive cross country experiences she has had all season.

Cook was not alone on her team in earning an All-New England title: Ayden Eickhoff ‘19 placed 29th with a time of 22:11.8, while Abby Hamilton ‘21 nabbed the 35th spot by racing 22:16.6. Rounding off the top five were Katie Barker ‘19 in 41st at time 22:23.9 and Olivia LaMarche ‘20 in 45th with 22:25.6. As shown by their times, the Bates runners used a pack strategy, determined to try to stay close to their fellow racers and motivate each other to keep pushing together. Also contributing to the team effort and spirit were the Bates displacers, or the 6th and 7th finishers on the team. Sarah Rothmann ‘19 placed 57th at 22:35.5, and senior captain Mary Szatkowski ‘18 placed 92nd at 23:16.2. All Bates racers finished in the top 100 in this large race of 393 runners.

The conditions were less than ideal, with wind-chill causing the temperature to feel like it was in the low twenties. However, the wind and cold were not going to stand in the way of these determined Bobcats. “We were mentally prepared for the cold coming into it, and so we were able to tough it out during the race,” says Barker.

The cold also failed to keep Bates spectators away, who came to support the team in their race. Parents, students, alumni, and even dogs represented the Bates spirit and cheered on the runners as they gave their all out on the course.

One of the most impressive parts of the race was the topography, which was far hillier than most golf course races are. The racers fought valiantly against the difficult terrain, working off each other to navigate and endure the twists and hills. This course was a challenge, but it was one that these Bates runners were ready to face. Rothmann states, “The course was really fair, and because we have trained at Pineland, we were prepared for any hill that would come. We worked really well together and that let our team perform competitively.”

Unfortunately, the fifth place finish did not result in the team moving on to compete at the National Championships, yet this Regional meet was still an inspiring end to an exceptional season. Also, Cook’s fourth place finish has gained her an individual spot in the National Meet, and the team will continue supporting her in this effort that will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18 in Elsah, Ill.

 

Men’s and Women’s Nordic Skiing Teams Eagerly Anticipate the Coming Season

In last season’s 2017 opener, the men’s and women’s Nordic team had strong performances at the St. Lawrence Carnival, with Forrest Hamilton ’20, from Shelburne, VT, finishing eighth out of 101 for the men’s sprints and Parker McDonald ’18, from Wolcott, CO, coming in 19th out of 109 for the men’s 10,000 meter freestyle. Halie Lange ’18, from Brattleboro, VT, finishing 23rd out of 95 in the women’s sprints, behind two teammates who have now left.

Overall the team came in 7th out of 17 teams, which was a fine achievement but one which they hope to beat during this year’s opening competition.

Throughout the year, the team consistently found itself in the middle of the pack, coming in eighth out of 16 for the UNH Carnival and the following UVM Carnival, eighth out of 15 for the Dartmouth Carnival, and seventh out of 16 for their very own Bates Carnival.

But several outstanding individual performances accompanied those places, with many of these individuals returning this year to continue their impact on the team: McDonald, Hamilton, and sophomore Graham Houstma ’20, from Aspen, CO, all had consistently good performances for the men last year, while Lange and sophomore Kaelyn Woods ’20, from New Gloucester, ME, played large roles for the women.

Although they will be missing the previous year’s impressive senior class, notably Sadie James with her 5k win at the Bates Carnival, Laurel Fiddler, Max Millslagle, Nathan Moreau, and Wade Rosco, this year’s team is excited and ready to go.

They know that they have some serious competitors returning from last year, and there is also lots of fresh new talent from the first-year class.

“We have a really young team with ten incoming freshmen. The team is anxious and hungry to start ski racing!” says senior captain Parker MacDonald. “There is a lot of talent on the team and we are looking to do big things. The team is looking strong and motivated which should make for an exciting season to come!”

    

Women’s Cross Country Hosts NESCAC Championship Meet, 4th Place Team Finish

Olivia LaMarche ‘20 runs to a n eighth place finish. BREWSTER BURNS FOR BATES COLLEGE.

Olivia LaMarche ‘20 runs to a n eighth place finish. BREWSTER BURNS FOR BATES COLLEGE.

It was a beautiful day at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester this Saturday, October 28, but the hundreds of spectators were not there just to look at blue skies and foliage. This year’s NESCAC Championship race for women’s cross country was an exciting event to behold, amplified by the inescapable buzz of excitement in the air. Since Pineland is the Bates cross country home course, the Bobcats were ready to get after the six kilometer race.

Bates gave a tremendous team effort, all fifteen runners taking advantage of their knowledge of Pineland’s tricky hills and toughing it out with characteristic determination. This resulted in a strong showing of fourth place out of eleven teams, with a score of 90. Williams College took first place (62), Middlebury was second (77), and Tufts was third (82).

Senior captain Katherine Cook ‘18 was the first runner in for Bates, coming in fourth overall, with an impressive time of 22:05.0 (her 6k personal record). Also cracking the top fifteen were Olivia LaMarche ‘20, in eighth place at 22:25.4, and Ayden Eickhoff ‘19 in fourteenth place at 22:49.8 (6k PR).

Helping Bates to place fourth as a team were Abby Hamilton ‘21, in twenty-first place at 23:12.1 and Katie Barker ‘19 placing forty-fifth and scoring forty-three points for Bates with her time of 23:45.3. Hamilton led the entire field of NESCAC first-year runners.

Sarah Rothmann ‘19, in fifty-third place (score 47) at 23:57.5, and senior captain Mary Szatkowski ‘18, in sixty-first place (score 53) at 24:08.2, rounded Bates’s top seven.

In spite of a complication near the end of the race, in which runners found their paths intersecting as some approached the finish line and others ran past the finish line from the opposite direction, the race was an overall success and an excellent display from all the NESCAC teams. Luckily no collisions occurred at the intersection (which had been unplanned), and the race officials were able to clear up any confusion that may have arisen regarding the results. It was a great moment to see the resourcefulness and flexibility of the NESCAC cross country program.

The support from Bates spectators was enormous as well, with many students, parents, and alumni coming to cheer or help out at the race. Their confidence and pride in the team was immense, summed up by alumni Hannah Wilson when she was asked before the race if she felt nervous about how the team would perform. “They’ve done such a good job all season, I’m sure they’ll do well today,” she said.

Women’s cross country has had a remarkable season so far, and their NESCAC effort adds to their list of strong races. Now, with the NESCAC meet behind them, these Bobcats are getting ready to race their best at the NCAA Regional championships in two weeks, which will take place at the Gorham Country Club, in Gorham, ME.

 

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