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Men's hammer and shot put team records fall at Colby Invitational











WATERVILLE, Maine -- Two team records fell, one of them twice on the same day, as the Bates men's track and field team had another memorable day at the Colby Invitational -- in the words of head coach Al Fereshetian, one of the best throwing days the team has ever had in any meet. The Bobcats won the team scoring with 215 points, followed by Colby (159) and Saint Joseph's (3).

Bates senior Chris Murtagh (Rowley, Mass.) blasted the Bates record in the hammer throw with a winning effort of 196-04, automatically qualifying to compete in the event at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in May. Murtagh's former teammate, Rich McNeil '10, set the previous team hammer record of 193-7 last year.

But a more tangled tale unfolded in the shot put event, where sophomore David Pless (Atlanta, Ga.), the NCAA Division III indoor shot put champion, tied the team outdoor record with a shot put of 54-3.25, tying the mark of 54-3.25 forged by Dustin Gauthier '05 in 2003. But on his next throw, senior teammate and fellow indoor All-American Ethan Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.), then surpassed Pless with a new school-record effort of 54-4.75. Both marks made stronger their provisional qualification for the NCAA Championships.

Bates "has never had a better day in the discus," said Fereshetian, led by Pless's first-place throw of 164-11, putting him third on Bates' all-time performancde list. Murtagh threw 160-10, ranking fifth all-time for second place, and both Bobcats met provisional qualification for NCAAs in the event. "It's the first time we've had two guys go over 160 feet in the discus in the same year, let alone in the same meet," said Fereshetian. Waldman was a strong third at 155-6, improving his No. 8 standing on Bates' all-time list.

Amazingly, Murtagh, Pless and Waldman all set personal records in every event they competed in for the day. Pless was second in the hammer at 169-10, followed by Waldman in third at 159-8.

Bates didn't excel in just the throwing events. Among the team's other highlights were a strong, first-place 4x800 relay run of 8:04.30 by sophomore Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.), sophomore Eric Kimball (Manchester, Mass.), first-year Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.) and sophomore James LePage (Cumberland, Maine). The time ranks seventh best on Bates' all-time performance list.

Other winners for Bates included:

  • Graboys won the 1,500 meters in 4:06.23.
  • Barron won the 800 at 1:59.50.
  • First-year Jarret McKallagat (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) won the 110-meter hurdles in 15.1.
  • Senior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine) won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:55.14.
  • Senior Brett Epler (Wellesley, Mass.) won the 400 hurdles at 58.55.
  • Junior Sean Colligan (Goffstown, N.H.) won the 5,000 at 15:59.95.
  • First-year Chris Halsted (Lincoln, Mass.) won the long jump (19-2.5).
  • Sophomore Zach Kofos (Marlborough, Mass.) won the javelin throw at 159-3.
  • Sophomore Tony Haeuser (South Portland, Maine) won the high jump at 5-11.5.
  • Junior Mike Jiang (Madison, Conn.), sophomore Tim Woods (Westfield, N.J.), senior Pat Carroll (North Andover, Mass.) and senior Ryan Quinn (Watertown, Mass.) won the 4x100 relay in 44.21.
  • First-year Ben Levy (Belmont, Mass.), McKallagat, LePage and Quinn won the 4x400 relay in 3:35.62.

Bates hosts the State of Maine Men's Outdoor Championships next Saturday, April 23, at 12 p.m.