INDIANAPOLIS -- The Bates men's track and field team will send five athletes to compete in a total of three events this weekend at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. The field for the meet was officially announced Monday by the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee. The meet takes place March 9-10 at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.
Junior David Pless (Atlanta, Ga.) will compete in the shot put and the weight throw, and Bates will also compete for the first time at nationals in the distance medley relay, with the quartet of junior Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.), sophomore Ben Levy (Belmont, Mass.), junior James LePage (Cumberland, Maine) and sophomore Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.).
With Barron running the leadoff 1,200-meter leg, followed by Levy in the 400, LePage in the 800 and Graboys in the final 1,600-meter leg, Bates finished the race in 9:55.34 last weekend at the ECAC Division III Indoor Championships. Based on an adjusted time of 9:58.34 (accounting for the banked track at the New Balance Armory), Bates ranks sixth in Division III in the event.
This will be Pless's first time competing at NCAAs in the weight; last year he made his first trip and won the NCAA indoor shot put title. Pless has rebroken the school record he broke in the shot put a year ago at NCAAs a total of four times this season, and is up to 58-10.25, and ranked fourth in the country in the event. Pless has also broken his personal record in the weight several times this season, and is currently ranked sixth in Division III in the event at 62-10.
The Bates women's team will also be competing in the DMR at NCAAs: sophomore Kallie Nixon (Medfield, Mass.) in the 1,200, senior Tina Tobin (Lowell, Mass.) in the 400, first-year Sarah Fusco (Cheshire, Conn.) in the 800 and junior Bud Arens (Weymouth, Mass.) in the 1,600. The women finished the race in 11:49.57 on Saturday at the ECAC Division III Indoor Championships in New York, and are ranked fifth in the country in the event.