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Bobcats of the week of Jan. 31, 2011

James LePage '13
Team records don't fall all that often when it comes to the Bates men's track and field team and its lengthy history of excellence. So what Bates sophomore James LePagepulled off last weekend -- having a hand in breaking two team records in two days -- was something quite special.On Friday at the Terrier Invitational at Boston University, LePage (Cumberland, Maine) and his teammates broke Bates' eight-year-old standard in the indoor distance medley relay by precisely six seconds, in 9:58.10 -- beating the old mark of 10:04.10 set in 2003 by Malcolm Gray '03, Stephen Graham '03, John Bauer'06 and Andrius Staisiunas '05.

Running the leadoff, 1,200-meter leg was sophomore Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.) in a split of 3:02. Senior Ryan Quinn (Watertown, Mass.) took the baton for 400 meters in 49.2 seconds, followed by LePage running the 800 in 1:53 and first-year Tully Hannan (West Hartford, Conn.) finishing with a 4:11 in the 1,600-meter anchor leg. Bates' time is currently the second-fastest run this season in all of Division III.

But LePage wasn't finished. The following day at the USM Invitational, LePage won the 600-meter run in 1:22.22, shaving 0.99 seconds off of the former team record set by Sam Thomas'07 in 2004. LePage's performance was one of 10 event winners for the Bobcats, who dominated the five-team meet, outscoring the host and runner-up Huskies 271.5 to 151.5.

Natalie Ruppertsberger '11
In a week off of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association's carnival schedule, senior Natalie Ruppertsbergerand the Bates Nordic ski team still managed to impress.Ruppertsberger (Plainfield, N.H.), Bates' two-time NCAA Championship competitor, crossed the finish line first in the women's 10K Classic Mass Start race on Sunday at the fifth annual Chummy Broomhall Cup, also known as the Maine Collegiate Championship, held at the Bobcats home site of competition, Black Mountain.

Ruppertsberger and fellow senior captainKirsten Gill finished first and second, respectively, to lead the Bates women to first place out of five teams, as the Bobcats overwhelmed the field with low score of 9 points in the women's 10K Classic Mass Start race.

Ruppertsberger covered the course in 32:18.3. Gill (Jackson, N.H.) trailed only her fellow team captain, posting identical intervals of 16:22 for a final time of 32:45.2.

Ruppertsberger has fared well in all three of her races so far this season. At the Colby Carnival, held at Sugarloaf on Jan. 22, Ruppertsberger finished sixth out of 91 competitors in the women's 15K Classical race, in 41:27.3. The week before at the St. Lawrence Carnival in Lake Placid, Ruppertsberger placed seventh overall out of 77 competitors in the women's 6K Classical race, finishing her first race of the season in a time of 19:34.6.

Bates travels to Stowe, Vt., this weekend for the UVM Carnival.