WATERVILLE, ME- The H1N1 virus hit the Bates campus hard this past week, and as a result much of the cross country team had to sit out this weekend's State of Maine Championships at Colby College. Fielding only thirteen of the twenty-six members of the team, Bates was certainly hurting going into the race, but came out strong, with solid performances across the board. Bates finished third with 75 points, behind University of Southern Maine (34 points), and Bowdoin (29 points). The team still solidly defeated Colby (123 points), thanks largely to the outstanding performance of Junior Devin Dilts, who managed a third place finish behind Bowdoin's Colman Hatton and Thompson Ogilvie. Dilts covered what many assert is the hardest course they have ever run in an impressive 26:39. Behind Dilts were Tom Esponette and Conor Welch, finishing together in 27:39, earning 16th and 17th places. Running four through six for the team were Ryan Rice, Eric Kimball, and Graham Pearall, running 27:53, 27:57, and 28:14, respectively. The three first years have been performing well all season, and this weekend was no exception, as they were the first three freshmen to finish from any team.
One of the more exciting performances of the day came from Senior Jeff Roeser, who, in what may have been his last collegiate cross country race, ran tenth for the team, placing 50th in the 122 man field in a time of 29:40. With the finish line in sight, Roeser let out a ferocious yell and put on a burst of speed, covering the last hundred meters in what had to be about eight seconds, and finished literally inches behind Coach Fresh's son Justin, who runs for the University of Maine Presque Isle. Roeser attempted to pass Justin in the chute, but the officials saw through his shenanigans.
Feeling good about this weekend's positive performances, this coming week the team will have time to both rest and get some solid training in thanks to the upcoming fall break. The team will then hopefully return to full strength at the NESCAC Championships, hosted by Trinity College at Wickham Park in two weeks.