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Men's track claims third straight ECAC crown

TROY, N.Y. -- The Bates College men's track and field team won its third consecutive ECAC Division III championship -- two outdoor, one indoor -- on Friday at RPI, as junior David Pless (Atlanta, Ga.) maintained an unblemished record against Division III competition this season and junior David Hardison (South Portland, Maine) won the decathlon.

Bates scored 61 points, 12 more than runner-up Rowan (49). Ramapo (40), MIT (33) and Amherst (29) and SUNY Oneonta (29) rounded out the top five teams.

Pless won the shot put with a season-best mark of 17.80 meters, or 58-4.75, outdistancing runner-up Mike McPherson of Bridgewater State by 1.06 meters. Pless made it a clean sweep with a 51.26-meter effort, or 168-2, in the discus throw, 1.19 meters beyond SUNY Farmingdale's Ieshawn Johnson, the runner-up. On Thursday, Pless won the hammer throw, at 55.90 meters, or 183-4.75, outdistancing runner-up Chinedum Umachi of MIT by 41 centimeters.

Hardison won the ECAC title in the decathlon with a career-best 6,235 points, moving to third place on Bates' all-time list in the process. In the final event, the 1,500 meters, Hardison knew he'd need to slice at least five seconds off of his personal best, and he ended up cutting more than eight seconds, using a huge final lap to time in at 4:41.34, second-best in the field of 11.

Entering the second day in third place out of 11, Hardison was first in the field in the first event of the second day, the 110-meter hurdles, in 15.65 seconds. He finished up the day by outscoring the entire field in the javelin throw, at 47.63 meters, then taking second in the 1,500.

All-ECAC (top eight) performances and other highlights for Bates included:

  • Bates took fourth place in the 4x800 relay, at 7:47.51, run on the legs of junior Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.), first-year John Stansel (Newburyport, Mass.), senior Peter Corcoran (Stillwater, Minn.) and sophomore Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.). The other top five teams were all from the state of New York.
  • Junior James LePage (Cumberland, Maine) took fifth place in the 800 meters with a time of 1:51.92. The performance moved LePage up to 18th in Division III in the event.
  • Sophomore Jarret McKallagat (Atkinson, N.H.) took sixth place in the 110-meter high hurdles, in 15.22 seconds in Friday's final.
  • Graboys placed 10th in the 1,500 meters at 3:54.00.
  • On Thursday, Pless won the hammer throw, at 55.90 meters, or 183-4.75, outdistancing runner-up Chinedum Umachi of MIT by 41 centimeters.
  • Sophomore Tully Hannan (West Hartford, Conn.) finished sixth in the 5,000 meters on Thursday, at 14:47.24, to score three points for the Bobcats.
  • Junior Ken Whitney (West Hartford, Conn.) also snagged sixth place in another Thursday long-distance showdown, the 10,000, with a time of 31:42.32.
  • Junior Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) took seventh place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, in a time of 9:16.67. Wortham is ranked seventh in Division III in the event, entering this week. Sophomore Mike Martin (Slatersville, R.I.) was ninth, just out of the scoring, in 9:23.67.
  • Senior Sam Goldstein (Memphis, Tenn.) finished eighth in the pole vault on Thursday at 4.61 meters, or 15-1.5, scoring a point for Bates.
  • First-year Sean Enos (Lynnfield, Mass.) finished ninth in the shot put, one place out of the scoring, with a top effort of 15.09. Enos was also 10th in the discus (44.04m).
  • Junior Anthony Haeuser (South Portland, Maine) had the 10th-best time of 15.64 in Thursday's prelims of the 110 hurdles.

Bates competes next week at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in Claremont, Calif.