Bobcats of the week of March 1, 2010

Ben Manter '11
Entering the final weekend of the EISA carnival season -- the Eastern Championships at Middlebury -- Bates juniorBen Manter(Vassalboro, Maine) couldn't have been sure what it would take to ensure his first trip to the NCAA Collegiate Skiing Championships. As it turned out, two top-20 finishes at Middlebury more than did the trick.In Saturday's slaloms, Manter's two-run combined time was 1:36.45, good for 16th place overall. On Sunday Manter tied for 19th place in the giant slaloms with a two-run combined time of 2:06.34, a day after he finished 16th out of 71 competitors Saturday in the men's slalom.

Manter finished the carnival season at 17th place in the EISA's final NCAA Qualifier List rankings. He learned officially on Tuesday that that was enough to make NCAAs, along with sophomore teammate Bump Heldman(Auburn, Maine), who finished the carnival season ranked 19th in the East and will also be making his first trip to NCAAs. They'll be joined by their teammate on the Nordic ski team, junior Natalie Ruppertsberger (Plainfield, N.H.), who will return for her second trip to nationals.

While Heldman narrowly missed making NCAAs in 2009, Manter made an impressive leap in his performance from last season to this one. He finished the 2009 season ranked 34th on the EISA's NCAA Qualifiers list, but vaulted to No. 17 in 2010. His year has included two top-10 finishes: eighth in the slalom at St. Michael's, and sixth in the slalom the following week at the University of Vermont. He was also 11th in the slalom at the Dartmouth Carnival.

Cheri-Ann Parris '13
Bates first-year women's squash player Cheri-Ann Parris(St. Phillip, Barbados) seems to have only gotten better since starting the season at the No. 1 spot in the Bobcats' lineup.She wrapped up this season's team competition in impressive fashion last weekend, going 3-0 individually for the Bobcats at the College Squash Association Women's Team Nationals at Yale. On Friday she defeated Amherst's No. 1 player, Hayley Milbourn, by a 3-0 score in Bates' 5-4 win over the Lord Jeffs. On Saturday she provided the Bobcats' lone point in an 8-1 loss to Brown by defeating the Bears' No. 1, Laura Pyne, also by a 3-0 score.

On Sunday Bates faced Mount Holyoke to determine 11th and 12th places in the final CSA rankings, and the match came down to the No. 1 position in the lineup, where Parris came back from a 2-0 deficit to notch a 3-2 win over the Lyons' top player, Vidushi Gurunada.

The Bobcats finished the season at 19-8 and reversed the result of two years ago at CSA Team Nationals, when Mt. Holyoke topped Bates 5-4 to earn 11th place and relegate the Bobcats to 12th. It is Bates' highest final ranking since placing 10th in 2007.

Parris now heads to CSA Individual Nationals at Trinity College this weekend, where according to head coach Pat Cosquer she will be ranked 30th in the country. That means Parris will compete in the A Draw at the tournament, the first Bates woman to play there since 2002.