LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Sophomore Sean Enos (Lynnfield, Mass.) uncorked a huge personal record on his final effort in the discus throw to vault past five athletes, including friend and teammate David Pless, to claim fourth place and his first All-America honor on Thursday.
Pless (Atlanta, Ga.) also reached the finals and placed seventh for his ninth career All-America honor, two more than any other male athlete in Bates history. Pless made the finals on his third and final effort of the preliminary round, at 51.67 meters, then moved up to third place briefly on his first effort in the finals, 52.84 meters, or 173 feet and 4 inches.
Enos, whose previous career-best in the discus was 167-3 (50.97 meters), went 50.86 meters on his first attempt of the day, good enough for the ninth and final spot in the finals. Enos improved to a personal-record 51.36 on his penultimate attempt, after fouling twice in a row, but he remained in ninth going into his final attempt. Enos stepped up on his final try, going 174-9, or 53.27 meters, 2.30 meters beyond his PR when the day began. It is the first time he has ever defeated Pless, his close friend and training partner. (Video: Sean Enos 2013 NCAA Discus)
Enos becomes Bates' third-ever All-American discus thrower, joining Pless and Peter Goodrich '89, and the 31st All-American athlete in Bates' outdoor track and field history. Pless became Bates' first-ever two-time All-American in the event.
Senior Nick Barron (Kirkwood, Mo.) provided another highlight for Bates in the trials of the 1,500 meters, running the seventh-fastest time in the field, at 3:52.66, to reach the finals, which are open to the top 12 times in prelims. Barron was the 18th seed among 20 athletes entering the race. The finals are to take place Saturday at 3pm.
Senior David Hardison (South Portland, Maine) stands in 12th place among 20 competitors halfway through the two-day decathlon event, which concludes on Friday. He led off the day with a personal-record time of 11.35 seconds in the 100-meter dash, ninth-fastest in the field of 20 decathletes, for 784 points, and he finished strong, with the second-fastest time in the 400 meters, and another personal record, at 50.25 seconds, good for 803 points. Hardison has 3,400 points, just eight shy of 11th-lace Maxwell Dunne of St. Thomas (Minn.) and 22 shy of Tufts' Michael Blair.
Junior Mike Martin (Slatersville, R.I.) made it a nearly perfect day for the Bobcats in the final individual event of the night, the trials of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Running in the second of two heats, Martin finished in 9:11.82, the 13th-fastest time among 20 competitors overall. The top 14 runners advance to Saturday's final, set for a 2:10 start (Central).
Saturday's schedule for the Bobcats includes the second half of the decathlon for Hardison, the hammer throw for Pless and the preliminary heats of the 800 meters for senior James LePage (Cumberland, Maine) and junior Mark McCauley (Cumberland, Maine).