LEWISTON, Maine -- The winter athletic season is off to a hot start for both the men's and women's basketball teams at Bates. Other winter teams have dipped their toes into competition, while a number of others are gearing up for January.
Men's basketball enters Thursday night's non-conference game at Gordon College with a 3-1 record, including impressive wins over Babson, St. Lawrence and Thomas. Senior captain Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) became the 30th men's player at Bates to score 1,000 points in the season opener. Ellis is off to a scorching start, averaging 20.3 points per game and shooting .698 from the field. Fellow captains Alex Gallant (Bangor, Maine) and Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) are also averaging in double figures so far, with Gallant shooting at a .667 clip. Sophomore Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass.) is chipping in 11.0 points per game as well. Read the team's preseason preview story at this link.
Women's basketball (4-1) won its fourth straight game with Wednesday night's 86-56 clinic of a win over UMaine-Farmington at Alumni Gym. Senior Jessie Igoe (Lexington, Mass.) averages 13.0 points and 4.6 rebounds, while sophomore Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) is at 10.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. But Bates' backcourt play is driving the engine. Junior Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) is the runaway NESCAC leader in assists (7.8 apg) and steals (4.4 spg) while also scoring 8.0 points per game. Junior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) averages 8.4 points and 2.6 assists, and rookie guard Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) is already scoring 9.2 points per game. Read the team's preseason preview story at this link.
Bates' men's and women's squash teams, each ranked No. 12 in the country by the College Squash Association, are both looking to reload with seasons equal to, or better than, last year. This, despite the men's team losing its No. 1 player to graduation (Kush Mahan), and the women's team graduating two of its top three (Hannah Laverty and Whitney Roller). Neither team had any problem starting out the 2010-11 season at 4-0 each, but both will be tested this weekend, facing Ivy League powers Penn and Yale at Yale on Saturday, followed by matches at Trinity on Sunday.
NESCAC Rookie of the Year and First Team All-NESCAC player Cheri-Ann Parris (St. Phillip, Barbados) heads another strong group on the women's team, while on the men's side, a pair of All-NESCAC honorees from 2010 will do the same: senior Will Katz (Bronxville, N.Y.) and junior Bobby Burns (Greenwich, Conn.).
Swimming and Diving
The Bates men's and women's swimming and diving teams had meets on consecutive days in November, giving an early peek at several newcomers who should become immediate contributors, while both teams picked up conference dual-meet wins over Trinity. Race winners on the men's team included a pair of rookies in Sammy Schadt (Coopersburg, Pa.) and Won Ho Chang (Seoul, Korea), along with proven veteran performers like juniors Dan Aupi (Branford, Conn.) and Nathaniel Depew (Hudson, Ohio). The women's team also saw some first-years touch the wall first in Emily Geissinger (Darien, Conn.) and Gabrielle Sergi (Newburyport, Mass.), in addition to returning stalwarts like senior Charlotte Green (New Canaan, Conn.) and junior Kara Leasure (Los Alamos, N.M.).
The Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association's carnival season gets under way Jan. 14-15 in Lake Placid, N.Y., at the St. Lawrence Carnival, and it will conclude this year with the NCAA East Regional Championships being hosted by Bates at its home sites (Sunday River for alpine events, Black Mountain for Nordic races).
The Bates alpine team returns three NCAA Championship participants, including two on the men's team in junior Bump Heldman (Auburn, Maine) and senior Ben Manter (Vassalboro, Maine), who placed 10th overall in the slalom at the 2010 NCAA Championship, to become the alpine team's fourth All-American. On the women's team, Micaela Holland (Belmont, Mass.) will look to represent Bates at NCAAs for a third time.
The Bates women's Nordic team has senior All-East performer Natalie Ruppertsberger (Plainfield, N.H.) looking to make her third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship, and she'll be supported by a talented and loaded group of teammates, including seniors Kirsten Gill (Jackson, N.H.), Megan McClelland (Keene Valley, N.Y.) and Ingrid Knowles (Cumberland, Maine), junior Beth Taylor (Norwich, Vt.), and sophomore Gretchen Sellegren (Bozeman, Mont.). The men's squad may feature solely first-years and sophomores this season, with the top returner being Lucas Milliken (North Yarmouth, Maine).
Indoor Track and Field
Aside from the Bates Men's Pentathlon on Dec. 11 (12 p.m.), the men's and women's indoor track and field meet schedule begins in earnest on Jan. 15 with a home meet against MIT and Colby. The following Saturday, Jan. 22, Bates hosts a four-team meet with Division I Maine, Colby and Southern Maine visiting Walter Slovenski Track in Merrill Indoor Gymnasium. Both the men's and women's teams boast talent all over the events board and are eagerly anticipating the indoor meet season.
The men's team boasts strength in diverse areas of the sport, led by captains Brett Epler (Wellesley, Mass.), a hurdler and multi-events specialist, thrower Chris Murtagh (Rowley, Mass.) and sprinter Ryan Quinn (Watertown, Mass.). All three will be looking to make their first trip to the NCAA Championship. They'll be joined by other standouts like senior thrower Ethan Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.), junior pole vaulter Sam Goldstein (Memphis, Tenn.) and runners such as sophomore James LePage (Cumberland, Maine), sophomore Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.) and senior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine) in the quest to meet or exceed last year's seventh-place performance at the New England Division III Indoor Championship.
A pair of senior standouts -- thrower Sara Ellen Godek (Gilford, N.H.) and sprinter Dana Lindauer (Needham, Mass.) -- head the women's as co-captains, which has finished in sixth place at the New England Division III Championship for three straight years, but will be trying to repeat the feat without the services of six-time All-American Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan '10.