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Season Preview: Men's track should again bank on depth

Noah Gauthier '08

The 2008 Bates men’s track and field team is adding many new faces to its core of veteran leaders in hopes of improving upon last season’s successful performances, which included a sixth-place team finish at the New England Indoor Championships at Bates.

Losing only four seniors from the 2006-07, the team will be led by co-captain and All-American thrower Noah Gauthier, who returns for his senior season as one of the favorites to win an individual NCAA championship in the 35-pound weight throw.

Bates' throwers will again be unmatched in New England, with senior Matt Lopez and sophomore Rich McNeil teaming up with Gauthier to lead the way for many new throwers trying the weight for the first time this year.

Senior co-captain John Miley looks to improve upon his runner-up performance in the pentathlon at the New England Division III Championships, and he got off to a great start by defeating the defending New England champion at the Bates Pentathlon in December.

With sophomore Erik Born, depth in the sprint and jump events should be plentiful. Co-captain Emmanuel Drabo has his eyes set on a New England title in the triple jump and also should provide surprises in the sprints.

The distance and middle-distance squads will be anchored by junior captain C.J. Murray and seniors Andrew Percy, Will Viti, Harrison Little and Tim McCall, who all have amassed big race experience on the cross country course this past fall.

The indoor team brings in its largest first year class in recent memory, with 18 first-years added to the roster. Ryan Quinn will provide an immediate impact in the sprints and jumps, as will Brett Epler in the hurdles and pentathlon. Sophomore transfer Patrick Cotton and junior Mike Watson both look to have breakout years in the long sprints and middle distance events. Seven Bates athletes opened their seasons on December 8th with the annual Bates Pentathlon, and the Bobcats will be home again on Jan. 26 for a dual meet against Colby, the team's lone home date of the season.