With two All-Americans returning and one of the best incoming rookie classes in his seven-year tenure at Bates, Bobcat head coach Al Fereshetian has every reason to expect success in 2001-02. Bates finished eighth in New England during the indoor season and sixth outdoors. They finished second at the NESCAC championship meet, following up their first-ever conference title in 2000. At the NCAA Division III outdoor track and field championships, the Bobcats finished in a tie for 20th place, matching the school's second-best finish ever. The addition of a new eight-lane Mondo track completed in the summer of 2001 should help one of the College's most successful programs retain its stature.
Among the top individual performers in 2000-01 were student-athletes who represented
the program's most consistent aspects. Captain Jaime Sawler '02 made
his first two appearances in the NCAA championships, placing seventh indoors
in the 35-pound weight throw and fourth outdoors in the hammer, giving Bates
its tenth All-American in those two events in the past five years. Teammate
Greg Hurley, a former NESCAC javelin champion, reached his first NCAA
meet in the hammer throw as well. Junior Justin Easter '03 has been to
six NCAA championships in two years with the cross country, Nordic skiing and
outdoor track and field teams. His school-record time and third place finish
in the 3,000-meter steeplechase earned Easter his second All-America award.
He also won the Open New England steeplechase title, topping competitors from
Division I, II and III programs. Sawler and Easter are both the top returning
finishers in the nation in their events. The Bobcats also enjoyed success with
their sprints and relay teams in 2001, led by Erik Zwick '01, who anchored
Bates' school record breaking 4x100 and 4x400 relays and qualified for a second
NCAA championship in the 400-meter dash. Along with Sawler, Zwick helped the
Bobcats take home both the most outstanding track and most outstanding field
performer at the 2001 State of Maine championships.