Bobcats of the week of Jan. 11, 2010

Will Katz '11
When the Bates men's squash team played host to Williams on Saturday, the norm was a drag-out, multi-set battle at most spots up and down the lineups. Although the visiting, No. 10-ranked Ephs nipped the No. 12-ranked Bobcats by a 5-4 score, Bates showed more than enough talent and fight to set the stage for an intriguing remainder of the season.Clearly one of the Bobcats' highlights came at the No. 3 spot, where junior team co-captainWill Katz (Bronxville, N.Y.) became a notable exception by dispatching his opponent, Will Gruner, in straight games, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9. Katz, whose career record is currently 26-11, finished last season ranked 69th individually in the country, while Gruner was 66th, and he opened this year ranked 54th, while Gruner was 52nd.

Most impressive, Katz's performance came in his first match of the season, since he missed Bates' first eight matches this season, played in November and December, while he was studying abroad.

Kara Leasure '12
The Bates swimming and diving teams are in the middle of the most grueling part of the season, the period of high-intensity training that precedes tapering. Over the weekend the Bobcats returned from their annual training trip to Florida and hosted a pair of meets at Tarbell Pool, where many swimmers showed impressive determination.None more so than sophomore Kara Leasure(Los Alamos, N.M.), who won four races over the two days, all in different events.

In Saturday's tri-meet against Norwich University and the University of New England, Leasure submitted an outstanding 500-yard freestyle race, finishing first in 5:24.08. Leasure also swam a leg in Bates' first-place 400 medley relay (4:13.42) as Bates defeated both visiting teams in head-to-head scoring.

The following day against conference rival Middlebury, Leasure gutted out an impressive win in the 1,650-yard freestyle race, prevailing over the Panthers' Audrey Tolbert by the slim margin of 18:16.07 to 18:16.44. Leasure also took first place in the 200 breaststroke (2:32.24) in the meet.

"Kara continues to be one of the best dual meet competitors in the entire conference," said Casares. "In a tight race, with first place on the line, it becomes her sole mission to win - and not just for herself, but to win for Bates."