Led by junior Gabby Naranja, the Bates women's cross country team recorded its highest finish since 1995 on Saturday at the NESCAC Championship, tying for fourth place among 11 teams with Tufts.
The Bobcats and Jumbos both scored 138 points, finishing behind only Williams (45), Middlebury (71) and Amherst (107) in what is by far the toughest conference in Division III women's cross country. Bates outpaced sixth-place Wesleyan (153) by 15 points, followed by Bowdoin (161), Colby (186), Hamilton, Connecticut College and Trinity. Bates last finished fourth at the meet in 1995.
Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine) finished 12th overall among 125 runners with a time of 22:13.19 over the 6-kilometer course, to become the Bobcats' first All-NESCAC performer since Adelia Myrick '99 in 1998. On Tuesday, Naranja officially earned Second Team All-NESCAC laurels for placing among the top 14 runners.
Senior captain Alicia Fannon (Haverhill, Mass.) placed 29th overall in 22:36.67, followed by first-year Hannah Zeltner (Bedford, N.H.) in 32nd (22:39.52), senior captain Lindsay Cullen (Newburyport, Mass.) in 34th (22:41.16), sophomore Elena Jay (West Hartford, Conn.) in 41st to finish Bates' scoring. Junior Mira Carey-Hatch (Laconia, N.H.) placed 58th (23:22.17) and sophomore Erica Gagnon (Weymouth, Mass.) placed 66th (23:34.27) to round out the Bobcats' top seven.
Bates, which moved up to No. 24 in this week's USTFCCCA Division III rankings, will compete at the ECAC Championship this Saturday, Nov. 3 at 11am in Williamstown, Mass., followed on Nov. 10 by the NCAA Regionals in Westfield, Mass.