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Men's track and field takes second place at NESCAC Championships

















MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- The Bates men's track and field team rode outstanding performances across the board to finish as the conference runner-up for the second time in three years on Saturday at the NESCAC Track and Field Championships. The Bobcats scored 122.5 points, trailing only Williams (188.5) and topping third-place Middlebury (112.5) by 10 points. Tufts (99.5) and Amherst (65) rounded out the top five teams out of 11 competing.

Bates sophomore David Pless (Atlanta, Ga.) set both the NESCAC Championship and the Bates team record in the shot put, leading a 1-2-3 sweep by the Bobcats in the event with a massive top effort of 56-6.75. Pless, the reigning NCAA indoor shot put champion, automatically qualified for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships with his mark.

Bates senior Ethan Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.), who set the Bates record earlier this season at 54-4.75 (also an NCAA auto mark), took second place in the event at 51-10, followed by senior Chris Murtagh (Rowley, Mass.) in third at 51-8.5.

Pless also took second place in the discus (153-10) and third place in the hammer throw (167-2).

Waldman claimed his first NESCAC title by winning the discus throw at 156-1.

Murtagh claimed first place in the hammer throw at 187-5, his third career NESCAC event title. Murtagh also scored points for the Bobcats in the discus, where he was fifth at 148-8, and in the javelin, where he finished fifth at 181-5.

Other point-scoring (top eight) performances by the Bobcats included:

  • Senior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine) surged to second place in the 1,500-meter run, at 3:56.37, followed by sophomore Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.) in seventh at 3:59.58.
  • Sophomore Anthony Haeuser (South Portland, Maine) and first-year Jarret McKallagat (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) went 2-3 in the 110-meter hurdles, posting finals times of 15.33 and 15.35 seconds, respectively. Haeuser also took fifth place in the high jump, at 6-1.25, while senior Brett Epler (Wellesley, Mass.) tied for eighth in that event, at 5-11.25.
  • The 4x100 relay team took second place in 43.57 seconds, with legs run by junior Mike Jiang (Madison, Conn.), sophomore Tim Woods (Westfield, N.J.), senior Pat Carroll (North Andover, Mass.) and first-year Ben Levy (Belmont, Mass.).
  • Junior Duncan Briggs (Arrowsic, Maine) took third place in the javelin throw, at 190-7, while Murtagh was fifth and sophomore Zak Kofos (Marlborough, Mass.) placed seventh at 174-5.
  • Sophomore James LePage (Cumberland, Maine) came in fourth in the 800, at 1:54.25.
  • Levy took seventh place in the finals of the 100-meter dash at 11.70 seconds, after posting a preliminary heat time of 11.41.
  • Bates' distance medley relay team of Esponnette, senior Kevin McDonald (Stewart Manor, N.Y.), LePage and Barron took fifth place in 10:21.19.
  • First-year Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.) took eighth place in the 5,000, at 15:04.29.

Next up for the Bobcats is the New England Division III Outdoor Championships at MIT. The decathlon begins Friday at 12 p.m., and the rest of the meet takes place Saturday at 10 a.m.