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Men's track and field places fifth out of 49 teams at ECACs

Rich McNeil '10 won the ECAC Division III title in the shot put with a new personal best mark, then placed second in the weight throw. (File photo by Tom Leonard '78)
Jesse Chapman '13 became Bates' best-ever indoor pentathlete with 3,496 points. (File photo by Tom Leonard '78)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- The Bates College men's track and field team finished the ECAC Division III Indoor Championships Saturday at Smith College in fifth place out of 49 teams, a huge leap from a year ago, when the Bobcats were 29th. The Bobcats finished with 43 points, behind only Ithaca (52.25), Southern Maine (48), The College of New Jersey (48) and Geneseo State (47.25). It was the Bobcats' highest finish at ECACs since placing second in 2004.

A day after winning the shot put with a new personal best, senior Rich McNeil (Lawrence, Mass.) placed second out of 28 competitors in the weight throw with a top heave of 59-08.25.

Bates also picked up big points in the 1,000 meters, where junior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine) placed third out of 27 runners in a time of 2:32.55, while sophomore Peter Corcoran (Stillwater, Minn.) blazed to fourth place in 2:33.73.

The Bobcats' 4x800 relay team scored five more points by finishing fourth in a time of 7:56.83, just 0.23 seconds behind third-place St. Lawrence.

Friday Recap

Bates first-year Jesse Chapman (East Thetford, Vt.) broke the team record in the indoor pentathlon on Friday at the ECAC Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships, held at Smith College. Chapman scored 3,496 points, improving upon the provisional qualification for the NCAA Championships that he had already met at New Englands. His point total exceeded the previous team record of 3,472 points, set by John Miley '08 in 2007.

Chapman finished second in the pentathlon Friday, just 33 points shy of front-runner Jared Engelking of Tufts, a senior. He was second among all competitors in the shot put (42-05.50) and tied for first in the high jump at 6-02.75.

Rich McNeil provided another big highlight for the Bobcats by winning the shot put at 52-04.50, a new personal record that improves his provisional qualification to compete in the shot at the NCAA Championships. Junior Ethan Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.) made the finals and finished ninth overall at 46-06.00.

First-year Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) came in seventh in the 5,000, with a time of 15:11.29, while junior Devin Dilts (Roscoe, Ill.) placed 10th in 15:26.95.

Bates distance medley relay team of junior Tom Esponnette, junior Ryan Quinn (Watertown, Mass.), Peter Corcoran and first-year Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.) placed ninth overall with a time of 10:19.28.

Sophomore Sam Goldstein (Memphis, Tenn.) tied for 13th place in the pole vault, topping out at 14-04.00.

The Bobcats wait to find out who will go on to compete at the NCAA Championships next weekend, with McNeil, Chapman and Goldstein all having provisional qualifications for nationals under their belts.