Bates junior Tully Hannan (West Hartford, Conn.) came through with a stunning individual performance at Saturday's NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship race -- fifth place among 275 runners -- helping to carry the Bobcats to sixth place as a team, tying for the Bobcats' best national finish ever with the 1977 team.
Bates’ lone All-American last year, Hannan not only repeated but ran the best race of his career, Bates’ highest national finish since Justin Easter ’03 finished third in 2002. Hannan, who was 27th overall at 2011 nationals, covered the 8-kilometer LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in 24:39.9, only 13.1 seconds behind race winner Tim Nelson of Wisconsin-Stout. Hannan finished 3.6 seconds ahead of seventh place.
With 253 points, the Bobcats repeated as New England’s top team at nationals, trailing only North Central (160), Calvin (175), Haverford (180), Wisconsin-La Crosse (183) and Washington University (215). Bates edged NESCAC rival and seventh-place team Tufts (260) by seven points, tying the 1977 team for Bates’ best team finish ever at the NCAA Championship.
Junior Mike Martin (Slatersville, R.I.), Bates’ top runner at both the NESCAC and NCAA Regional championship races, came in second for the Bobcats in 25:21.5, good for 51st place. Junior Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.) joined his classmates as Bates’ third finisher in 25:35.8 (79th).
Senior Ken Whitney (West Hartford, Conn.) was fourth for Bates in 25:47.8 (106th place), followed closely behind by senior captain Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) in 25:47.3 (108th), completing Bates’ scoring. Sophomore John Stansel (Newburyport, Mass.), Bates’ youngest runner in the race, finished in 26:27.7 (207th), and senior James LePage (Cumberland, Maine) was 274th (29:15.4).