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Bates wins state championship in men's indoor track and field

Bates team captains show off their state championship trophy on Saturday night at Bowdoin. From left, Chris Murtagh '11 (holding his Peter Goodrich Award), Tom Esponnette '11, Sean Colligan '12, Ryan Quinn '11 and Brett Epler '11. (Photo by Tom Leonard '78)













BRUNSWICK, Maine -- The Bates men's track and field team claimed first place Saturday night in the Maine State Men's Indoor Championship, held at Bowdoin. It is Bates' first state indoor championship since 2005, even though the Bobcats have won the outdoor championships in eight of the past nine years.

"It was a special night for us -- we really had just great performances all across the board," said Bates head coach Al Fereshetian.

Bates scored 196 points, followed by runner-up Bowdoin (143), Southern Maine (122) and Colby (91).

Bates senior Ethan Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.) broke the team record for the indoor shot put, taking first place in the event with a heave of 54-08.25, or 16.67 meters, just three centimeters shy of hitting the automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships. Entering this weekend, Waldman's effort would rank him second in the country in Division III. Waldman broke the team record of 53-04.50 set by Dustin Gauthier '05 in 2004. He also placed third in the weight throw, at 51-06.50.

Fellow senior Chris Murtagh (Rowley, Mass.) set the meet record in the 35-pound weight throw, with a top effort of 60-07.25, and Murtagh was honored with the Peter Goodrich Award as the meet's Most Outstanding Field Athlete. Bates graduate Noah Gauthier '08 broke the then-32-year-old meet record at the 2008 state championship meet, also held at Bowdoin, by launching the weight 60-03.75. Murtagh also took fourth place in the shot put.

"It's a shame the Peter Goodrich Award couldn't go to more than one guy, because both Ethan and Chris deserved it," said Fereshetian.

First-year Jarret McKallagat (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) won the 55-meter hurdles with a finals time of 7.90 seconds, while sophomore teammate Tony Haeuser (South Portland, Maine) was second in 8.00. McKallagat's time puts him at No. 3 on Bates' all-time performance list.

Sophomore James LePage (Cumberland, Maine) continued his outstanding indoor season by winning the 800 in 1:55.01, putting him at sixth on Bates' all-time performance list.

Senior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine) claimed first place in the 1,000, at 2:31.67.

First-year Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.) won the 3,000 in 8:40.83, while sophomore Graham Pearsall (Guilford, Maine) placed fourth in 9:04.38.

Other highlights from the meet:

  • First-year Tully Hannan (West Hartford, Conn.) entered Bates' all-time performance list in the indoor mile with his third-place time of 4:15.86. Hannan also placed fifth in the 1,000.
  • Sophomore David Pless (Atlanta, Ga.) was second in both the shot put (49-06.50) and the weight throw (54-06.50.
  • Junior Mike Jiang (Madison, Conn.) and sophomore Tim Woods (Westfield, N.J.) placed second and third, respectively, in the 55-meter dash, at 6.73 and 6.77 seconds in the finals.
  • First-year Tyler Grees (Williamstown, Mass.) and senior Brett Epler (Wellesley, Mass.) finished 2-3 in the high jump, both at 5-11.25.
  • First-year Ben Levy (Belmont, Mass.) came in third in the 200, at 23.41 seconds, and fourth in the 400.
  • Senior Ryan Quinn (Watertown, Mass.) came in third in the 400 (51.40) and fourth in the 200.
  • Junior Peter Corcoran (Stillwater, Minn.) placed fourth in a very fast 600. His time of 1:23.93 was close to the former team record set by Sam Thomas '07 of 1:23.21, which was broken last week by LePage in 1:22.22.

The Bobcats will compete next weekend in the Valentine Classic on Friday at Boston University, then at the Tufts Invitational on Saturday.