CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Bates junior David Pless placed third in the discus throw on Thursday, his first of three events at the three-day NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held at Fritz Burns Stadium at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Pless (Atlanta, Ga.), one of this week's "Faces in the Crowd" in Sports Illustrated, gained his fifth career All-America honor for his bronze medal performance, outperforming his No. 5 seeding in the event with a top mark of 173-11 (53.01 meters), tossed on his second effort of the day. Pless's final throw of the finals was his second best of the day, 52.69 meters. Pless edged Tom Postema of Defiance by an inch for third place, winning his first All-America award in the discus. He is Bates' second All-American ever in the discus -- in the first instance, Peter Goodrich '89 took eighth place in 1988.
Later on Thursday night, Bates junior Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) placed ninth, in 9:19.05, in the second preliminary heat of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The time went for 14th place overall, qualifying Wortham with the last spot in Saturday's 2:10pm final.
Junior David Hardison (South Portland, Maine) competed in the first day of the decathlon, and stands in 19th place among 20 athletes, with 3,190 points. The decathlon's second half takes place Friday.
The six team points Pless scored for Bates put the Bobcats in a tie for seventh place, with two days and four events to go at NCAAs. Pless competes in the hammer throw on Friday at 2:05pm Pacific. Junior James LePage (Cumberland, Maine) runs in prelims of the 800 meters tomorrow at 7:25pm. Pless is in the shot put on Sunday, along with LePage potentially in the 800-meter finals.