The track team had the unusual opportunity to compete against the Division I University of Maine squad this past weekend, as well as against frequent adversaries USM and Colby. The team fared quite well, finishing second with 214 points, only 30 behind Maine's 244, and well ahead of USM's 151.5. The team displayed a great deal of energy throughout the meet, enjoying the opportunity to compete at home. While Maine's high calibur athletes took first in most events, the Bates men took many of the top spots right behind them, and managed wins in four events. Rich McNeil followed up his wins in the weight and shot from last weekend by winning both events again, posting a provisional national qualifying mark in the weight. Sam Goldstein also repeated his win in the pole vault, improving on last week's mark of 4.40m with an impressive 4.55m. Joining them were Ryan Quinn, who won the 200 in 23.45, and freshman Andrew Wortham, who cruised to an outstanding 15:29 victory in his first 5000 on the track.
Aside from Quinn's win in the 200, the sprints/hurdles saw some strong performances for Bates. Tony Haeuser placed second in the 55 hurdles with a time of 7.95, improving upon last week's 8.10 and moving up from 6th to 5th on the list of all time Bates performers in the event. Jesse Chapman was not far behind, placing fifth in 8.17. The team picked up some good points in the 55 dash, with Mike Jiang, Quinn, and Nick Marinakis placing third, fourth, and sixth, respectively. Carlos Castro managed a fourth place finish in the 400, running 53.56.
Moving up in distance, the mid-distance runners ran competitively across the board. In the 600, Nick Barron and Griff Stabler finished fourth and fifth againts very strong competition with times of 1:25.86 and 1:25.96. Conor Welch and Kevin McDonald worked together to finish third and fourth in the 800, both in 2:01. A third duo of James Lepage and Peter Corcoran finished third and fourth in a tough 1000 meter field, both qualifying for Division III New Englands and ECAC's in 2:35.29 and 2:35.90. Also in the 1000, Myles Black-Ingersoll ran a PR of 2:42. Maine's Riley Masters ran away with the win in the mile (4:17), but Bates athlete Tom Esponette managed to place second in 4:24, running somewhat by himself for the latter half of what was a respectable opening mile of the season. Behind Esponette, Devin Dilts and Graham Pearsall worked together to finish fifth and sixth, in 4:34 and 4:35. Pearsall's 4:35 was a five second PR. Dilts came back to run about the same time in the 1600 leg of the DMR, on the B squad. At the front of the race, Maine's Masters put a commanding lead on the field in the first leg, but thanks to strong peformances from Barron, Lepage, and Corcoran, the team managed to overtake Maine. While, in the closing leg, Tom Esponette fell to USM's Alex Gomes, the team still placed a strong second, and Esponette ran a solid 4:27 coming off of his mile from earlier in the afternoon.
The distance events saw some great performances as well. Andrew Wortham set the tone for the meet in Saturday's first event on the track in his aforementioned 5000 meter victory (15:29). Another first year, Eric Kimball finished fourth in his first ever track race, in 16:08. Luke Harmeling also had a stellar race, finishing in a lifetime best of 17:53 while lugging around a cast on his forearm. While Maine dominated the 3000, Bates still had some strong performances, sweeping places five through eight. Leading the Bates men was Peter Gurney, who ran 8:58 in his first race of the season. Doug Brecher and Sean Colligan were right behind in 9:02 and 9:03. While Brecher had hoped to finish faster, Colligan's finish was pretty solid for what is somewhat of a short event for him. Behind Colligan was Sam Wood, who ran a PR of 9:24.
Bates was unable to field many athletes in the jumps, but Jesse Chapman managed a fifth place jump of 6.04m in the long jump as Bates' lone competitor in the event, and the high jump saw Tony Haeuser tie for second with a jump of 1.81m.
In the throws, Rich McNeil and Ethan Waldman took the top two spots in the shot, Waldman's significant PR of 14.62m qualifying him for ECAC's. With David Pless in a commendable fifth, and Jesse Chapman in seventh, Bates put four competitors ahead of both USM and Colby's top men in the event. Bates also took the top two spots in the weight, thanks to McNeil and Chris Murtagh.
In Friday night's pentathlon, David Hardison improved upon his 2740 point performance earlier in the season, just managing to qualify for Division III New England's with 2911 points.