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Men's track and field recaptures Maine state crown

Chris Murtagh '11 was second in three events and fourth in another for the Bobcats in their state meet win.

WATERVILLE, Maine -- The Bates College men's track and field team returned to the top of the heap after a year's hiatus on Saturday at the State of Maine Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Colby. The Bobcats took first place for the eighth time in the past nine years, after seeing their seven-year streak end a year ago by Bowdoin.

Bates scored 226 points, well ahead of runner-up Southern Maine (162), as well as Bowdoin (145) and Colby (81).

In the throwing events, the Bobcats were, in a word, dominant, sweeping the top five spots in the discus throw and the top four spots in the javelin throw, shot put and hammer throw.

Senior Rich McNeil (Lawrence, Mass.) won his second consecutive Tootel Award for the meet's top field athlete. McNeil won the hammer throw at 55.14 meters, the shot put at 15.17 meters (49-09) and the discus throw at 45.45 meters.

Junior Chris Murtagh (Rowley, Mass.) was second in the discus (44.94), the javelin (52.76) and hammer (54.45), as well as fourth in the shot put, to rack also up major points for the team. Both Murtagh and McNeil improved their provisional qualifications for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships in the hammer throw with season-best performances.

Sophomore Duncan Briggs (Arrowsic, Maine) took first place in the javelin throw, notching the winning distance of 53.33 meters on his final throw, as McNeil also did in the hammer. First-year Zach Kofos (Marlborough, Mass.) was third in the javelin, followed in fourth by junior Nicolas DeFrancis (Norwich, Vt.).

Junior Ethan Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.) was second in the shot put (13.68) and third in the discus (44.22). First-year David Pless (Atlanta, Ga.) was third in both the hammer (46.24) and the shot put (13.67).

First-year Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:27.12, followed in second by junior Devin Dilts (Roscoe, Ill.) in 9:51.62.

Other top-three performances on the track for Bates included:

  • Junior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine) was second in the 1,500 at 4:02.79, followed by sophomore Peter Corocoran (Stillwater, Minn.) in third at 4:03.13.
  • Junior Brett Epler (Wellesley, Mass.) was second in the 110 hurdles (16.06).

Bates competes at the NESCAC Championships next Saturday at Tufts.