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Winter athletics start off with a bang this weekend

LEWISTON, Maine -- The fall athletic season isn't quite over at Bates -- both cross country teams compete at the NCAA Division III Championships this Saturday -- but the winter athletics season begins in force this weekend.

The No. 12 nationally ranked Bates men and the 17th-ranked Bates women run at NCAAs on Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind. (Webcast / Timing Site / Host Site). The men's race begins at 11am Eastern Time, followed by the women at 12 noon.

The men's basketball team's Bobcat Tipoff Classic, a four-team tournament including Fisher, Emerson and UMaine-Augusta, comprise the only home events this weekend. Fisher and Emerson will face each other on Friday at 6pm in Alumni Gym, to be followed at 8pm by the Bobcats' season opener against the Moose of UMaine-Augusta. The two opening-round losers will meet in Saturday's consolation game at 2pm, followed by the championship game between the first-round winners at 4pm. Both games Bates plays in will feature live streaming video and live stats (as do all of Bates' home basketball games).

Bates women's basketball heads to Salem, Mass., for the Salem State Tipoff, where the Bobcats will face Western Connecticut State on Saturday at 3pm. Depending on Saturday's results, on Sunday Bates will face either MIT or the host Vikings, at 12pm or 2pm.

Men's and women's swimming and diving open their season by traveling to Connecticut for back-to-back dual meets against NESCAC opponents Wesleyan (Saturday at 3pm) and Trinity (Sunday at 11am).

Men's and women's squash also hit the road, all the way to Washington, D.C., to start their 2012-13 campaigns. The Bates women play at George Washington against the host Colonials on Saturday at 11am, followed at 2pm with a match against Ivy power Penn. On Sunday they'll face Bucknell at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., at 2pm. The Bates men also face GW and Penn at GW on Saturday, with the same starting times as the women. They'll take on Navy on Sunday in Annapolis at 11am.