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McNeil fifth in shot put at men's Open New Englands







BOSTON -- The Bates College men's track and field team wrapped up a strong showing in the two-day, all-divisions Open New England Indoor Championships Saturday at Boston University, tying with MIT for 21st place out of 34 scoring teams.

Bates senior Rich McNeil (Lawrence, Mass.) placed fifth out of 21 athletes in the shot put on Saturday, recording a new personal record of 52-02.00 to improve his provisional qualification for the NCAA Championships.

Junior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine), who made the final of the 1,000-meter run on Friday with a time of 2:32.13, finished sixth in the final on Saturday with a time of 2:30.49, the fifth-fastest time in the event ever run by a Bobcat.

Also on Saturday, Bates won its preliminary heat and placed seventh out of 22 squads in the 4x800 relay with a time of 7:46.58, the fourth fastest time in team history. Bates' runners in the event included sophomore Peter Corcoran (Stillwater, Minn.), who led off with a 1:56 leg, first-year Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.), who also ran 1:56, senior Griffin Stabler (Keene, N.H.) at 1:58 and first-year James LePage (Cumberland, Maine), who ran an anchor leg of 1:55.7.

In Friday's portion of the meet, McNeil had a top weight throw of 57-02.00 to finish sixth out of 24 throwers, with five of the six ahead of him hailing from Division I schools.

A trio of runners put on an impressive showing in the 5,000-meter run. First-year Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) ran a personal best time of 15:05.47 in the 5,000, good for 13th place out of 32, while senior Doug Brecher (Waban, Mass.) was right behind in 14th at 15:05.47 and junior Devin Dilts (Roscoe, Ill.) was 18th in 15:15.43. Wortham and Brecher entered Bates' top 10 all-time performance list in the event at eighth and ninth, respectively.

Sophomore Sam Goldstein (Memphis, Tenn.) placed 13th in the pole vault at 14-03.25, a week after qualifying provisionally for the NCAA Championships and setting the Bates record at New England Division III Championships at 15-06.25.

The Bobcats compete in the ECAC Division III Indoor Championships next weekend at Smith College.