Five Athletes, Six All-American awards, Two broken National Meet Records, One National Champion, and the list of Bates’ successes at nationals seems to go on ad infinitum. The Distance Medley Relay team of Nick Barron, Ben Levy, James Lepage, and Noah Graboys were the first “skinnies” to qualify for Track Nationals since Adam Macbeth ran the hurdles in 2006, and they did not squander their opportunity. Barron who led off with the 1200m leg ran tactically for Bates, never losing contact with the lead pack. For those at the meet and for those watching at home, Barron showed off his dirty mullet on the nationally broadcast event for 3:06 before handing off to Ben Levy who managed the tight and flat turns of the Grinnell University track before handing off to James Lepage 51 seconds later. James, also sporting a mullet and a ‘stache that has not been groomed since 2011, ran a superb 800m leg for the bobcats closing 20 meters on the leaders and handing off in contention of first place. Noah ran the anchor leg, running against some of the strongest runners in all of Division 3. Noah did more than hold his own, at times in the last 200 meters contending for the lead and ultimately finished third. David Pless, once again competed like a superhuman, became only the second Bates Track athlete to earn two All-American awards at one championship. Peter Goodrich, in 1989, was the only other athlete to achieve the feat. Pless placed fifth in the weight throw throwing 63’ 2.75”, his first All-American award in the discipline. In the second day of competition Pless also defended his national title in the shot put, breaking the National Meet record twice in the process. Each time he broke the record, it had to be confirmed with a metal tape measure. After breaking the national meet record for a second time, members of the crowd began to chant “metal tape” on each of his remaining throws. Pless’ throw of 60’6.5” was enough to win the championship and break his own school record by almost two feet. Next after a period of off-season training, Bates will attend its first outdoor meet on March 31 at the University of Maine.
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