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Bobcats of the week of May 17, 2010

Rich McNeil '10
Led by an outstanding individual performance by senior Rich McNeil(Lawrence, Mass.), the Bates College men's track and field team took second place out of 48 scoring teams at the ECAC Division III Track and Field Championships last weekend. The result matches the team's best-ever finish at ECACs with the 2004 squad, since Bates began participation in the meet in 2001.The Bobcats scored 56 points in the meet, 28 of them scored by McNeil, and stood in first place in the meet until Williams passed them with 58 points on the strength of a first-place showing in the final event of the meet, the 4x400 relay. Moravian and Springfield tied for third with 54 points each, and Amherst rounded out the top five with 52.

McNeil won both the discus throw and shot put events at the meet on Friday, a day after placing second in the hammer throw (and meeting automatic qualification for the NCAA Championships, to be held at Baldwin-Wallace College in Cleveland May 27-29).

McNeil, junior Chris Murtagh (Rowley, Mass.) and junior Ethan Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.) took first, third and sixth places, respectively, in the discus throw. McNeil sent the discus 166 feet and 6 inches, a personal record, while Murtagh notched a top throw of 158-05 and Waldman went 153-09 for a combined 19 team points. All three athletes notched personal records in the event, and McNeil and Murtagh reached provisional qualifications for the NCAAs. McNeil moved to No. 2 on Bates' all-time list in the discus, while Murtagh and Waldman reached fourth and eighth, respectively, on the list.

McNeil won the shot put at 50-2.5.

McNeil is one of 10 athletes nationally who have hit the NCAA auto mark in the hammer, and he currently ranks ninth on the Division III performance list. He also ranks 16th in the country in the discus and 29th in the shot put in an extremely competitive year in the men's throwing events in Division III.

Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan '10
Bates senior Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan'scollegiate athletic career is in the home stretch, and the five-time All-American is still improving. At last weekend's ECAC Division III Track and Field Championships at Springfield College, Duncan registered a personal record in the shot put in leading the Bobcats to a tie for seventh place out of 51 scoring teams at the meet.Duncan (Topsham, Maine) had a top effort of 47 feet, 1.75 inches in the shot put to place second only to rival Alyssa Pirinelli of St. Lawrence in the event on Saturday. On Thursday, she came in third place in the hammer throw at 167-7. Duncan is now a 13-time All-ECAC performer, combining indoor and outdoor championship meets, including two ECAC titles.

Duncan's shot put improved her already automatic qualifications for the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships, to be held at Baldwin-Wallace College in Cleveland May 27-29. Heading into this weekend's Last Chance Meet at MIT, Duncan currently ranks second to Pirinelli among all Division III athletes' performances this season in the shot. She has also automatically qualified for NCAAs in the hammer, and currently ranks seventh nationally in that event, based on her 177-6 performance at Open New Englands on April 30.

The 14 team points Duncan scored for the Bobcats put them in a three-way tie for seventh place with Amherst and St. Lawrence, a nice move up from their 12th-place showing at the same meet a year ago.