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Men's track and field takes third place at New Englands

Brett Epler became Bates' third-best decathlete of all time, while winning the New England Division III title in the event. (File photo by Tom Leonard '78)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A host of excellent performances all around led to the Bates men's track and field team claiming third place among 31 point-scoring teams at the New England Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships at MIT on Saturday.

Bates scored 73 team points, good for third place out of the 31 teams that scored points. Bates trailed only Williams (151) and MIT (147), and led fourth-place Bowdoin by 25.5 points. It is the Bobcats' second straight year in third place at the meet.

Sophomore David Pless (Atlanta, Ga.) won his second shot put title in a week, winning the event at 55-4.75. Senior Ethan Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.) took second place at 54-0. Both Bobcats passed senior teammate Chris Murtagh (Rowley, Mass.) in the finals, after Murtagh completed the preliminary stages in the lead at a personal-best 53-6.25.

Murtagh also claimed second place out of 22 competitors in the hammer throw at 190-9. Pless was eighth at 169-1, and Waldman, who won the discus throw on Friday, was 16th.

First-year Jarret McKallagat (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) blazed to fourth place in the finals of the 110-meter high hurdles, in a time of 15.03 seconds, rising to No. 2 on Bates' all-time performance list. McKallagat also rose to fifth on the team's all-time performance list in the 400 hurdles, taking 14th place in 56.23.

McKallagat also ran the anchor leg on Bates' sixth-place 4x100-meter relay team, following junior Mike Jiang (Madison, Conn.), sophomore Tim Woods (Westfield, N.J.) and senior Pat Carroll (North Andover, Mass.) to finish in a time of 43.35 seconds.

The Bobcats also scored five team points in the 4x800 relay, finishing fourth in a time of 7:50.70 on the legs of first-year Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.), senior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine), sophomore Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.) and sophomore James LePage (Cumberland, Maine).

Barron also took eighth place in the 1,500 meters, at 3:56.21.

First-year Michael Martin (Slatersville, R.I.) took 10th place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Friday Recap

Bates seniors Brett Epler and Ethan Waldman won the decathlon and the discus throw, respectively, on Friday at the New England Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at MIT.

Epler (Wellesley, Mass.) scored a career-high 6,162 points in the decathlon, moving up to third place on Bates' all-time performance list in the event. Epler outscored the eight-man field in the 400-meter run, finishing in 51.50 seconds for 747 points. In Thursday's first-day portion of the decathlon, Epler topped the field in the 110-meter hurdles, at 15.84 seconds. Epler was also second or third best among his competition in six other events: the shot put (10.53 meters), the high jump (1.83 meters), the discus throw (33.34 meters), the pole vault (3.45 meters), the javelin throw (47.55 meters) and the 1,500-meter run (4:39.39).

Epler met provisional qualification standards for competing in the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships, as he did in the indoor pentathlon for indoor nationals.

Waldman leaped from second to first place on his final discus attempt of 49.63 meters (162-10), his second discus title in a week, following last Saturday's NESCAC crown. David Pless took third place in the discus at 160-10, scoring six team points for the Bobcats and winning All-New England honors.

It was a rougher day in the javelin throw for the Bobcats, where Chris Murtagh led three Bobcats by finishing 10th at 175-2.